Coronavirus: Bloodstock hosts online festival for heavy metal fans


Atmosphere at Bloodstock

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Katja Ogrin

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More than 100 bands play across a typical weekend at Bloodstock

In normal times, the tranquil Derbyshire village of Walton-on-Trent turns it up to 11 for an ear-splitting celebration of all things heavy metal.

However, with the coronavirus pandemic making music festivals an impractical prospect, the annual Bloodstock event at Catton Park has moved online.

Organisers have teamed up with 12 other festivals to form the European Metal Festival Alliance, which began on Friday.

It is set to run until Sunday.

Heidevolk, Orange Goblin and Sabaton are among the acts taking part.

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Katja Ogrin

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Bloodstock attracts thousands of metal fans and a wide audience to a typically peaceful corner of Derbyshire

This year’s Bloodstock festival was set to be the 20th edition, with the first indoor event held at Derby’s Assembly Rooms in 2001.

The next festival has been pencilled in to run for four days from 11 August 2021, with Judas Priest, Paradise Lost and Devin Townsend announced as the headliners.

Bloodstock director Vicky Hungerford said approaching what would have been festival weekend left her with “like a mourning feeling”, but she was glad the virtual alternative gave fans something to look forward to, with bands giving interviews and performing exclusive sets from around the world.

“We’ve had so many bands participating, because they’re desperate to get their music out there and let people have a good time,” she said.

“For a lot of the bands this is the longest they will have ever not toured – it’s a huge thing for the bands not to be out there on the road doing what they love.”

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Steve Dempsey

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Sabaton were one of the headliners lighting up the stage at last year’s Bloodstock festival

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