FESTIVAL REVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2022 Part 1


Catton Park, United kingdom, 12 Aug 2022, Behemoth performing on the Ronnie James Dio Stage at Bloodstock Open Air Festival Credit: Rich Price/Ghost Cult Magazine

Main Stage and Sophie Lancaster Stage

 

THURSDAY

If there are two things we love doing in the UK, it’s complaining about the weather and queuing for things. Well, this year at Bloodstock Open Air, both are freely available and at no extra charge. Not a moment goes by without a comment on the sweltering heat or about having to wait to cross the road to the festival ground. Yes, not content with spending two hours in the main queue, campers have now invented a brand new line to join before even getting that far. For the first time ever, a line has formed for people pulling trolleys and sack carts. Almost a quarter of a mile of people waiting in a surprisingly orderly queue before joining an even bigger queue. England, never change.

 

With the heat already playing its part, I finally arrive at the Sophie Lancaster Stage in time to catch Italian nutters Nanowar of Steel who send the audience into hysterics with daft costumes and a “Wall of Love” (a traditional wall of death that climaxes with people hugging each other to George Michael’s ‘Careless Whisper’). Preceding the infuriatingly catchy ‘Norwegian Reggaeton’ with Burzums outdoor recipe for roasted salmon (“you place the freshly caught salmon on a rock and burn down the church next to it”) the band then take the opportunity to use the mighty ‘Valhalleluja’ to build an Ikea coffee table, holding it aloft for the elated crowd. Accompanied by an actual goblin for the duration of their set, US act Nekrogoblikon certainly put on an enjoyable show but find it tough following such a display of irreverent insanity.

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Pure Filth Festival at Sharkey’s Event Center, Liverpool, New York


 

Sharkey’s Event Center in Liverpool, New York hosted the Pure Filth Festival, a one-day outdoor festival featuring both new and legendary metal bands, with a focus on Thrash Metal in particular. The roster included Exodus, Municipal Waste, Voivod, Integrity, and five more bands.Continue reading


CONCERT REVIEW: The Orange Loop Festival 2022 Live at the Showboat Atlantic City


“Starting to feel normal again, feels good.” These words were spoken by Pete Loeffler, the front man for Chevelle, during their set at the Orange Loop Festival in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He is right in that people are attending festivals again but this is a new one.

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Oblivion Access – Various Venues – Austin, Texas


 

After a two year postponement, Oblivion Access Festival finally happened! Although I couldn’t attend all four days of festivities, I drove up to Austin, TX on Saturday to catch the legendary hardcore Youth of Today! It only took over three decades to finally see them lol. The festival was quite an undertaking, involving a lot of local Austin venues on 5th, 6th, and 7th Street. After 3 /12 hours of driving I was ready to stretch my legs, get some blood moving and stay cool in the humid Texas heat. Picking up my passes was a breeze as there were signs posted at Native Hostel directing you to the kind staff who greeted people with friendly smiles and words of encouragement to enjoy themselves.

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: BottleRock Napa – Napa Valley California


What is the best festival experience you’ve ever had? This could mean a lot of things to a lot of people and I have had a lot of festivals under my belt as a reviewer and a fan to pull from. However, you have to just stand back in awe when a festival gets almost everything right and exceeds every potential expectation. This has happened to me one other time – at Roadburn. Having just moved to Northern California this year BottleRock Napa was definitely on my radar. When I arrived at the festival for the first day little did I know what it had in store for me.

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Decibel’s Metal & Beer Fest 2019


Decibel Magazine’s Decibel Metal & Beer Fest was, to put it simply, stacked. Fourteen bands across all variants of Death, Grindcore, Prog, and Doom, descended onto Orange County for a weekend of heart-pounding jubilation. The two-day event was held this year at The Observatory, a large yet paradoxically intimate standing-room-only venue, intelligently designed to put the audience at three different heights across the entire space, offering uninhibited views of the stage beyond the perils of the pit.Continue reading


FESTIVAL REVIEW: Adult Swim Festival


For just one weekend the Banc of California Stadium was transformed into a carnivalesque outdoor funhouse for the Adult Swim Festival. The stadium was alive with colorful distorted animations reminiscent of children’s cartoons and claymation scenes warped and hyperbolized beyond the mind’s comprehension, while a giant Meatwad dome sat across an even larger inflatable slide shaped like Morty’s head vomiting a rainbow.

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Tramlines Fringe Festival Live at Sheffield City Hall


I arrive to find Trigger Thumb just on stage, with a quite busy and appreciative crowd in front of them. The room is already warm and echoing, though neither of these things seems to put off either audience nor band, despite the slight disservice done to Trigger Thumb by this. Even from the third song in, there are noticeably more heads nodding along and more movement in the crowd from earlier, as the Bradford 3-piece start to quickly work over the crowd, with vocalist/guitarist Arron’s self-deprecation between songs raising a number of smiles around the room, as he says, We are Trigger Thumb and we are losers”. Musically, they veer between noisy Math Rock and some quite delicate guitar and vocals, showing an homage, at least, to The Mars Volta, whilst nods to the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Faith No More pop through at various times. They perform their set with a minimum of fuss and thoroughly earned the loud applause they garner at the end of their set.

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