Bloodstock 2016 is now only a couple of weeks away so we thought it would be a great time to share some essential festival tips with you to make your Bloodstock as fun and memorable as possible. So here’s 50 of our do’s and don’ts to make it through a rocking weekend at Catton Park.
1. Start Your Festival Early
For us the festival starts as soon as you get out of work on the Wednesday. Get in the mood as soon as you’re off the clock and keep it going all the way there. Carpool where possible, put a “Honk if you’re horny for Bloodstock” poster in your rear window, bang on a BOA16 playlist and enjoy the ride down.
2. Use The Drop Off Point
If you are heading down with friends and you have a car parking ticket, then it’s a good idea to head to the drop off point, throw out all of your bags with a friend and then swing back and park up your car. This saves lugging your kit all the way from the car park.
3. Keep A Few Beers Loose
On the same subject, make sure you keep a few beers loose whilst you’re in the queue or carting your camping gear across the campsite.
4. Head through the gates with no luggage
Another good tip is to leave your belongings with the rest of your team and get queued up, grab your wristband, then head straight back to get the heavy kit. This will prevent you from the back-breaking game of stop-start queuing and allows you to walk straight through the gate with your bags. If you’re in a larger group then do this in 2 halves and you’ll get through quicker.
5. Wheelie bins, wheelbarrows and trolleys make life much easier
Carry bags are a nightmare, don’t even bother. Anything with a wheel is your friend.
Once you’re through the gate try ‘leapfrogging’ your kit. In a group leave one person with most of luggage, grab as much as you can, go 50 yards, drop it with one of your other friends then go back for rest. Take turns in resting and you’ll get there together, quicker and easier.
7. Leave things in your car
If you don’t need it in the first 48hrs then don’t bring it. We usually take enough beer to last until Saturday morning before we resupply.
8. Sharing Is Caring
Beer, toiletries, food – it makes it easier to share as most people will overpack.
9. Prepare some fun mixers
This is always a laugh. When you’re doing your festival shop, grab the most random mixers you can find to combined with your favourite spirits. Over the years we’ve found Levi Roots’ Lime and Lemon Ginger Beer goes well with a bottle of JD (thus Levi Daniels) and Disney Princess Pink Punch mixed with Amaretto is about the most moreish thing you can drink.
10. Make a visual reference to your car
Sounds obvious but trust us, you don’t wanna be that person walking around like a zombie. Take a photo on your phone or look for a nearby landmark.
11. Flags make a great landmark for your camp
Mark your territory. Just don’t take them into the arena.
12. Don’t camp too close to the toilets, the path or the fences
Nobody does it twice.
13. 101 Festival Kit
Duct tape. Duct tape and some more Duct tape. Also, sunscreen, dry shampoo, hand sanitizer and of course Pom Bear
14. Chip in for a big tent
This gives you a communal place to hang out no matter what the weather and means you just have to work together to put up one tent. It’s also a lot safer and warmer/cooler when you need it to be.
15. Bring empty bottles of water
Just fill up when you get there.
16. Phone chargers and festival phones are essential
Dig out the Nokia 5110 and chomp down on a few games of snake between bands. Otherwise bring USB phone chargers and put the phone in airplane mode when it needs some juice – it will charge quicker.
17. Get to know your neighbours
Better security, more fun and good for sharing kit.
18. Prep the hangover kit
You’re going to be hanging like hell each morning so layout your kit the night before. My morning ritual consists of a bottle of powerade, a can of ASDA blue charge energy drink, a packet of Haribo tangfastic and pop tarts….so as many arrays of sugar as possible. Vitamin tablets and Sprite are also a good shout.
19. If you camp alone and don’t want to go to the toilet in the night….
All we’re gonna say is, ladies – pint pots, gents – fabric softener bottles (there’s a reason it’s called comfort)
Strap it to bottle of water for better illumination
Is essential for figuring out set times and which bands are playing where.
22. Setlist FM
If you only know a couple of songs then why not check out what the bands playing on tour.
23. Listen to bands in advance
Through all the usual channels – YouTube, Spotify, the Bloodstock official site also has links to every band via the line up page.
24. Where to stand
This is a priceless tip and is actually quite simple – head to the furthest end of whichever stage you are watching. So for the RJD stage the left hand side tends to be less busy, same with the New Blood Stage. For the S.O.P.H.I.E stage head over to the far right and you’ll get a better view.
25. Getting to the front
Head down the side then cut in, it will be much easier than going through the center of the crowd
26. Let one person take photos for the group
It saves batteries and they can easily share photos afterwards. Pictures of bands on stage rarely turn out that amazing so it’s usually better to try and enjoy the moment rather than take dozens of photos during your favourite songs.
27. Watch bands you are less likely to see again
Goes without saying for Twisted Sister this year, other than that the bigger bands are usually less likely to be back again anytime soon..
28. Chose a landmark for meeting between bands
Some good choices are the Bloodstock arms, any ice cream van or food stalls.
29. Give New Blood a chance
These guys are the future so always cheer them on, keep an open mind and check out at least one band out each day.
30. Rock out with your cock out
It’s your time to go crazy so don’t worry if you’re the only one moving in the crowd – others will join in and if not you’ll never see ’em again anyway
31. Delikate is essential
Healthy festival food – dairy/gluten free and vegan options.
32. Uncle Gio’s Breakfast pizza
Essential hangover cure
33. Accept that it will be expensive and spend big
If you can of course, it can save carrying a lot of food and it’s usually better to buy an £8 pulled pork burger than a thin £4 burger, it’ll keep you going longer and save you buying other food later.
34. Layer up
At night and if it rains this is key to keeping warm – put on as many layers as you need then throw a waterproof jacket on over the top.
35. Tactical toilet breaks
Go before the band starts even if you don’t need to. You don’t want to get caught short during the headline shows.
36. Try and stay up late
It will go quick so even if you’re flagging after a long day in the arena, it’s more fun to try and stay up with your mates and maximize your festival
37. Samaritans are there if you’re feeling down
If you need to talk about anything, they’re there, they’re friendly and they can help
38. If it’s hot, it’s dusty
Not too much of an issue at Bloodstock compared to other festivals but worth taking a bandana or scarf. Other than that cough sweets and ginger beer can help soothe your throat from a day’s screaming.
39. Pre-plaster your feet or bring ankle socks
Essential for those of you with big leather boots, it makes standing in crowds much easier
40. When you gotta go….you gotta go
The toilets are pretty decent at Bloodstock compared to other events but we’d recommend going in the arena and find the toilets on the far end of the main stage are often used less than others.
41. Water proof playing cards
Our game of choice is King’s Cup, whatever you’re playing, water proof playing cards are a great shout
42. Keep trash to a minimum
We get it, this isn’t very rock n roll but for some unknown reason wasps like heavy metal and the love sweet things. If you pile up your trash in the middle of your camp it will be swarming. Cider drinkers beware.
43. If you are getting a coach, head for the Gatehouse in Lichfield
Grab yourself a big breakfast and take stock before heading on with your journey, it makes it easier with a decent meal inside you.
44. If you ain’t gunna use it again, leave it
Tents, sleeping bags, food even beer, just leave it. Try and use the bins provided though.
45. Pack up and go on Sunday
If you are flagging and aren’t fussed about a fourth night of partying then drop your kit off in your car on the Sunday morning and hit the road after the final show. It’s an amazing feeling waking up in your own bed on the Monday.
46. Make sure whoever is driving gets a decent night sleep
If you or someone else is driving try to get some rest on the final night. Make Saturday the big party night instead.
47. Be a team player
When packing up help others pack up too, take stuff to the car, don’t scuttle off and leave others with the heavy tents
48. Take a final picture as you leave camp
They make a great before and after shot and are fun to look back on in the future
49. Try and enjoy the journey home as much as possible
You’ll be tired, hungover, aching, covered in dirt, dehydrated and voiceless but hey! It’s better than being in work right?
50. BE COOL!
Okay we know it sounds cheesy but just look at the people around you. The metal community is amazing yet it is such a small minority, let’s not divide it any further when the people at the festival are so similar to you. The fact that one of the stages is named in honour of S.O.P.H.I.E shows you just how tragic the world can be. So if some kid pushes past you on the way to the front or some drunk guy spills beer down your shirt, relax and let it go – we’re all metal heads, we’re all here to have a good time and together we’re all Bloodstock!
Take care and have an epic festival – we’ll see you there!