As you will have no doubt noticed, the Fake Geeks team loves Bloodstock Festival. It’s our annual heavy metal holiday, and the highlight in our respective calendars.
One thing we constantly love to discuss is who could play the following year. As such, we have had a bit of a pow-wow, and come up with a selection of bands we think could (or should) be given a slot at BOA ’17 and beyond.
This is part 1 and is focussed on the Ronnie James Dio (or main) stage. We have broken this article down into three sections:
01. Bands that could headline.
02. Bands that could play in the 60-minute time slots.
03. Bands that could fill other slots on the main stage.
Note: Within each section, suggested bands are listed in alphabetical order.
The bill toppers, the show stoppers – the bands that justify the ticket price. These are the biggest bands at the festival, and the ones the festival will hope will shift them plenty of tickets. In 2016 these positions were occupied by: Twisted Sister, Mastodon and Slayer.
Bloodstock has found great success in recent years by booking a ‘classic’ band in the Sunday headline slot. One of the best of the lot was when they got the original shock rocker Alice Cooper himself to closer the show back in 2012. While BOA have usually erred against re-booking headliners too often, if Slayer can play in 2013 and 2016 (in the exact same slot) then we think AC deserves another pop too.
They pretty much upstaged Megadeth when subbing for them in 2014, and they got rave reviews for their performance at Download this year too. The Swedes always bring their A-game, they have an absolute bucket load of great tunes, and you know the stage show will be befitting of a headliner. Yes, they would be a little smaller than some previous headliners – but they are bigger than Behemoth (2012), Immortal (2011) and we’d argue King Diamond (2013).
This may be seen as a potentially controversial booking, but it makes some sense. Bloodstock often books one of their headliners with mainstream appeal in mind, and they could do far worse than resilient quartet. Their recent (excellent) cover of The Sound of Silence has thrust them well back into the limelight, and their blisteringly good performance at Download this year shows they’ve got the presence and back catalogue to pull it off.
If the rumours are to be believed, then Priest’s asking price is a little out of Bloodstock’s budget and this should be seen as a long shot. However, head booker Vicky started a campaign in recent months to get BOA fans to engage with the metal legends on Facebook and Twitter, to try and encourage them to play the festival. Either way, they would be an amazing booking and the perfect Sunday headliner – here’s hoping they can sort something out.
Another controversial choice here, but if the likes of Machine Head, Lamb of God and Trivium can do it then why not KoRn? One of the tightest live bands around, they would certainly command a large crowd. Would they be a marmite booking? Certainly. Do we care? Not in the slightest.
While probably more likely for 2018 or 19 (based on comments Vicky made at a recent Q&A) there’s little doubt that Sabaton are one of the few contemporary metal bands whose star in on the rise. While they only last performed in 2015, they played Trivium off the stage, and had a better stage show and a larger crowd. We have no doubt they would be a popular choice amongst punters, whenever it is they get the call up.
The two bands that play directly beneath the headliner on the RJD stage traditionally get an hour each. In 2016 these positions were occupied by Behemoth, Gojira, Anthrax, Venom, Paradise Lost and Symphony X. Here are a few suggestions that we came up with.
Having now put his acrimonious departure from Immortal behind him, Abbath now fronts his own band. Despite only releasing their eponymous debut earlier this year, we believe that Abbath would command a 60-minute slot on the bill (the tend to play sets comprising of 70% Immortal classics, and 30% tracks from that album).
2016 has seen the Aussie quartet return with their fourth album Breakin’ Outta Hell. Their infectious riff on AC/DC style hard rock is always a crowd pleaser, and we thinking they would make a cracking special guest act.
It’s pretty astounding to think that their only appearance to date was in 2008! They are long overdue a return. Some may be surprised that we’ve placed them in this section, but they do draw pretty darn big crowds now on tour, and we think they’d be excellently suited to a spot 3rd top on the bill.
Devin Townsend Project
An artist/group that is always welcome wherever we go, we couldn’t think of a more perfect act to sit in the Sunday sub-headliner slot. As diverse as bands come, and always cracking live. They have a new album out shortly, so will be fully into the touring cycle for it – it makes sense.
2017 will see the group celebrate the 20th anniversary of Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk. With Trym on drums this time out, there should be little of the controversy that surrounded their booking in 2014. Whereas they headlined then, we feel that they (and the festival) would probably settle for a special guest slot beneath a large headliner.
The occult themed rockers have been rumoured to be on the booking team’s hitlist for a little while. While softer sounding than most previous bands that have played, there’s no doubt that they fit in thematically. They could fit in either slot beneath the headliner, but we’d wager they would a special guest beneath a heavier headliner (Amon Amarth maybe?).
Other RJD Stage Slots
Some of the best/most interesting bands on the bill often appear beneath the top three. Gloryhammer and Evil Scarecrow this year both pulled massive crowds for their relatively early slots, and deservedly so. Below, we’ve highlighted a few bands we think could entertain the masses in the earlier part of the day.
While they played every two years from 2006 to 2012, next year will mark a five year absence since their last performance at a place they regard as their “home” festival. We know they are currently working on the follow-up to 2013’s Skull, so it should hopefully all come together in time for them to take an early slot on the main stage at BOA 2017.
After opening the main stage in 2011, and then playing 4th on in 2013, these New Wave of British Heavy Metallers kind of dropped off the map a bit. However, they recently made a return to gigging and were massively popular both times they played the festival. Another one of those bands that puts maximum effort into their stage show, we are confident they would lay waste to Bloodstock once more.
Flat out one of the best, most energetic bands around at the moment. Their mix of catchy rock, punky extreme metal makes for a wild combination. While we could easily see them headlining the Sophie stage, we think they’d end up 3rd or 4th on on main.
It’s touch and go as to whether this German power metal quintet would sit in the 60 minute set range or just beneath. Either way, they have gone from strength to strength in recent years, doubling the number of albums released in the time since their last BOA appearance. A crowd favourite, we would expect them to draw a larger audience than maybe even some special guests.
This Canadian quartet blew us away at Winter Rocks festival last year. Brash, catchy, punky metal would be a great way to kick off the festival proper on the Friday morning.
Another band that hasn’t played for a while (like Alestorm, their only appearance so far was in 2008), the Faroese metallers would be welcomed back with open arms.
That concludes Part 1 of our Band Suggestions for Bloodstock 2017. Check back shortly for our concluding part, where we suggest in excess of 20 acts that could play across the remaining three stages.