With just 19 days to go before the UK’s most loved, independent Metal festival Bloodstock Open Air, opens it’s gates for the 12th year running, MetalMouth pinned down one part of the Bloodstock family, Adam Gregory.
Adam is the son of Bloodstock founder Paul Gregory, who some might not know is the main man behind the Bloodstock artwork, which you can see an example of below.
Adam openly and honestly, discusses the important issues that might cross festival goers lips.
So Adam, what is your role at Bloodstock?
Director, general joint responsibility for show, infrastructure, Marketing and Sponsorship opportunities as well as on-site activity.
What does that entail exactly?
Silly amounts of work but generally the boring stuff…………….meetings, meetings and more meetings.
How much of your life do you spend working on Bloodstock festival as a whole do you think?
All of it now as I am the only full time director as my fellow directors all still have full time jobs.
Which members of the Gregory family first came up with the idea of a full blown metal festival?
That would be Paul Gregory, Artist and founder (alongside at that time Vince Brotheridge).
What spurred this idea and decision to make it happen?
Paul had done various album covers for some metal icons including Saxon, Dio and Molly Hatchet to name a few and just loved the idea of having a metal festival for the fans by the fans, Paul is very tenacious and once he had decided…….well that was that.
Why do you think Bloodstock is so popular amongst metal fans?
It sticks to its core routes and is only interested in showcasing the best Metal on the planet, also we bring bands to the UK shores that some more commercial festivals would not consider so in theory, give them an opportunity to see some of their favourite bands perform at a big showcase in the heart of Europe, plus we are really nice.
What does Bloodstock offer fans that other metal festivals in the UK and Europe don’t?
We would like to think we are pioneers within the industry and try to be as diverse as possible, we also have a huge following for our unsigned initiative in the search for Europe’s next Iron Maiden or Metallica. We have championed the search and opportunity for some of the UK’s best new talent for 12 years now and our initiative (Metal 2 The Masses) is getting a lot bigger than we could have hoped with a number of European countries now on board and one or two international ones coming on stream soon. (contact email@example.com) for further details.
How have you adapted Bloodstock over the years, how much have you listened to fans in this respect?
We have changed greatly over the years in how we run things, i would hope for the better, but would never sit here and say we have it right, new challenges every year are thrust upon us and we adapt to the change as best we can, sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don’t, but we do learn. We always listen to the fans feedback, but it is very difficult to please everyone all of the time, if the fans make a suggestion, regardless of what it’s for, we do have a look and see if there is some viability to their thoughts, sometimes there is a great idea that practically can work, othertimes there are great ideas that can’t work for us.
We listen to band requests as well as festival idea’s and where possible, if the demand is there, we will do our best to deliver, sometimes however whether that be schedules or whatever, it just won’t work that year.
Will Bloodstock ever be turned into a behemoth like Wacken or Download?
Difficult question to be honest, if the fans demand it then who knows, for now however, I think our unique size is the reason Bloodstock is so popular as we have managed to maintain one of the UK’s friendliest events as far as atmosphere goes, and deliver a place where fans feel at home listening to great music with a great family.
What is Bloodstocks attitude toward green issues?
I think it is very important that we all do our part for the environment and we look to deliver wherever possible the greenest solution when delivering our event. I think every festival has this agenda item during their planning process.
Will there be anything new at this year’s Bloodstock that we haven’t had before?
You will have to wait and see, but we do have a few tweaks I think will please a few….
What do you offer by way of entertainment other than the bands themselves?
Again, this is something we are looking at every year and have made some changes this year to try and deliver a slightly better experience, it is always good to try different things, but we want to party, have fun, make you laugh and really just have a GREAT time.
How child/disabled friendly is Bloodstock?
Very, we encourage Bloodstock to be a family event and do our best to cater for all options, it’s always difficult to try and accommodate all eventualities, but we do encourage our fans to make contact with us if they do have any special requests that we may be able to assist with.
Site security, everyone worries about tents thefts at festivals, what’s the Bloodstock take on this?
Tents thefts are rarely spur of the moment events and are usually planned by gangs operating at all festivals, this is something we do take very seriously and part of our security briefs every year are how do we stamp out this practice, we had very few incidents last year and are making a constant focus on this moving forward with increased security, CCTV and lighting to try and catch any offenders.
What’s the thing that gets confiscated the most before entry to the festival?
We are lucky enough that very few items are actually confiscated at Bloodstock, but we would confiscate any items deemed to be either offensive, illegal or alcohol deemed to be not for personal consumption. we are keen to ensure everyone has a very exciting and enjoyable time at Bloodstock but our main concern is for them to do this safety.
What’s the funniest ever happening you’ve seen at Bloodstock?
Personally………I think it was Carlsberg man, he is there every year and dress’s as a knight but made purely out of lager cans and boxes……….very funny and am sure takes a long time to perfect the outfit, we love people to get into the spirit of things and this just really shows people how…………
Finally, if you could choose just one set at Bloodstock over the last ten years that will remain in your memory forever, which would it be, and why?
I have to say, and I will get shot for this, but Europe in 2009. Some hard core Metal fans had been saying they would definitely be in the beer tent when they played the Sunday night, but to watch hundreds of fans come running from the car parks and campsites as the introduction to the Final Countdown began, truly was epic to see.
Check out the latest Bloodstock 2012 trailer below to see what you are in for this year!
So, it looks like a few surprises are in store for Bloodstockers this year, eh. If you have had your head in a bucket for 12 years, Bloodstock will be held again at the hallowed metal ground of Catton Hall in Derby from 9th to the 12th of August.
Don’t forget your wellies and rain macs. Or alternatively, roll around in the mud and run around like a nutcase. Like in 2010. Free hug anyone?
NB: The views expressed here are purely of Adam Gregory and are not necessarily the same as the rest of the Bloodstock family!