Bloodstock Open Air // The Sophie Lancaster Stage // Thursday August 10th 2023 // Opening Night!



Today is the day: Thursday August 10th 2023

I get up early get shizzle started and get my ass to the airport early to get settled in and ready for the hop across the pond to East Midlands airport where I will meet up with the rest of the team and drive down to Bloodstock Open Air 2023.

Alas, travel dramas mean my flight is delayed for around 45 minutes which means a quick dash direct to the site to pick up press passes, get some food into me and get my ass across to the Sophie Lancaster tent to capture Frozen Soul in all their glory. Now I know Joe from the site is a big fan and I am looking forward to the in-the-flesh experience to understand why these guys, and dolls are so highly rated! By the end of the first song, I get it. Bludgeoning death metal delivered in the most savage fashion means that tonight which is the opening night of the festival and generally a taster for what is to come is a full-on rager! The bodies are piling over the top as crowd surfers bombard the security like their lives depend on it. Frozen Soul doesn’t pause for an instant as they pummel the BOA crowd until they are back and blue with thrashing drum patterns, gnarly down-tuned riffage and guttural vocals from the depths of hell. Goddam, what a way to kick things off!

7:35 and the mighty King810 take to the stage – now we have to ask ourselves what are we in for here! There is a triple-height stage setup in the middle of the Sophie stage – almost too high to get any photos of and two cages down below wrapped in barbed wire one with a mic fixed in the middle, like what the actual fuck is going on! As 3 dodgy-looking characters take to the stage one clearly representing our glorious leaders the mantra of the great reset plays out over the pa – “You will own nothing and you will be happy” the fuck we will!

As King810 explodes onto the stage w shave one of the most visceral and visual performances I’ve ever seen at Bloodstock, we’ve seen Waitain and Sleep Token, but tonight King 810 are mesmerising the Sophie stage with a cinematic quality visual performance, unlike anything we’ve seen before. Standing in the pit trying to take it all in, make sense of it and capture it is mind-blowing! The faces of the togs around me say it all, the energy in the tent off the bloodthirsty audience just feeds the intensity of the band and they unleash a killer performance again and again, I have to repeat myself but for an opening night which generally is a teaser, taster and soft opening for the festival tonight is unlike any Thursday at BOA I have encountered before. It is fucking awesome!

After we catch our breaths pirate metal is ready to take over the Sophie Stage, Visions Of Atlantis are here to bring their seafaring voyage to BOA and we do know Bloodstock does love a pirate! I have to say normally I am not a fan of the genre but VOA do it their own way with duelling male and female vocalists which adds a new dimension to the live performance. Great visuals, high energy, great craic what a perfect way to cleanse the palette after such an intense show by King 810. The crowd and soaking it up, bouncing away to the thunderous symphonic metal of VOA singing along like it’s 1796! It is hard to believe that the penultimate band is on stage but here we are, Thursday is almost ready to call it a day but not before we are introduced to crime-fighting DUP Skynd!


We have been putting press out for Skynd from both sides of the pond for a while now and It was finally great to see why this band is so highly rated in the flesh, a crime engrossed duo they tackle hard hitting crimes in their songwriting and have a flare for the dramatic to say the least, a blistering display of visual, sensory explosions all fused together by magical vocals and melodic earworms that you could see the crowd singing along to, despite being from the other side of the world these musicians were at home on the Sophie Stage closing off the first night of BOA 2023. Frontwoman Skynd brings the drama to the performance between soaring vocals, stunning visual imagery, and constant flare in her performance you cannot take your eyes off her, multi-instrumentalist ‘Father’ adds an additional dimension to the live performance and the BOA crowd are gobbling it up.


A killer way to close off the opening night of Bloodstock 2023, can the main days follow that? I am sure they can, with a stellar line-up it is going to be one hell of a weekend!


Photos @ flashartmark