Bloodstock Open Air Festival – Friday

August 18th, 2011

My partner was asked last week if he’d like to be placed in a draw for some festival tickets. Of course he said “yes” and not long after that was told that he’d won tickets to the metal music festival, Bloodstock, which is in its 11th year and is held at Catton Hall in south Derbyshire. However, it’s only just over the border and is situated near Tamworth and Lichfield.

Although the festival started on Thursday evening, we weren’t able to get up there until the opening acts had finished so picked up our tickets and headed off to our hotel (we’d declined the free camping passes – neither of us is keen, and it would have meant having to buy new tent,sleeping bags etc)

I was somewhat surprised to see that DSLR cameras were on the “what not to take” list, so I decided it was a good time to see what kind of shots I could get with my new bridge compact camera, a Canon G12. This still has RAW capability, but obviously a lower resolution and I had heard that it could suffer from “noise” issues in low light, which has proved to be the case.

So.. here are some shots from the first full day of the festival. The first band that we saw were Poisonblack, from Finland on the main stage, which is dedicated to the memory of Ronny James Dio:

I didn’t manage to catch all of the band individually, but here’s a stage shot:

After that, there was death metal on the main stage (which neither of us like) so we went for a wander around the festival site to see what else was available. In the Sophie Lancaster tent, we found Arthemis. Unfortunately the lighting is mainly LED in there, so it was very difficult to get a good shot of them (a shame, because I thoroughly enjoyed their performance). This is not as sharp as I’d like, and the singer is in almost total darkness, but I liked the crossing lights over the guitarist:

After that, it was back down past the RJD stage to the New Blood tent, where we saw two excellent bands, the first being Training Icarus:

and then Brezno, a very young and newly formed band from Slovenia:

Back to the main stage again, because we’d heard great things about the Devin Townsend project. Unfortunately I didn’t get a shot I was really happy with, although I did like the lighting in this shot:

The last band on Friday night were WASP. Once again, I didn’t manage to get a shot I was happy with but I was fascinated by the play of light on the audience in this shot from the lights on the food stands behind us, the light of the stage, and the beautiful full moon:

After that, we undertook the mile-long walk back to the public car park and returned to our hotel. If you click on any of the pictures in this blog, it will open in a new window and you will be able to see a slide show.

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