Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2016 Headliners: An Alternative Take

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It’s that time of year again; the festival blues are gone, you’ve deleted that annoying guy you drunkenly added on Facebook after her spent the entire night sitting in your camp chair and now? Now it is time for baseless speculation on festival announcements!

Of most interest to me: what, exactly, will Bloodstock pull out for 2016? One of the potential problems in today’s market is the amount of bands that are suitable headline material. Bloodstock escape this in some ways by being a much smaller festival than the Downloads and Readings of the festival season but they are still slightly hamstrung by the need for something a bit more extreme. Bloodstock is, after all, an extreme metal festival at heart even if the likes of Trivium and Lamb of God have headlined in recent years. Indeed, the crowd during Trivium’s set at this year’s iteration of the festival just seemed a little… sparse. So, here’s one Bloodstock regulars’ pipe dream of an almost plausible headliner.

Way back in 2011 Kreator played a typically blistering set on the mainstage. Since then they’ve released another album; ‘Phantom Antichrist’ and done two UK tours but, as of yet, not another Bloodstock appearance. Surely then, it’s time for the first and foremost of the “Teutonic Four” to return to Bloodstock. Is it so implausible to suggest that they could do so in style by headlining? Of course, the problem is, that Bloodstock has grown significantly since the 2011 festival. Headliners have grown in size and, really, you need to be a large Academy or Arena filling band. Kreator co-headlined the Forum on their last UK tour with Arch Enemy. Hardly the size of Rob Zombie or Within Temptation who both played Sold Out or damn near sold out arena tours recently. Could Kreator headline on their current setlist? No way. Impressive as it is that they can fill one half to three quarters of their current setlist with songs released since 2000 a headline event really needs to be special. So how about celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of one of the best and, really, most important album of Kreator’s discography, ‘Pleasure to Kill.’

Just think about it; Emperor headlined on the strength of Nightside in full in 2014 (it was brilliant by the way) and Machine Head muscled their way into a headline set on the promise of an airing of rarer songs from debut album ‘Burn My Eyes.’ We’ve even got Behemoth already announced to be performing what is arguably a modern classic in full – ‘The Satanist.’ Why not celebrate the past as well as the future of extreme metal? You can almost guarantee the majority of the Bloodstock crowd are at least aware of the impact of ‘Pleasure to Kill’ and half their bands have been directly inspired by it! Indeed, judging by the amount of Kreator and ‘Pleasure to Kill’ backpatches there are on the average Bloodstock attendees ubiquitous denim battle jacket it would absolutely guarantee to pull in the crowds, unlike some of the headliners from the last few years. When Evil Scarecrow playing an 11am slow pull a bigger crowd than Down the night before you know you’ve got a problem. ‘Pleasure to Kill’ in its entirety would be a special, once in a lifetime event to witness – exactly the sort of event that festivals need to provide. Given that there’s really only two or three songs from the album that are currently in the Kreator live set it really would be the chance to see some extremely rarely aired songs and a genuinely important moment in extreme music’s heritage. I defy anyone to argue against a Kreator festival headline set with all the stage show and pyrotechnics that entails opening with ‘Ripping Corpse.’

Whatever the choice of Team BOA for 2016, you’ll be able to read any announcements as and when they happen right here at Rock Sins. In the meantime, you can follow both Bloodstock and us here at Rock Sins on Twitter at @BloodstockFest and @Rocksins respectively.

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