Bloodstock 2016 – Metal 2 the Masses comes to Newcastle – INTERVIEW

Newcastle based promoters RFTK Promotions are hosting a great old school competition to allow a band from the region to play the mighty Bloodstock Festival!
And here’s an exclusive spot of news, fans of the festival should stay tuned to Blank Slate as we have something very special to share with you!!

Bloodstock 2016 - Metal 2 the Masses

I caught up with them for a chat to find out more…

“Metal 2 The Masses is a Battle of the Band competition ran in association with Bloodstock Festival each year.  It’s divided by region with each regional winner being offered a slot on the New Blood stage at Bloodstock Festival in August. This will be the first time that Newcastle is involved – so it’ll be good to get the region represented.

Previous winners for other regions include Bloodshot Dawn, Evile and Saturnian – who’ve signed to Major Labels and/or gone on Worldwide Tours.

I suppose at the worst, it’s the chance for bands to share an event with Slayer, Mastodon and Twisted Sister.

We’ve tried to structure things to keep the price down, so the heats are £3 entry for 4/5 bands – the Semi Finals are £4 for 5 bands and the final £5 for 5 bands.  What this means is you can support a band you know and like for a low price, or it’s a good way to see a whole bunch of bands you might not normally see for cheap.

We’ve managed to keep each heat diverse and varied, so you can come and see one band and walk away discovering someone you’d not normally have had chance to check out.

So far we’ve got 22 bands confirmed including heavy weights like Arcite, Druganaut, Black Nevada and Hellion Rising – alongside a lot of newer bands. (Full lineup is here

Also, the heats are 50/50 voting between fans and judges (judges tbc…) and in the semi’s it’s 70/30 from judges and fans – so just turning up to see a band you like helps them.

If the event is a success we’ll hopefully run again in 2017.  Bands will be chosen based on their suitability and how many come forward.  I want it to be inclusive, so if you’re a new band who only has a dozen fans you’re as welcome as a known local hero who can pull loads.

Where/when are the heats hosted?

Heats are in Trillians, February 25th, March 31st, April 7th, April 14th and April 28th.   Two bands from each will go through to the Semi Finals in Think Tank in May and then five from those Semis go through to the final on June 17th at The Cluny.

How can people get involved?

We have 22 bands chosen, so there are slots for 3 bands and a potential ‘reserve’ list – just drop a line

Otherwise, just share our posts – come to the gigs, gets pissed, and cheer for your favourite band.

Who is your top tip for the show(s)?

There’s a few bands I’ve worked with in the past that I’m looking forward to seeing – but I’m very much looking forward to bands I’ve never seen before to see what they can do.

There are some I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing – but I don’t want to single anyone out. I’m open minded.

Tombstone Crow won a slot at the festival last year and they were raving about Bloodstock. Is Bloodstock now thee festival for heavy music? Do festivals cater too much for more commercial tastes too much?

I’m going to dip a bit much into my personal opinions here… but hey ho… one of my opinions on festivals is most are set up as money making machines.

Not that there is anything wrong with making money you understand – but you get a lot of safe line-ups.

I’m also prepared to be disagreed with on this, but I don’t think many offer opportunities to unsigned bands : not that I’m saying they’ve an obligation to – but I know Leeds/Reading did a Battle of the Bands years ago with Carling where an unsigned band got to play the festival – but it was literally one band I think and it was opening the 20th stage first thing in the morning or something like that.  I am exaggerating a bit, I appreciate, but what I’m saying is that I think Bloodstock does a lot more for unsigned and DIY bands.

Also… if you look at the history of Bloodstock – it was an indoor 1000 cap festival which grew in size massively and I think this is purely because it was sold as a festival for people who like the music – and a lot of people responded positively to that.

I mean, look at some of the bands they’ve got this year – Stuck Mojo, Venom, can you imagine either of them doing main stage at Download or Leeds : people’s faces would melt, Paradise Lost, Rotting Christ, Satyricon…

I think a lot of festivals clearly work, else they’d not still be in business, but I think a lot of festivals work for the “festival experience” – get pissed and see a few bands, but Bloodstock works for the music.”


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