Sunday, 10 June 2012
This news seems to have been met with approximately 50% enthusiasm and 50% wailing and gnashing of teeth. The media outlets (Terrorizer, Metal Hammer, etc) are, of course, far more excited than could possibly be deemed necessary, but the fans seem to be split down the middle on this decision.
So terrible has the wailing and gnashing of teeth been that some fans have vowed to sell their tickets and boycott the event. Some are saying that it's the worst possible band that could ever be signed to the festival, and that this is the final nail in Bloodstock's coffin. Of course, they say that every year ...
I have no particular feeling either way because, perhaps controversially, I have absolutely no idea what Machine Head sound like. Like other big names in the thrash scene (Metallica et al), they have simply never interested me enough to pay attention to them. But according to many sources their live set is pretty amazing so it could be alright. And if not, an early return to the tent for an evening of nonsensically loud conversation, hijinks, crudity and many, many beers.
The thing is, I've always seen the festival headliners as something of a crowd puller. A popular, almost(?) mainstream band that will sell a great many tickets to bring in lots and lots and lots of cash so that lesser known bands can be signed and the festival can revel in its status as the best underground festival in the UK. Look at the Sophie Lancaster stage, with bands like Saturnian, Bloodshot Dawn, Alcest, Pythia, Orange Goblin, Witchsorrow, Anaal Nathrakh, Winterfylleth and Evile. Then there's the New Blood stage with a shed load of bands that I've never heard before, but would quite like to. Something has to provide the cash to host this showcase of the best in new metal.
So Machine Head are headlining Saturday. I hope that a lot of people buy day tickets to come for that so that there will be enough money to continue to provide the best metal festival the UK has to offer. And that the nay sayers will indeed sell their tickets so they don't bring the pox of elitist metal douchebaggery down upon us.