Every year in the middle of august, 15,000 metalheads, without fail, emerge upon the fields of Catton Hall in Derbyshire for a weekend of heavy metal madness. With some of the best luck a British festival has ever had in terms of weather, and with line-ups that even Metal Elitists struggle to bat an eyelash at, Bloodstock Open Air has truly become the go-to festival for pure metal fans in the UK, and 2017’s event, which featured viking-metal veterans Amon Amarth, growing occult rockers Ghost, and thrash legends Megadeth as headliners, sold out before the weekend even started.

Having already announced symphonic-metal pioneers Nightwish and technical death-metal wizards Gojira as 2018 headliners during the 2017 festivities, Bloodstock Open Air have finally revealed one of the year’s best – or worst – kept secrets: they’ve finally booked the godfathers of heavy metal, stalwarts of the NWOBHM, and black country heroes Judas Priest as headliners. Priest will open the festival with a set that spans the entirety of their illustrious career, whilst airing material from their yet-to-be released new album, out spring next year.

Gojira, who blew the festival away in 2016 as head support for Mastodon, have rightfully earned their place at the top of Saturday’s bill, still blasting through 2016’s masterful Magma, with a back catalogue of progressive technical death metal that literally blows your brains to mush to boot. Nightwish will close out the festivities, returning to Bloodstock after ten long years, performing what is believed to be their retrospective decades set.

We can’t wait to find out what the rest of the line-up is like, hoping that as usual, it fulfills all of our power, death, black, extreme, stoner, doom, and everything in between metal needs.

We’re so excited for Priest, we’ve dropped our ultimate Priest setlist into a playlist, check it out below:


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