BACKSTAGE, EMP, Music, Special

Bloodstock Festival 2018

Of All the metal festivals I’ve been to in the UK, Europe & across America, Bloodstock is easily one of my favourites. I’ve personally been going since 2010, I even played on the mainstage in 2016 (which was incredible). The atmosphere amongst fans is always amazing. For those of you who haven’t been yet, its family friendly, easy to get around, no overcrowding, you don’t have to pay £20 for a beer, the food is great and caters for all tastes. And of course the line-up is always diverse (as much as it can be in rock / metal).

About 50% of my friendship circle I have today, I made at a Bloodstock Festival, as did most people I know. The best bit is that Bloodstock was made by the fans for the fans, even way back in 2001 but back then it was held in 2,000 capacity indoor venue that the MIGHTY Saxon headlined. In 2005, it went open air and most Bloodstock goers now simply name it as “Home”.

EMP were there of course, we had a stall in-between the signing tent and the mainstage where we were selling some of our merchandise and handing out cool EMP freebies. Best of all, we got to meet some really great people and of course, see some excellent bands play!

Bloodstock starts on the Thursday evening and the second stage (which is named after Sophie Lancaster  – R.I.P) is the only one open until things really start on Friday. Everyone goes there to hang out, catch up with friends and watches the first bands of the festival, which obviously means party night. So, when it comes to the 1st actual day of the festival there are a lot of hangovers walking around on that field in Catton Park.

The main headliners of the weekend were Judas Priest (seriously, how awesome is their new album?!), Gojira and Nightwish. There are 3 stages all within a few minutes walking distance of each other: The Ronnie James Dio mainstage, The Sophie Lancaster second stage and the New Blood stage. Now the New Blood stage deserves a special mention here: The line-up is made of winners of the Metal 2 The Masses competition which is held all over the UK each year which gives the opportunity to up and coming bands to play at a big festival, expand their fan base and gain exposure – how cool is that! If you are an up and coming rock/metal band I highly recommend you check it out and enter. Its run by Bloodstock’s Simon Hall (legend) and EMP are a part of this too, we sponsor the finals – cool right!

The 3 days of Bloodstock for Team EMP were a fun chaotic mix of selling lots of merchandise, handing out a ton of EMP freebies, chatting to EMP customers about anything and everything, getting rained on, getting burnt by the sun, eating good food and amongst all this we even had the pleasure of interviewing some really cool bands!

These are just some of the friends old and new that we caught up with:

Blakkheim and Axe of Bloodbath
Henrik of Evergrey
Hamish of Godthrymm (who’s also my fellow guitarist and dear friend in Vallenfyre)
Lord Ragnar Wagner of The Heretic Order
Dan of Monument (video below)
Brady of Conjurer
Raimund of Nailed to Obscurity (fun fact – Raimund works at EMP too!)
Josh and Morgan of Bloodshot Dawn
Chris of Act of Defiance (cheers for the coffee!)
Karl of Memoriam (previously of Bolt Thrower)
Matt and Jason of Weight of The Tide

Huge thanks goes out to all of those guys for their time as I know they all probably had beers waiting for them to drink somewhere.

My personal highlights of the festival was watching Hamish of Godthrymm perform on the Sophie Stage, watching Henrik of Evergrey playing guitar in a way that I can only dream about, witnessing Negative Thought Process absolutely destroy the New Blood Stage just like I knew they would and seeing Gojira headlining the festival on the Saturday night – that was absolutely Incredible. It was a real “I was there!” moment to look back on in years to come!

This is my first year as the Event Manager for EMP so it was my first time working for EMP at Bloodstock and I must say that I met some great people over the 3 – 4 days there. So to those of you who came to visit us, chatted to us, bought merchandise from us, we thank you!

None of this would have been possible without the support of the Bloodstock team – Adam Gregory, Simon Hall, Alan Hungerford and your crew, we can’t thank you guys enough.

See you in 2019 Bloodstock, Cheers!

Sam Kelly-Wallace
EMP Events Manager UK & IE


Festival Fashion – Rock Outfit Ideas Summer 2017: What to wear this year!

rock festival outfit ideas at emp

Festival season is around the corner!
It’s time to think about the perfect outfit for this summer’s rock festivals.


We know how tricky it can be to find the perfect outfit for a summer festival.
You want to look good but be comfy at the same time, stylish but not over the top… plus you can’t forget that we are in England! So you need to be ready for every situation as the weather is unpredictable: you’ll never know whether it’s going to be sunny or you’ll need a boat to move from one side of the festival to the other.

We’ve put together 3 outfits with the coolest and hottest bits and pieces available to purchase from EMP.co.uk to give you some ideas and help you create your perfect festival look! You won’t find flower accessories for your hair or heeled sandals in here! Rock festivals aren’t Coachella! 😉

I am going to few festivals myself this summer, first in line Hellfest 16-17-18 June, Clisson (France) and these are the outfits I’m going to wear during the 3 days of the festival:

– DAY 1: Band t-shirt are a must at a rock festival. It’s the perfect occasion to show off your favourite band tee, jumper or accessories in an environment full of people that, like you, love live music and to proudly show the love for their fav band.

For the first outfit I picked between the over 1200 band t-shirts available from EMP.co.uk.
I decided to go for this EMP exclusive Metallica – “Ouija Guitar” top (I love the fit + the material is 100% cotton!) to match with this super comfy Black Premium – “Overlay Cardigan” (long fit, light knitted material, light bat sleeves), these cool but basic Dr. Denim “Jenn” shorts (100% cotton, extremely comfortable and not too tight on the thigh, leaving you free to move, dance and mosh \m/) and these beautiful Alcatraz “Skull & Roses” Gumboots.

metallica rock festival outfit inspiration

To complete the outfit, add these Wildcat “Dreamcatcher” earrings (light, stainless steel and suitable for allergy sufferers) and the classic “Lennon” sunglasses (100% UV protection, mirrored, blue shades).

Hundreds of bags available HERE! Select your favourite to add the final touch to your look!






guns and roses rock festival outfit–  DAY 2: For the second outfit, the word is CLASSIC. I opted for a basic Guns N Roses t-shirt that I’m going to knot into a crop top, a Urban Surface – Jeans Jacket with a beautiful floral print at the back (more pics in the link), these Urban Classics – Bandana leggings (great fit, extremely soft and comfortable, it’s going to be hard to wear jeans ever again after trying these bad boys on) and a pair of evergreen black Converse – All Star. Final touch: Blackheart – Silver Spikes bracelet set!





– DAY 3:sex pistols rock festival outfit For the 3rd outfit I picked something comfy and practical but still stylish and punk/rockish;
I’m going to wear these Black Premium – Studded Vest (love the fit, careful the studs are pretty sharp J) and Black Premium – Skull Pearl top (love the little skull beads in the straps), this comfy and fresh Bench – Mesh long shirt and a classic pair of Dr. Martens to stay comfy and dry.





sex pistols rock festival outfit 2

Final touch: Sex Pistol – Classic Logo cap & Cupcake Cult – Susan handbag.

You can find all the above and more at EMP.co.uk. Create your festival look from thousands of band merch & fashion items, trendy accessories and jewellery.

Don’t forget to take with you:

Can’t wait for our 4th EMP Hellfest Roadtrip and to share loads of exclusive content from the Hellfest backstage and VIP area. Follow our Instagram page to see our Hellfest adventure and check all the updates (bands playing, exclusive images from the backstage and VIP area, best festival looks and more).