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  • Sarah Stubbs

Bloodstock '18: The View From The Bar

After many long months spent tirelessly slaving away creating some of the finest cocktails known to humanity, our resident mixologist and roving reporter Malayka Al-abdullah takes a well-earned break from her bar-side duties to soak up the electrifying riffs, booze and top-notch banter of the UK’s premier heavy metal weekend. But from bucket-based, wasp-infested cocktails to lukewarm lager and eye-watering volumes of gut-rot vodka, it fast becomes apparent that her work is anything but over...

Another year, another Bloodstock. Another fun-packed four nights fuelled by good banter, copious amounts of booze and some truly good metal. So putting down my shakers and running for the car, this bartender gets a few nights off to head bang. The funny thing is, for me Bloodstock has always meant more to me than than a simple heavy metal festival. Don’t think for one minute I am giving it airs and graces it doesn’t have (come on, portaloos!) but have you ever had a holiday that, when you came back, it actually seemed to change your life for the better? Well that’s what it has always been like for me. I get four days and nights of easy access to my friends which is hard to do in a world of adult responsibility, and truly good value for our money in the ticket price. Plus this year a large number of our group made it this year, which meant it promised to be an even better than the years before. So here is my account, personal highlights, what we did, what we drank and, let's be honest, what I remember of Bloodstock Open Air festival 2018.

It has been said that alcohol and rock go together like ducks and well...more ducks! (Not ducks to water, it's never that smooth).

Brace yourselves: this is the bartender's eye view...


“Please Faye, can we not get drunk in the queue again?" Famous. Last. Words.

On Wednesday, a small group of us had headed to Birmingham with hope of getting to Catton Hall Park early and missing the queue. We didn't. Which shows fantastically Bloodstock's ever growing popularity, but bad for the aforementioned trying-not-to-get-drunkenness. Before arriving at Catton Hall we had made the obligatory supermarket stop for last minute supplies and of course booze.

Now, what tipple of choice one brings to a festival is an important thing. What are you happy to be drinking for the next 3/4 days? Are you happy to still drink it when it gets warm (and it will) and do you need a mixer? If so what kind? Big decisions, we went with three cases of decent larger, which is always a safe bet at a festival but as we know beer needs shots, so we wandered to the spirit aisle to see what was on offer. Being a whisky girl at heart, my friend and I naturally wandered over to the whiskies to see what selection they had and found myself not disappointed.

Now some may get my mentality, some may not but I am never gonna bring a bottle that I have paid more than £40 for to a festival. So finding Jim Beam Rye on sale for £18 was a good call in my books and, call me a heathen if that’s what you feel, but I personally prefer Jim Beam Rye to the bourbon. I handed it to my friend and told her she can't go wrong. Sitting in the car on the last leg of our journey I tell her what a rye whisky is; for the most part a rye is made the same as bourbon. The