A SOUTH Derbyshire music festival is looking forward to a record attendance this year.
More than 15,000 fans will descend on Catton Park, near Walton-on-Trent, for the heavy metal festival Bloodstock.
The festival has grown steadily from the 700 who attended the first event indoors at Derby Assembly Rooms 14 years ago to the 12,000 who descended on South Derbyshire in 2013.
With the festival having a track record of passing off peacefully organisers have secured a new licence for up to 15,500 for 2014 and are confident of selling out.
“Ticket sales are up 20 per cent on this time last year and we are sure we will sell out,” says Vicky Hungerford, a director of the event. “We have grown since we moved to Catton Hall and so we re-licensed for 15,500 people.
“Catton’s great as it’s built on gravel so even if we have an immense downpour the soakaway is brillant.”
Bloodstock moved to South Derbyshire in 2005 and now provides a significant impact on the local economy.
“All the villagers of Walton embrace the festival and look forward to it,” says Vicky. “We have a resident who is 87 who comes and sits in the VIP area all weekend. We know businesses love it as having 12,000 people decending on an area from all over the world is a big benefit. It’s great that people are travelling from as far away as Australia to be near Burton.
“We had a police meeting recently and they said how happy they are. There has never been an issue with drugs or violence. We have one of the smallest crime rates of any festival. People were originally nervous about ‘heavy metal’ but now they embrace it.”
The aim is to grow the festival eventually up to 20,000.
“We want to then keep it sold out at that maximum – which is a good size and not too big,” says Vicky. “We are not a corporate event but are family run with that spirit.”
Bloodstock takes place from August 7-10. Go to www.bloodstock.uk.com.