Bloodstock founder Paul Gregory pays tribute to Ronnie James Dio

As the Bloodstock team were preparing their latest announcement, the tragic news of the passing of metal legend Ronnie James Dio – originally scheduled to appear as one of the headliners of this year’s festival fronting Heaven & Hell, filtered through. Paying tribute to one of metal’s leading and legendary lights, the festival has confirmed its renaming of the main stage to the Ronnie James Dio stage. Bloodstock founder Paul Gregory, responsible for the cover artwork for Dio’s ‘Angry Machines’ and ‘Inferno – Last In Live’ albums, commented on behalf of the Bloodstock family:

“It is indeed a sad time for me and I know for metalheads throughout the world; the demise of one of the true legends of metal has come to pass. I had the privilege of doing two albums for Dio and only got the opportunity to meet him once, a true gentleman in every sense and a giant of the genre. My condolences to the family and all true fans of the music we love.

“As the UK’s only true outdoor metal festival,” he continues, “it seems only fitting that we pay tribute to a man who has done so much for our beloved genre, and so – with overwhelming support from our social networking users – we wish to pay tribute by renaming our main stage the Ronnie James Dio stage, and ensure the spirit of this metal icon lives on”

With the cancellation of Heaven & Hell’s summer appearances, Bloodstock have been left with boots to fill that are simply far too big for just one band – the metal legends are irreplaceable. So Heaven & Hell’s vacant slot will be filled by not one, but two acts from the world of metal, in the form of a headliner, plus a very special guest.

Swedish tech-pioneers Meshuggah have pledged an exclusive 2010 UK appearance as special guests to another, yet to be divulged, headliner. Meshuggah have pushed the boundaries of extreme music with their innovative brand of experimental polyrhythmic metal and their live performances are nothing less than jaw-dropping experiences. The second headline artist announcement will be made on 15 June.

Also confirmed with an appearance on the Sophie Lancaster stage, joining the likes of Benediction, Enforcer, Mithras and The Prophecy are Welsh death metal veterans Desecration. The band’s brutal, gore-drenched brand of death metal has earned them a reputation as one the leading names in the underground scene and they had this to say: “…with Bloodstock fast becoming ‘the’ UK metal festival for real metal fans we’re over the moon to be included in this year’s line up…”

A few other tweaks have been made to the lineup, including Twisted Sister’s headline slot shifting to the Sunday, which we think you’ll agree should make damn sure the festival closes with an almighty bang!

The BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR METAL FESTIVAL 2010 takes place at Catton Hall, Derbyshire, 13– 15 August.

Weekend tickets are on sale now at: www.bloodstock.uk.com

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