Bloodstock Metal 2 the Masses Northern Ireland

Picture by Down the Barrel Photography

Since 2015 The Distortion Project has been the franchise holder for The Bloodstock Metal 2 the Masses Northern Ireland competition. Taking place between January and May of each year, the competition consists approximately 5 or 6 rounds, 2 or 3 semi finals and a grand final consisting of 6 or more bands. Each heat consists of 4 bands, with 2 bands from each heat qualifying for the semi-final stages. If there are 3 semi-finals, 2 bands from each one go through to the final. If there are 2 semis then 3 bands from each go through. I occasionally feature guest headliners for some of the heats and semis but in the main its only the competing bands that play the shows.

I employ a points based system for rating the bands, rather than simply allocating places. Scoring is 50% audience vote and 50% judges vote. There is a panel of 3 judges comprised of local journalists/sound engineers/other promoters and/or other music industry folk in Northern Ireland. Punters will be given voting slips as they enter the venue and asked to score points to the bands in descending order, by writing in the boxes on the voting slip. Judges score the same way. So if there were 4 bands in the heat / semi final then punter and judges will score as follows.

4 points for the band you want to finish in FIRST PLACE,
3 points for the band you want to finish in SECOND PLACE
2 points for the band you want to finish in THIRD PLACE
1 point for the band you want to finish in FOURTH Place

An x or tick beside the band you want to win to will NOT be accepted and these votes will NOT be counted!! The points are then totaled up for both judges and crowd and converted to percentages. These are then added together to give an overall percentage score for each band. This happens for every round apart from the final, when Bloodstock representative Simon Hall comes over to pick the winning band.

The winning band gets a coveted spot on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock as well as VIP access to the festival for the entire weekend, access to the press area on the day of their performance and the possibility of playing the Metal Days festival in Slovenia at a later date. All in all, this is a great opportunity for the victorious band, not just in terms of playing to a large crowd but also the other opportunities afforded to the bands throughout the weekend. Metal 2 the Masses represents a significant chance to increase your fan-base, make some solid contacts, increase your profile and get your band in front of all the right people. Playing the New Blood Stage is the start, not the end of your journey.

In recent years I have expanded the prize fund in order to make the competition more interesting and attract more bands to enter. The ultimate plan is that every band who reaches the final will get prize of some sort that is of benefit to them. I’ve also been able to expand the prize for the band that gets picked to play Bloodstock, to include getting their travel expenses covered up to the value of £400 courtesy of Voodoo Belfast. In addition, should the band be agreeable, I will sign the band to my newly re-launched record label Distortion Project Records and put out their next release. In conjunction with this, JSR Audio have kindly donated the recording, mixing and mastering for 4 tracks to go on the EP or album (all to be discussed with the winning act)

Other prizes include

🔥One band will win an exclusive photoshoot, with The Wrong Kind of Music Media

🔥One band will win the chance to record, mix and master one song, courtesy of JSR Audio

🔥One band will win a package of 25 tees and 10 embroidered beanies of the bands logo or design up to four colours courtesy of Junkie Inc. Clothing

🔥One band will win a bespoke electronic press kit courtesy of my friends at Overdrive Media

I’ll be continually expanding the prize fund as time goes by so check back often to see m what’s on offer.

Basically, if you play loud, guitar-driven music and all your band members are over 18 then you’re in! I admit submissions from metal and hard / heavy rock bands of all shades – new and established, young or old. If you fancy a crack at this, contact me at any of the social media links above or e-mail me at If you have any questions about Bloodstock, Metal 2 the Masses or anything else drop me a mail too.