Bulldog Bash celebrates 25 years with one amazing weekend

Bulldog Bash 2011 review

published: Tue 23rd Aug 2011

The Damned

Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th August 2011
Shakespeare County Raceway, Long Marston, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, England MAP
£60 for the weekend including camping
last updated: Tue 9th Aug 2011

Guns 2 Roses
This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Bulldog Bash. After a rained-out track in 2010 - this year's festival was as much about the bikes as the bands. A slimmed down Bulldog seemed at first glance to be full of surprises and did not fail to deliver. Staple first night headliners Hells Bells were noted in their absence so this year's duties fell to an eclectic group of tribute bands. Blizzard of Ozz blasted out the Ozzy/Black Sabbath classics to a warming crowd, Jilted Generation got the place jumping with Prodigy covers that got everyone in the place dancing, and headlined by Guns 2 Roses who whipped the party hungry crowd into a frenzy, especially when they began to play AC/DC classic 'Back in Black' only to stop part way through and introduce the lead singer of Hells Bells to join them on-stage.

After the bands were all done the dance tent opened and it stayed jumping until there was pretty much nobody left to stand.

around the festival site (dragstrip and Stuntshow 1)
Anyone who loves bikes would appreciate the alarm call of the competing bikes on the Drag-strip. The sound of 'Run Wot Ya Brung' bikes tearing up the quarter-mile tarmac is probably one of the most unique festival features anywhere. As the Area 81 stage prepared for the unsigned bands to kick off the day, the sound of the bikes, smell of barbecue and fantastic food stalls and a decent cup of coffee, Bulldog 2011 was already in full swing.

The unsigned bands started off the music for the day Virginia Slint, The Self Titled, Empire of Fools, Liberty Lies, Livin in A Valvestate, Riot:Noise, Henrys Funeral Shoe, Stone Kings, and Godsized entertained the varying crowds while The Urban Voodoo Machine, Andy Sharrocks And The Smokin Jackets, The Virgin Marys, and Stevie - One Bloke One Mandolin opened the Main Stage and this years stunt show on the main strip featured appearances from Craig Jones and Terry Grant, amongst others, which was followed by Pro-Drag Racing including the wildly entertaining Jet Car.

Bad Manners
Following the Track shows, the main stage was kicked off by Pig Iron, followed by Glaswegian rockers Gun who brought the crowds in for what was probably one of the performances of the festival by Bad Manners. I've done many festivals, seen many things, but I never thought I'd see the day I saw a field full of Bikers doing the can-can... Yes, they were that good. How do you top that? Status Quo perhaps? The veteran rockers brought out all the big guns and boy did they do it in style. Everyone loves a sing-along and Quo provide exactly that with the crowd helping to bring the house down. Once again, the dance tent opened at the end of the Main Stage proceedings, hosted by some of the top DJ's in the world.

The Damned
The final day was more of the same and then some The final judging in the custom bike tent, Crashes, and even the Joint Services Parachute Display Team dropping in. Area 81 was rocked by Eye For An Eye, BoneMud, Tequila Dealer, The Snorting Dogs, Blackwolf, Hellbound, The Ram Raid, Black Hole Horizon, The Buffalo Kings, and Gentlemen of Distorted Sound while , Hovercraft Pirates, Imicus, Neck, and Rita Lynch kept the momentum going on the Main Stage. As the track closed, the awards for RYWB were handed out and the boys and girls of Bulldog 25 gathered for the final nights' entertainment. Simon McBride, and Nico's Alchemy set the stage for a brilliant set by punk legends The Damned who wrapped up the weekend with their classic 'Eloise' and of course a much heavier version of 'Happy Talk' led by Captain Sensible, and finished up by the crowd.

As the crowd picked out their spots for an epic grand finale fireworks display, volunteers were brought on to the main stage for a 'Wet T-Shirt' contest, in which £100 was given to the winner, and neither a T-Shirt or water were anywhere to be seen...

With one of the cleanest and well organised camp sites I've seen at a festival in a long time, the Hells Angels who organise the Bulldog Bash can walk away from this year's party with their heads held high. Fantastic stalls, more rides than you can shake a stick at, beer, bikes, and babes – this festival brings it all, and in my humble opinion puts most other festivals to shame. The Hells Angels truly know how to celebrate 25 years in Stratford-Upon-Avon for one amazing weekend.

Status Quo

review by: Will Tudor

photos by: Will Tudor

Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th August 2011
Shakespeare County Raceway, Long Marston, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, England MAP
£60 for the weekend including camping
last updated: Tue 9th Aug 2011


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