No, Bloodfest This Weekend Isn't Using Real Blood -- Human or Otherwise

A scene from last year's Bloodfest.
A scene from last year's Bloodfest.
Jeremiah Toller

The first thing you should know about this Saturday's Bloodfest out in Mesa is that the titular liquid that will drench attendees isn't composed of plasma, erythrocytes, platelets, or leukocytes. Instead, it's a mixture of water, various dyes, and other non-toxic ingredients.

Despite what you may have heard or read online, the infamous underground dance party, which is has taken place every year since 2004, uses stage blood created by special effects companies, and not the life-giving substance that pumps through our veins.

That fact hasn't stopped some of the snarkier members of the Arizona's EDM community from gossiping to the contrary, however.

Bloodfest promoter and rave scene veteran Matt Dunn, who performs as Doctor MD, has squelched many rumors over the years that the event uses either human or animal blood to cover its patrons. He even took to Facebook following 2013's event out in Buckeye to deal with the matter after talk began to circulate.

"Please stop spreading the untrue rumor that real animal blood is used at Bloodfest," Dunn stated on his Facebook page.

Prepping the fake blood at last year's Bloodfest.
Prepping the fake blood at last year's Bloodfest.
Jeremiah Toller

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One Bloodfest attendee by the name of Trash Revenant backed up Dunn's claim by stating the following online:

"Real blood gets all hard and crusty and clotted and turns brown when it dries," the said. "When I got home the blood was still red. Therefore my common sense tells me that it is fake. C'mon baby ravers. Get your shit together!"

Last year, Dunn told New Times that the event was originally conceived as "an underground rave meets a GWAR concert." And its proven to be almost as messy as one of the costumed thrash metal band's concerts as Bloodfest's staff sprays and rains gallon after gallon of fake blood upon dancers (who are often dressed in white clothing).

In fact, Dunn says he launched the event after attending his first-ever GWAR concert and made it a "true underground rave party" and promoted it by word of mouth only and not online.

"It was deliberately designed to start underground," he says. "My plan was eventually build it up to a concert/rave with Marilyn Manson, GWAR and Slayer."

He also took a cue from the latter band when conceiving the event's "raining blood dance floor" for its second edition in 2006.

"It was influenced by slayers 'Reign in Blood' tour where they ended their set by playing 'Reign in Blood' while blood rained down on the band members," Dunn says. "Cool shit right there."

He adds that the stunt wasn't inspired by a similar scene from the 1998 comic book/vampire movie Blade, however, which is another rumor that has dogged the event.

"[It's] not from the movie Blade like so many think," he says. "I never even seen the movie until much after. Funny how people create recreate the history of what's around them."  

And while Dunn hasn't been able to book neither Slayer nor GWAR for Bloodfest (nor Marilyn Manson, for that matter) as of yet, the event gotten a dedicated following over the last decade or so. And this year's event, which takes place on Saturday at a currently undisclosed location in Mesa, will probably attract a big crowd as well.

Besides all the blood-soaked shenanigans - which include ordained minister Reed Johnson conducting marriages (both real and for fun) - there will be performances by the grind and fire artists of Agents of Lust, sideshow oddity Ms. Ginger Applebottom, the flesh hook and body-mod freaks of Life Suspended, and the go-go girls of Electric Dolls.

Meanwhile, a cadre of more than a dozen DJs are scheduled to hit Bloodfest's stage and offer a soundtrack of various styles and genres.

The lineup includes hardstylers like Spear, Hard Knockz, and Arctus, as well as happy hardcore specialists Naum and Rubber Necker. Dark Mark of Club Palazzo and Mess & Phetamine will both drop IDM (as in "intelligent dance music") while Detcord does the drum 'n' bass thing and Mando Rockz serves up dark house. (Check out Bloodfest's Facebook page for a complete rundown.)

As with most underground dance parties, the location is being kept a secret until the day of the show. You can call the infoline at 602-359-7160 on Saturday for directions.

Bloodfest 2014 takes place on Saturday, November 8, in Mesa.

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