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

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.

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."

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.

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