Europe risked upsetting fans of heavier music when they headlined the Bloodstock Open Air festival in 2009 – but the gamble paid off, says singer Joey Tempest.
Reaction was mixed when event organisers announced the Swedish outfit were to close out a bill including Cradle of Filth, Blind Gardian, Carcass, Satyricon and Amon Amarth.
Tensions increased after Cradle of Filth, playing the night before Europe, were pelted with missiles and guitarist Paul Allender was taken to hospital.
But instead of being a disaster, Tempest says the set gave them a new lease of life in an environment where they’d been all but forgotten.
The singer tells This Is Derbyshire: "It was a major turning point for the band.
"Although everyone thinks we split in 1992, we never officially did that. We just took a long break. It ended in2003 and there followed several new albums and tours.
"But appearing at Bloodstock really put us back on the map and attracted loads of attention from fans and the media. It woke up the rock community.”
Europe were one of the outfits who missed the chance to play the the Download festival at Donington last weekend after heavy rain caused traffic problems.
But that won’t stop their work promoting new album Bag of Bones. Tempest says: "It’s one of our best and shows how we are maturing as a group. It’s full of deeper expression – we’ve found a soul and blues expression I never thought we had.”
This year’s Bloodstock takes place at Catton Park – 20 miles from Donington – on August 9-12, starring Behemoth, Machine Head and Alice Cooper.