U.K. metal festival Bloodstock Open Air plans to expand its capacity next year after more than doubling its attendance in 2008.

Bucking the trend of falling attendances that has seen several small U.K. festivals struggle this year, Bloodstock (Aug. 14-16) at Catton Hall in Derbyshire attracted 8,500 spectators, compared with the 3,800 who attended in 2007.

That has prompted the organizers -- festival promoter Kilimanjaro and the event's owner A Must For Music -- to increase the audience capacity to 15,000-20,000 in 2009.

"There was a lot of doom and gloom about festivals before this summer," says Kilimanjaro founder Stuart Galbraith. but we always knew there was room for growth in events that catered for a niche market."

Founded in 2001 by Paul Gregory and Vince Brotheridge, Bloodstock is owned by Gregory's A Must For Music. It brought in Kilimanjaro for the first time this year and the partnership will continue next year. This year's headliners included Helloween, Nightwish and Saint Deamon.