Location: Donington Park
Ticket Price: £215
Download is a huge festival dedicated entirely to the heavier side of Rock ‘n’ roll (punk, metal, the works) – it’s a great experience for those who want to go to a big festival, but feel that the conventional festivals do not offer enough power chords and searing riffs. Again, the atmosphere is fantastic and everyone is friendly (despite the way in which the metal scene is portrayed). The mosh is especially brilliant, mental and great fun.
The headliners last year were Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein, with other big names such as The Hives (who played the best show I have ever seen), Queens of the Stone Age, Motorhead and Mastodon. The weather was a mixed bag, but not overly rainy (though it did mar Slipknot’s headline performance on the Friday). Most of the crowd did not seem deterred in the slightest by the grey skies though, as they marched on through, watered heavily by the new ‘Trooper Ale’ courtesy of Iron Maiden. Notable performances from smaller bands included the Sword, their massive sound catching our eye (or should I say ears?) - Dragonforce, who have no contenders for their technical skill were also fantastic, and Volbeat, who managed to get a thirty man mosh going to Folsom Prison Blues (which was definitely a first for all of us).
The biggest qualm we could place against Download was its location, and the way it’s set out along the Donington Park track meant that there’s an epic walk between anything. Nearly everyone we saw looked set to burst into tears after attempting to move their belongings from the car park to the campsite. It took at least a crate to recover one’s strength enough to set up the tent which in turn leads to its own difficulties. Overall though, Download is a cracking festival.
Best Aspect: The moshes
Best Performance: The Hives
Worst Performance: In This Moment
This year’s headliners are heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park, and, a blast from the past, Aerosmith. This truly is the place to be for all fans of rock, and be prepared for some of the best live acts you’ll ever see.
This article was written by Sam Brunt