Donington Park welcomed Download festival back to its grounds for the 11th time this year and it started off in true British style....rather wet and wild. The weekend, Friday 14th to Sunday 16th June, saw some of the best headliners in the event’s history. Despite the weekend having mostly rain, there were bursts of sun just to confuse the crowd, in turn causing that mystery sunburn.
I certainly had an amazing few days camping and watching some of the best musicians in the world, feeling proud that I was part of this moment in history....there was almost a tear as a spitfire roared over the main stage with a small glimmer of sun peeping through the clouds as Iron Maiden were about to start their set.
Not only was there one dose of Corey Taylor at Download this year....but two doses as both Slipknot and Stone Sour played the festival. Slipknot were incredible, pure perfection, even with the rain pouring down. You can tell what went down at their set this year just by hearing that the crowd broke the barricades twice. I think that’s a small record for Download festival in itself. There certainly aren’t many people who could successfully rock Download’s main stage twice in less than 48 hours, Corey Taylor is undoubtedly one of them.
An unforgettable highlight was the raging industrialist machine of Rammstein finishing off the weekend. Having seen them a few years previously, I really didn’t think they could get any better....I was proved wrong. Rammstein are truly the best live band....fire gods! They certainly do put on one hell of a show. One word which describes their set would just be, insane. From just two minutes in, it became clear who the best band of the weekend were going to be. With a sound so monstrous it actually silenced the flyovers from the East Midlands airport, there’s really no need for their every move to be accompanied by a pyrotechnical blowout, but it was, and oh how awesome it was.
Other highlights of the weekend included Papa Roach, where Jacoby Shaddix got a little intimate with the mud, Five Finger Death Punch causing chaos on stage, Turisas, Jimmy Eat World, Bullet for My Valentine, Lit, and 30 Seconds to Mars who I'm not a major fan of but certainly brightened the day up....and who wouldn't like giant bouncy balls within the crowd anyway? All these bands blew up the stage in their own unique way, I was even accustomed to Karnivool, who I'd not heard of before. Festivals are great for not only just watching your favourite bands, but finding new favourites as well. Also finding out that I got a First Class (BA) Honours degree whilst watching Motorhead was pretty damn awesome.
All I can end on is....what a weekend! For the first time in my festival going history, I even gave into buying an overpriced hot chocolate....one of my better decisions of the weekend, rather than donning a pair of Black Milk leggings which very nearly didn’t make it back into my wardrobe safely. Next year's line up is going to be a tricky one to compete with, that’s for sure.