Last Friday morning I headed out super early for the drive to Donnington Park which sits next to East Midlands airport around Nottingham/ Derby/ Leicestershire for the annual Download Festival. This year was my seventh year at the festival and although I wasn’t initially excited about the line-up I realised that it was actually pretty bloody great.
The weather has always been a bit hit and miss at Download with some years being sunny and others having a bad day of rain which was enough to drive me home early in both 2010 and 2011. This year took the absolute biscuit though with pretty much constant rain from Friday early afternoon through to when I went home on Sunday.
On Friday myself and my friend were stood by main stage waiting to watch Babymetal and the heavens opened, I’m talking torrential rain, hailstones, the works, and it was awful. Clothes were soaked, mud puddles formed and the band ended up coming out 20 minutes delayed due to this. But this was just the start with the heavens opening so consistently that every single day I had wet clothes and mud splatters everywhere. I was incredibly lucky in the camp site we had which wasn’t overflowing and had much lower traffic than the standard camping but I heard horror stories of people’s camps and all their stuff being flooded which is horrible.
Despite the awful weather – which saw the festival be renamed Drownload for the weekend – it was pretty amazing. I saw such an array of music from Friday night second stage headliners All Time Low through to operatic metal in the form of Nightwish and hardcore noise in the form of Napalm Death. I experienced new bands, met up with some people I hadn’t seen in a while and braved the mud and rain to get everything from the weekend.
I was always planning on leaving Download late Sunday evening when my mate finished work there and this year I was so happy I was as I couldn’t face another night camping. Although the greatest mistake I made was not booking the Monday off work. Getting home at 2.45am and going into work wasn’t fun, but you live and learn.
Here’s a playlist featuring a host of bands I saw this weekend: