Seven Download Festival Highlights From Music To Food

Seven Download Festival Highlights From Music To Food
Image taken by the wonderful Matt Higgs

On the second weekend of June, I make my annual pilgrimage to Donington Park to check out the band’s playing Download Festival. Over the past nine years of attending the festival, there have been some great years of music, some great years for socializing and plenty of crappy years for weather. Thankfully for the first time in what feels like forever 2017 was great for all three aspects. I got to catch up with some people I hadn’t seen in a while, watch some awesome music and it was sunny, could you ask for anything more?!

Here are just some of my weekend’s highlights.

The Weather

I had to start with a pretty obvious one; the weather. It was glorious. There was a few tiny moments when it spat for a few seconds only to disappear but other than that it was sunny and pretty warm, so much so that I got a little pink as I wasn’t expecting the heat. Having good weather at a festival makes such a huge difference as you can stay at the outdoor stages without feeling like you’re losing out and the atmosphere, in general,  is so much nicer. Compared to last year’s Drownload it was like being on holiday.


Image taken by the wonderful Matt Higgs

All the pop-punk

For the first time Download Festival seem to have realized how popular pop-punk is and pushed the genre just a little bit more with so many sets, mainly on the Avalanche Stage where I spent a lot of the weekend, but also across the main and second stages. It was nice to see both the more classic/ metal rock world colliding with the modern pop-punk world. There was so much I managed to catch but highlights included Pierce The Veil, State Champs, Good Charlotte and Trash Boat.

People watching

I am a massive people watcher and I spend so much of my time just observing – and trying to not make it look like I am staring – and this year was great for it. There were so many people in fancy dress which was particularly amusing and there were plenty of questionable outfits, along with some pretty amazing ones.

Image taken by the wonderful Matt Higgs

Good Charlotte

Having seen them just two days before in Paris it was great to see Good Charlotte play so high up on the second stage at Download Festival and it was rammed. I was pretty shocked at how many people watched the band – although I shouldn’t be shocked as they’re great – and while they did cut a song or two out from the previous night it was such a feel-good set. It was great hearing and seeing middle aged rockers with Metallica and AC/DC jackets on singing to the same pop-punk tunes as the twenty something’s who remember them from their teenage years.

Mac and Cheese and Halloumi Fries

I feel that festival food has really been upped in the past few years’ and 2017 was no different. Firstly on Friday I had some amazing mac and cheese which was so creamy and brilliant that I wanted some more but sadly I didn’t get back there. Then later the same evening as I hadn’t had enough cheese I had some halloumi fries which rival my favourite stall in Camden. Festival food is no longer just about soggy chips and burgers there’s so much choice and it’s exciting.


I go to Download Festival most years as press and I am therefore honored to have access to interview artists that I never thought I would. Sadly my issues interview had to be cancelled due to timing issues getting on site but I managed to chat to Jeff from Simple Plan on Saturday night about nostalgia and how they feel speaking French on stage. Then on Sunday I did two interviews which were filed *eek I’m going to be on YouTube* one with Rich from Fozzy who opened main stage and one with Lexi Foxx from Steel Panther. Both interviews were great but I still can’t get over that I met Lexi and how well it seemed to go.

Steel Panther

Rolling on from interviewing Lexi the Steel Panther set was one of my favourites of the weekend. Firstly the stage was crowded which was great, secondly, the setlist was perfect and I am so glad that they didn’t neglect too many tracks from 2009’s ‘Feel The Steel’ album, and thirdly it was bloody hilarious. Some people might see Steel Panther as a novelty act and yes they say and do things on stage for show, but they’re actually very talented musicians and their music brings smiles to a lot of people so in my mind it was a win-win situation. After their hour long set I wasn’t ready for it to end so I am hoping that they’ll be back in the UK soon.



  1. Jessi Joachim
    June 15, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    I didn’t even know Good Charlotte was still playing! I used to love them when I was in high school! It looks like you had an awesome time!

  2. Janel Berchielli
    June 15, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    I don’t know any of these bands but it looks like it was a fun event to attend. I haven’t been to a concert in years probably because they get so crowded .

  3. TheNewClassy
    June 15, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    I have heard of the Donington Festival before from back in my hair metal days. It is always great to see great bands on stage, especially when there are so many of them in one place.

  4. Kara
    June 15, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    I do love a good festival and looks like you had a great time

  5. June 15, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    Looks like you had a wonderful time this year at the festival! I honestly had no idea that Good Charlotte was still even performing! I haven’t heard a song from them in years.

  6. Cassie Liz
    June 16, 2017 / 1:06 am

    Wow haven’t heard of this festival before but looks like you had a great time. I like Joanna had no idea Good Charlotte were still going LOL – brings back high school memories!

  7. Brandi Puga
    June 16, 2017 / 4:18 am


  8. Rachel Naylor
    June 16, 2017 / 10:12 am

    It sounds amazing and fun! I have not been to anything like this since I was a child. Great post!!

  9. Pam from Wine and Lavender
    June 16, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    This looks so fun (and sounds like you had a great time!). I need to find a festival to go to near me- a fun date night with the husband would be nice!!

  10. Journa Ramirez
    June 16, 2017 / 3:28 pm

    Now.. I want Mac and Cheese from that Music Fest! Looks like you’ll be full of happiness and excitement.

  11. Jeanine @
    June 16, 2017 / 3:37 pm

    Oh what fun! I haven’t ever been to any sort of music festival before but would love to! Looks like it would be a cool experience!

  12. June 16, 2017 / 5:13 pm

    What an amazing experience. I would love to go to a festival purely to people watch. I can imagine the outfits and the dancing to be highly entertaining.

  13. Jalisa Marie
    June 16, 2017 / 7:08 pm

    That seems like a fun time. I used to love Good Charlotte. I’m so glad the weather worked out to for that day.

    June 16, 2017 / 10:01 pm

    What a fun time! It looks like the line up was fantastic! I haven’t been to a festival like this in years. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Donah Davila
    June 16, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    I guess you are so busy having the most fun-filled time of your life! I wish I would be having the same set of activities though. But I can only wish that Steel Panther will be back again as you hope.

  16. June 17, 2017 / 12:45 pm

    This looks like a great time! It is awesome that you can get in to interview the artists, that sounds incredible.

  17. June 17, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    What an awesome experience. We haven’t been to a music festival in years so it’s great to be able to see these through photos!

  18. TheMummyToolbox
    June 17, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    we’ve never been to download but always wanted to go! Haha this is making me want to go even more!

  19. June 17, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    It’s been a long time since I listened to Good Charlotte. I used to love them back in the day. Also, my husband is a big fan of Fozzy because their lead singer is Chris Jericho, lol

  20. June 17, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    I haven’t gone to a festival in a long time but would like to go again soon. All the photos look awesome.

  21. June 18, 2017 / 10:30 am

    Wow, I’ve read about that mac and cheese and now i am really craving for this. Oh blame this pregnancy hormones haha. Those photos looks so amazing!

  22. Tabitha Shakespeare
    June 18, 2017 / 5:53 pm

    I totally agree about the food getting better and better! Especially now that food trucks like to set up shop it makes it so much more enjoyable!

  23. Brittany Muddamalle
    June 19, 2017 / 12:25 am

    Ooh this sounds like so much! My husband and I used to go to something similar when we first started dating! It was a blast!

  24. Rachel Catherine
    June 19, 2017 / 1:33 am

    I want to go to the Mac & Cheese one just because I like the name. 🙂 They all look amazing though and sound fun.

  25. June 20, 2017 / 3:29 am

    This definitely sound fun and looks like a great time!! Wow I haven’t had mac and cheese in a long while not I want some 🙂

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