Ross Baker sizes up the return of Download Festival with video, opinion and that all important Spotify playlist.
Download has quite a history doesn’t it?
It sure does. Since 2003 when Download took over from Monsters of Rock as the UK’s best known rock festival, it has seen some massive bands perform including Metallica, Slipknot, Aerosmith and AC/DC. It arrives back at Donington Park from 10-12 June.
So is it all heavy metal then?
Not at all. In recent years Download has played host to acts such as The Prodigy with dance rockers Pendulum headlining the second stage on the Friday this year and features everyone from masked rappers Hollywood Undead to power balladeers Mr Big!
While Donington has long been Britain’s Mecca of metal and rock, it features everything from veteran rockers like Alice Cooper to the hip young things that are all over music TV, like Madina Lake.
Sounds good. What else is there?
With five stages to choose from each day, you’ll be spoilt for choice. If that’s not enough, the event also has an outdoor cinema, the EA Game Hub, The dark cabaret of Madame Pain’s Boudoir Circus and the Power Ballad night club “Ultimate Power” for those of you wishing to get your air guitar on! Check out the line up here. There’s also Rockaoke where you can unleash your inner rock icon!
Who are the ‘must see’ bands this year then?
Get rockin’ with these bad boys:
Black Stone Cherry
Classic rockers Black Stone Cherry bring their brand of soulful southern rock to the main stage. If you want sing-a-long melodies and sharp southern riffs then these guys are for you.
Fronted by Miles Kennedy, a man with a voice so powerful he was considered for the touring line up of a reunited Led Zeppelin and also the main collaborator of ex Guns ‘N’ Roses guitar god Slash, brings his own band of powerful arena rockers to show Download what it’s all about.
The shrill vocals of Justin Hawkins and his merry band are back! Expect a truly over the top performance akin to that of 70s-era Queen.
A welcome return to the UK for the American shock rocker, expect electro beats, hard guitars and songs about monsters.
System Of A Down
US noiseinks return with their quirky brand of Zappa-tinged post nu-metal.
I want to hear more!
Check out the VF Download Festival Spotify playlist here.
Wow. I want in! Can I still get tickets?
Five-night camping and weekend tickets are £190 with three-day camping and weekend tickets at £180. All family camping is sold out but weekend arena tickets are available with a three-day guest pass at £244 if you feel like rock royalty.
Click here to buy Download Festival tickets.
What else do I need to know?
It’s a bit of a trek from the campsite to the arena but there are tons of stalls to keep you fed and amused all weekend. For the discerning camper Download also has yurts, tipis, Pod Pads and even the Luxury Bus complete with PS3, showers, BBQ, wine chiller, 36’ Flat screen V and a hot tub all for £6,100 if you’re feeling flush.