Download Festival 2003

Scenes at Download Festival 2003 by John Bownas
Scenes at Download Festival 2003 by John Bownas

Download kicked some high-adrenaline rock into the consciousness of the thousands of rock fans who came down to Donington for the hottest weekend of the year so far. And Metallica turned up to play a secret gig... which was nice.

It’s Sunday night and Download 2003 has come to a close.  The past two days have been rock-fuelled days of sun, BMXing, music and all-round mayhem. Iron Maiden played to 45,000 rabid fans as the sun went down on day one (Saturday). Day two, and the headline act Audioslave didn’t let the rain dampen their spirits.  As the anticipation grew for the band to take the stage the 38,000 strong crowd grew into a frenzy and Audioslave delivered the perfect end to a fantastic weekend.

And after days of rumours and denials, Metallica jetted in to East Midlands Airport Sunday afternoon for a surprise performance on the Scuzz Stage at 3:30pm.  Playing two new tracks from their forthcoming album, the rest of their set was comprised of classic Metallica.  They played for more than an hour to a rammed tent.  As word spread throughout the Download site that the rumours were true people started making their way to the Scuzz Stage for what was by far the loudest, most powerful set of the festival.

We are pleased to declare the first ever Download Festival an all-out success, with memorable sets from Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson – complete with dancing girls – Deftones, NOFX , Zwan and Audioslave, as well as the entire Deconstruction tour coming into Download for Sunday.

The tents are coming down, everyone’s heading to the Download Café for Ace‘s DJ set or to watch A Clockwork Orange in the cinema.  Download 2003 is over – and plans for Download 2004 are already underway.  Can’t stop the rock!

Stay posted for our full coverage of Download 2003, including Download Reviews of :-


The best and the worst of the festival

the world’s biggest Download photo gallery (200+ indexed photos) & much more!