Quiet naysayers! Download is still Rock Of The Pops

By Anna Hyams on 24 February 2011

Do-nigton or Don’t? The home of rock, Donington Park in Derbyshire, will once again play host to Download Festival and some of the biggest names on the rock and metal circuits. This year’s line-up is, in keeping with the past few, positively stellar in it’s composure and is sure to appeal to a wide audience due to diversity in the acts.

Firstly, the big three headliners. Old school heavyweights Def Leppard were well received back in 2009 and lend a certain reverence to the bill. Next there is the long awaited return of System Of A Down, whose last appearance at Donnington was in 2005, it’s safe to say they’re a big tick from the forum wish lists. Linkin Park have always created a wake of mixed feelings amongst the metal crowd but are a firm favourite of the Download organisers and should provide a storming finale to the festival with their usual electronic flair.
This year, Download has a little bit of everything. If it’s the nostalgic days of leather and lycra, stonewash denim and bouffant barnets you’re craving, look no further than the likes of Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy and Twisted Sister as the antidote. Renowned for incredibly theatrical shows often featuring crowd giveaways and live snakes, Alice Cooper is definitely going to be something special for Download-goers, and anyone who can pull off a pair of near spray-on leather trousers at the age of 63 certainly deserves our respect.

If your taste moves you closer to the filthy bass domain, how about a smidge of Pendulum to whet your whistle? For the Dungeons and Dragons types who fancy themselves for a bit of role-play, strap on your furry keks and paint your faces stripy for folk-metal warriors Turisas, or for those of a paler persuasion who count themselves among the undead-walking, crack out the fake blood for Rob Zombie and prepare to be sprayed with various sticky gunk at Gwar.

Even the punk-kid contingent is catered for with bouncy Americans Bowling For Soup, amongst Download metal favourites Avenged Sevenfold, Alterbridge and Down. If you, like me, just want a bit of Southern drawl for a summer weekend, Download has you covered with Buckcherry, Clutch and Black Stone Cherry guaranteed to get you up and jumping.

The point is, this high calibre line up represents a wide range of styles which are bound to please the majority of Download festival regulars, as well as teaching a little rock 101 to the new kids on the scene and bringing new talent to the fore. Download seems to have kept the integrity of Donington’s rock history by consistently showing those “I might never get to see” bands from way back when, which is a nice change from the usual “whoever’s top of the charts” attitude accepted by other festivals around Britain.

If you think the ticket prices are steep, just remember that it would probably cost you that much to see the headliners in arenas alone. Oh, and this way you can watch them half-naked, drunk as a skunk with a plate of noodles in your lap. Fantastic. Get one huge rock and roll slap in the face over the Download weekend this year, it’s going to be epic.


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