Three-year-old Jake enjoys an alternative Download Festival experience

'Jake's Download Experience' receives support from across the internet

Three-year-old Jake enjoys an alternative Download Festival experience

Photographer: Virtual FestivalsAli Ryland on 23 June 2014

After posting a picture on the Download Festival page of three-year-old Jake enjoying his home-brewed version of the infamous Donington metal festival, his mother Star Bickerstaff decided to set up the Facebook group 'Jake's Download Experience'; now a burgeoning hit within the metal community.

Children under five are not permitted at Download Festival, which was bad news for three-year-old hard rock fan Jake - that was until his mother threw him an alternative Download Festival, complete with Jake’s campsite and camp flag, pints of juice retrievable by tokens, and handcrafted ‘stages’ that feature photos of the acts playing. Bickerstaff originally wished for bands to come and play the event, but on the now-viral Facebook page she has settled for herself dressing up to do “a naff impression”.

The response from the Download Festival fan community has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

Whilst many fans use the opportunity to campaign for a Download festival livestream, others have posted supportive messages and pictures of their own Download Festival experiences in volumes. One 'Downloader' has even used her ceramic skills to fire up a special ‘Jake’s Download Experience’ mug for the three-year-old, while others have suggested funding Jake’s future gigs; an offer that Bickerstaff has turned down. “We can afford to take him when he's old enough, but if you do want to donate, donate to the Stephen Sutton charity, after all it's his stage Jake is rocking at!"

After news of the concept started to spread it wasn't long before a few famous faces wanted to lend their support. Ginger Wildheart, who performed both a solo acoustic set and Wildhearts show at the festival, sent his best wishes and a set of goodies.

Festival booker Andy Copping sent Jake a t-shirt and special laminate, while Download's other major Midlands rival, Bloodstock Open Air, offered him some merch.

Download Festival 2014 took place between the 13-15 June. Click here to read our review of the festival.


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