Download kicks off with art and football!

Download kicks off with art and football!

Photographer: Robin Hosgood10 June 2005

However, while the stages are laid to waste in the main arena, behind the scenes, there's something different going on...

This year, Download Festival is bringing its own brand of high art to Donington... and even the Download Dog's been getting onboard!

Deep in the bowels of the festival site a group of artists have been working furiously on a series of six foot high hoardings covered in designs ranging from axe-wielding warriors to a classic monochrome portrait of the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. We'll let the Dog explain...

"Last few days we've been in this studio, working away, painting some stuff up," he growls. "It's really chilled out back out here."

One of the artists, Gillian from Glasgow, said: "My pal emailed me and said that on the Download website they had posted up an article saying that they needed artists, so I applied. It's been a great time!"

"It's really fun," agrees Sinead. "Quite a lot of people have got friends like us who aren't really artists, but everyone's had a go at something. They'll look really cool when they're up, cos we've got a lot of UV paint on a lot of them, and they're going to put UV lights above them so they light up at night."

Unsigned Norwich band Ostracoda have even been getting in on the act, creating a huge rampaging warrior for one of their pieces. "It started on a sort of battle metal theme. A lot of Scandinavian bands, they always sing about warriors and stuff, and we love that kind of music, so we thought it would be funny to do a mean warrior."

The art installations are just one of many sideline attractions that have been entertaining the Donington hoards. Last night (Thursday), a VF-organised five a side football tournament quite literally kicked off with the quality of crunching, sliding tackles far surpassing the standard of play. Talent quickly gave way to taking part!

More successful was an eagerly awaited game of giant twister, that had been hyped up on the official Download message boards for several weeks. Huge crowds gathered to watch the spectacle of grown men and women tangled up in each other and loving it!

Stay posted to VF for all the action from Donington as it happens.

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