Download 2006 Blog – Friday

Which Hollywood megastar couldn't resist an impromptu appearance on the main stage? It's not one you'd expect to see at a festival like this! Catch the action as it unfolds here on Download day one.

Party time in The Village!

Tool have brought the first day of Download to a quaking finish with a spectacular main stage performance that premiered new songs 'Roseta Stoned', 'Vicarious' and 'Jambi'.

Maynard James Keenan asks: "Did you all take your shoes off? I hope not, because people have been pissing on the ground around you, you hippies. You'll just have to wipe them with your dreadlocks."

A forboding red sunset descends like a curtain of blood over Donington, as a sea of expectant fans stretches as far as the eye can see. It's the perfect setting for tonight's headliners and the atmosphere is sizzling. A low rumbling sound heralds the arrival of Tool on the main stage…

"This is an old friend of ours!", announces Deftones singer Chino Moreno as Soulfly's Max Cavalera comes bounding out with his trademark green axe already strapped on, the band launching into Headup. Cavalera seems happy to play second fiddle to Moreno, strumming along and shouting the odd word… for a small while, before throwing down his guitar, picking up a mic, taking centre stage and duetting with his host on lead vocals. The crowd laps up every moment.

Echoing the crisis that befell Metallica here two years ago, Coheed and Cambria's drummer has not made it to Donington. Thank the Lordi for drum techs – especially Coheed's, gallantly stepping in to save the day for their sunkissed main stage performance.

The word backstage is that Max Cavalera from Soulfly is going to jam with his mates Deftones, during their set tonight.

[r-zone1]After scouring the backstage area and crowds looking out for some A-List rockers, who should we bump into but none other than the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith! He was side of stage to support his missus Jada Pinket Smith and her band Wicked Wisdom. Will was spotted by the hordes in the mosh pit and after chants of “We want Will” rang around Donington, he decided he couldn’t disappoint and walked out on stage, giving it the old devil's salute, to a chorus of cheers!

The weather is still roasting, Amplifier (who we first met on the Third Stage two years ago) have just played a triumphant set opening Donington in true style on the Main Stage.

12:00 Midday
[r-zone2]It's still scorching, not a cloud in the sky. The gates to the arena have just opened. The first bands are just about to kick off. We just saw festival boss Stuart Galbraith sporting an ear to ear grin. Rightly so. More than 75,000 people are expected to grace metal's hallowed turf at Donington this weekend, meaning Download is now officially the UK's biggest rock festival. The atmosphere is sizzling. It's an amazing feeling. This is going to rock so hard…

VF arrived on-site around 5pm yesterday. It was scorching. The festival site was heaving with more than 40,000 earlybirds. The entertainment 'Village' was going off all night long with all manner of craziness – burlesque cabaret, contortionists, fairground rides and outdoor cinema to name but a few. We didn't think anything could top the atmosphere of last year's Download. It seems we spoke too soon…