So a few weeks have passed, for us to collect our thoughts on just how awesome this years Download Festival actually was. There were a few hiccups along the way, but nothing to spoil the over all fun of the festival. So, read on to find out more about what we got up to this year, ranging from campsite shenanigans, to hanging out in the back stage VIP Guest area, seeing the likes of Corey Taylor, and few of the guys from Trivium, The Dirty Youth and so on.
So, lets get the Weather out of the way. 2012 had to be the worst year for weather conditions. It pretty much rained solidly throughout the entire weekend. When we got to the camp site, half way through pitching, it was battering it down. Fortunately we had a rather nifty gazebo (£15 bargain from Argos!). So we got that up, and got dry. We made it so that our tenet immediately opened up into the gazebo area, thus making sure when we woke up, we would not be faced with wet muddy grass. Win. So, the drinking starts, we are all pitched, we meet new people and just generally soak up (literally) the festival atmosphere, and alcohol.
Thursday morning arrives, and we know we have to be somewhere at 1pm, sharp! We had the delight of attending the Boardie BBQ. This is a special event just for a select amount of DL forum members and it held on the 3rd stage in the arena. They lay on free food, fruit, beer and so on for all to enjoy, as well as having entertainment on stage. We also got to have a lovely, if not brief word with the man himself, Festival Director John Probyn. Unfortunately, we didn’t really have anything meaningful to say to him as we were all rather battered, but we had a chat, shook his hand, and carried on with the party.
Friday saw the first day of bands, and sadly, due to the rain, and ground conditions as a result of; the main arena opened a couple of hours later than originally planned, but not to worry, we just drank more. We stayed at the main stage for an hour or so, then wondered off the the second stage (zippo stage) to watch Europe! They were a little late, then all of a sudden, a voice came over the PA saying that Europe will not be able to perform due to being unable to get on site early enough, as they were stuck at the airport, again due to weather conditions. So after a few ”Boooo’s” and huffs, pretty much the entire crowd, ourselves included proceeded to sing our own version of THE FINAL COUNTDOWN. Was truly epic. We then made our way over to the main stage to see Billy Talent, who were amazing. Highlights of that set were ”Devil On My Shoulder” and ”Rusted From The Rain”. Was awesome. Then back over to stage 2 to watch Nightwish, who’s last performance at Download only lasted about 15 minutes due to a delayed flight, with original singer Tarja. This time however, fully equipped with a LOT of pyro, a brand new sexy singer, and a lot of bass, appeared a timely Nightwish, with full stage production. Its was epic. They didn’t do Dark Chest Of Wonders though, which I was slightly annoyed about but the rest made up for it.
Now for Fridays’s special event, the headline act on the Main Jim Marshall stage, The Prodigy. I was kind of lost for words to be honest with you, it was outstanding. I had never seen them before, even though this was my 9th year at Download, and they’ve played twice before…But nothing could have prepared me for the sheer amount of bass they kicked out, it was amazing.
Saturday, we spent most of the day in the VIP area, eating great food, using great toilets and seeing a lot of famous faces. It was great. The only bands we saw were Corey Taylor, of course, Tenacious D (who could miss those) and the almighty Metallica. What a day that was. All 3 were stunning, but I think Metallica were just a cut above the rest. They had fireworks, bangs, flashes and loads of awesome songs too. This next photo below pretty much sums up our experiences.
Photo’s copyright Download Festival.