This year's Download Festival turned out to be a very wet weekend with constant downpours and thunderstorms throughout the three days, but what would 'Drownload' festival be without a little bit of rain? Thick with mud and soggy from the rain, the crowds all gathered looking for a fantastic time and with phenomenal headliners Rammstein, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden the weekend was never going to disappoint. Aside from the wrestling and the creative Zippo lighters that you could engrave in the Zippo Encore booth, as well as get hold of the limited edition Download Zippo lighter, the music line up for this year's festival was phenomenal - and we can't wait for the next Download festival already.
There were multiple highlights throughout the weekend, and as we stocked up on burgers, we headed down to the Lemmy stage to catch one of the more out-there acts of the weekend - Babymetal. Babymetal were mesmerising as they always are, with hit songs Gimme Chocolate and Road To Resistance taking the crowd by storm. A giant circle pit opened as the Japanese J-pop/metal band took to the stage and gave a fantastically choreographed performance as always.
Killswitch Engage managed to slay the stage as they always do, even in the torrential downpour that overtook their set, as the band plunged into hit songs My Curse, Strength Of The Mind and My Last Serenade, there was nothing that they can do to disappoint. A huge crowd turned out to watch the band, even in the mudpit that the Lemmy stage gave way to.
Continue reading: Download Festival - 2016 Review
Download Festival 2014 was a tamer affair than in previous years, largely owing to the event's tightened alcohol and drugs searches, bands being instructed not to encourage the crowds to mosh, more mainstream main stage headliners, fewer boobs being shown on the live camera feed, and the sombre tone of the renamed 'Stephen Sutton Stage'. Instead of holding a silence for the cancer-struck teen, festival attendees took part in a minute of respectful applause, which was paralleled by comedy pop punk band Bowling For Soup's tribute to the late comic, Rik Mayall.
In memoriam sections aside, the festival managed to transform what could be perceived as a weaker line-up compared to its preceding year into a three-day celebration of a broad range of the rock spectrum, filled with bespoke performance gems and quality heavy metal memories. First night closers Avenged Sevenfold brought a larger stage to Donington than they'd ever taken out of the US and combined imposing crypt-inspired adornments with an explosive set that proved on a world stage that they are worthy successors to titans Metallica and Iron Maiden.
The beady-eyed punter will have had a ball spotting the odd and hilarious happenings across the weekend, including a "face-melting" washboard solo from Berlin faux cowboys The BossHoss, punk's immature popsters Bowling For Soup asking a knight to decapitate a giant inflatable sheep, full contact medieval fighting from Battle Heritage, and Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach inviting the crowd to "dance responsibly" to a particularly heavy breakdown. Ribs were probably broken in the latter instance.
Continue reading: Download Festival 2014 Review