Monday, 13 June 2016

Download Festival 2016 In Pictures!

So Download Festival for this year has been and gone! This was my second year and if I'm honest, it's been pretty similar in terms of weather! Sunburn for the first 2 days and heavy rain for the weekend when the bands are playing! (Typical, ay!) I thought it would be a good idea to make a quick post with my highlights and events of the weekend, so here are some pictures to remember the weekend by!

We got to Donnington around 8pm on the Wednesday, so by the time we found a place to camp and we had set our tent up, we were ready to relax for the night!...

...Not before a few drinks though! It was such a nice warm evening and a great way to start the weekend off! Apart from the fact we couldn't sleep much because of...

THE DEAFENING SOUND OF PLANES TAKING OFF AND LANDING EVERY FEW DAMN MINUTES! To be honest, I think because we were so close to quiet camping, we can safely judge that quiet camp was quite redundant because of these planes...

Day 2 started with a good bacon sandwich - cooked on the BBQ by the amazing weirdo behind me - and then it was off to wander around the village to see what was on offer! 

On the way back we bumped into a few friends and thought it'd be a suitable time to start drinking! (my friend was already smashed and some people don't stop drinking, just a more suitable time for me really!) And who can complain on another hot sunny day! (warning... sunburn may occur when not careful...)

What remained after (some of) the drinking...

The amount of drinking decided it was time for a joust! My friends started off battling each other and then another pair wanted in on the action too! They remained undefeated... after 3 or 4 tries. 


After getting slightly drunk and quite sunburned, we decided it was time to head back to our tent to get ready for the day of music that was approaching!

Day 3 came along and it was time to get ready to see some bands! (Aviators required)

We headed to the main arena to watch our first band of the day - Hill Valley High on Stage 3!

But not before having a photo taken with the installation they had created of the Download Dog!

Hill Valley High were great on stage and really pumped everyone up for the rest of the day!

We headed back to main stage for our next 2 bands, Alien Ant Farm and BABYMETAL! AAF put on a great show and I think it's a law that everyone has to love their cover of Smooth Criminal.

Disaster struck before Babymetal came on stage though. IT STARTED RAINING... and heavily! We remembered that we had also forgotten to put the top part of our tent over, so we were scared that everything would be wet by the time we got back. Everything was held up and had to be covered on stage before Babymetal came on, but despite having a smaller slot than originally planned, they got the crowd rocking and did well with what they had left! Many people people were singing and loving their show.

After they had finished we headed back to our tent as Josh was soaked through and my converse were squelching, so we went to change into dry clothes. By the time we got back, someone had put the cover over our tent! It made me so happy that there are people out there that are willing to help just to be a good person. So if you were the person to put the cover on the tent at the back of White camp... you are an amazing person! 
We managed to get everything dried and changed so that we could make it back in time for...

Their performance was stunning and their choice of songs was great! There were tonnes of people singing along and their stage work and pyrotechnics were great as always! Who needs bonfire night when you can go to a Rammstein gig?! 
It was a long trek back to the tent, with all the people heading back to their tents in the slippery mud.

We started Saturday off with a good (but incredibly overpriced) bacon sandwich, to set ourselves up for another day of rocking.

The first band we had on our list was Avatar. They're so outgoing and while they may not be to everyone's taste (as with all music) they definitely know how to please the crowd! Yet another great band from Sweden. If you want something slightly quirkier to listen to, check these out! They may also be touring soon, as the singer hinted that they would be back very soon.

Next up was Beartooth. I'd wanted to see these for a while, because I imagined there would such a lively vibe at their gigs, so I was really happy that they got announced for Download. So many people turned up to watch them and they definitely pulled it off! They did great as a main stage act and I think they'll keep on doing well if they keep performing like they did here! I'll definitely go to see them again when they come back around.

Atreyu next! I'd never listened to them before, so I didn't know any of their songs but their performance was great and they know how to keep their crowds going!

We headed over to second stage where the band Scorpion Child were playing! These are a more hard rock band and I'm a sucker for this type of music!

We went back to main stage to see Rival Sons, who have the same sort of feel as Scorpion Child in my opinion! I've seen these before and thought they were great, so I couldn't wait to see them again. While they did well when performing, I think their choice of songs wasn't the best, they seemed to drop in a lot off their new album, which came out on Friday, so the majority of people weren't sure how the songs went and couldn't get into them as easily as if they were to play some of their older songs.

Megadeth were next and although I don't like them as much as other bands, they were great to see live and around the stage was swarming with people. I think a lot of people were looking forward to these and I don't think they were disappointed. It was raining on and off by this point and Josh wanted to keep his trousers dry. So he had an idea...


After Megadeth we went to second stage to see Skindred, as did many other people! The rain really started pouring here and where we were stood there was a little river flowing down the hill! We saw the majority of Skindred before we went back to main stage to get as close as possible for the main act...

You have no idea how excited I was to see these guys. I've always liked their stuff when I've heard it, but never bothered venturing to listen to them otherwise. Since they got announced for Download I started listening to them more and I can honestly say they are now one of my favourite bands! I love their music and I'm so glad I got to see them! Their performance was immense and their setlist was amazing! The effects they had on the screens were really interesting and they interacted with the crowd great! Everything sounded amazing and Ozzy's voice is still brilliant.

Thought that it was a fitting day to wear my Black Sabbath/Star Wars t shirt!

Unfortunately I didn't get to see the whole show, my poncho ripped, I was getting soaked, I couldn't see the band on stage and I couldn't see the screens either. My feet felt crippled and numb and I couldn't stand the pain any longer, so I had to unfortunately give in and go back to the tent. We managed to see around half of the show, however and I screamed my lungs out to the songs I heard.

...This is when me and Josh decided that enough was enough, we called my dad and asked him to pick us up the next day. We couldn't stand the rain or the pain any longer and missed all of Sunday's acts.

We were so glad to be home! Although we loved seeing the bands we wanted to, and Sunday was our busiest day, we didn't think it was worth the misery and hassle it was causing us to stay. While it was an amazing experience that I'm glad we were part of, I still feel that something was missing - the organisation of the festival and the passion it seemed to have last year. I'm not sure if it was because it was my second year or what it was at all really! I'm pretty sure I will go next year, depending on the acts that are there but I think that we we will prepare more or even go R.I.P. camping! Either way it was both an amazing weekend, as well as a bit of a pain!

So that was my download experience for this year! If you were at download, let me know how you got on and your good and bad points for the weekend. Either way, I'll speak to you next time!


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