Spalding Guardian reporter Kat Wakefield looks back on her favorite event of the summer.
As the festival season draws to a close, the first since the height of the pandemic, one legendary event remains a favorite.
Any rock or metal fan worth their salt has turned up at Donington Park for the Download Festival. Although I hadn’t visited for a decade, I’ve always kept an eye on the proceedings.
While the elements have changed over the years, the bones remain intact, and there is always a brilliant mix of acts to enjoy and discover.
From Kiss, The Darkness, and Steel Panther to Iron Maiden, Biffy Clyro, and Deftones, this year’s lineup was an absolute delight.
I once heard someone describe a certain kind of musical obsession as something akin to religion, and you can see it among the sea of faces on Download.
We might be perceived as miserable, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a happier group of people than the more than 80,000 fans in attendance.
The atmosphere is unlike anything you can experience anywhere else, even when it rains.
We worship at the feet of our heroes. Whether it was Korn, Skindred or even Drag Race UK star Bimini, we were all left in awe and amazement as we were treated to heavenly sounds and spectacular visuals once again.
While I was found in this state for most of the weekend, there was a point where it was all too much for me.
In fact, this is where I could lose all my heavy metal credentials… yes, reader, I slept through Iron Maiden.
I actually listened to some of his set and then fell asleep to the sounds of Bruce Dickinson singing Run to the Hills. Lock me up now and take all my gang t-shirts with you.
Other than that, it really was the most fantastic return to Donington Park, from seeing my favorite band (The Darkness) perform their Christmas hit in the scorching June sun, to drinking with Bez from Happy Mondays, who was there to support the Control gang of your partner. Storm.
Next year, there will be an additional day of music to mark the 20th anniversary of the festival.
My predictions? Well, based on album releases and tour dates, I’d suggest we could see Rammstein, Muse and Def Leppard headlining the main stage.
Could we see a long-awaited return from ACDC for that fourth spot?
Only time will tell. Either way, I’ll see you at the front!