Rain & mud won't stop us!
So before a single band had even played on Friday, Download Festival had become Drownload Festival. A very sunny Wednesday was followed by rain, rain and more bloody rain, turning the grounds of Donington Park into a delightful soup of mud. Despite ruining a few liberty spiked haircuts (and a fair few tents in the Pink campsite), the weather didn’t seem to get anyone down. Granted it’s much harder to mosh in knee-deep mud, and the risk of falling whilst fighting in the pit is significant, but the crowd still threw 110% in to the weekend.
A huge fair play to the surprisingly large number of people who thought ‘fuck it, in for a penny in for a pound’ and opted to roll around in the mud, emerging looking like Morph from SMArt and in turn finding it much easier to get to the front as the crowds voluntarily parted to let their mud dripping bodies through.
Rockers & Metal-Heads really are the nicest music fans
It’s an old stereotype, but it’s there for a reason; metal heads really are ridiculously friendly. I have no tattoos, am piercing free, and have a horribly blonde complexion - yet that didn’t stop many a big rocker putting a heavily tattooed arm around my shoulder and screaming Megadeth lyrics into my ear with a big grin on their face. Just walking through the campsites led to invites to grab a pew and join in the drinking games, and such offers came in very handy after our tent was literally washed away…
Download is for lovers, not haters.
Ok so it was raining a lot, but even so, it seems like there was an excessive number of people retreating to their tents… with company! No complaints at all, very glad to see that the free love festival vibe grows into a horny maelstrom of black-clothed bodies at Donnington Park. Everyone was on it, but I’ll leave the last word to the young lad who was stood in-front of us for Shinedown and declared a little too loudly to his friends on his phone… “It’s the best weekend of my life, not only am I at Download but I also got laid!” - give that man a (rather muddy) high five.
Rockers come in all shapes and sizes
You'd be forgiven for thinking Download is some sort of cult or club, where you have to wear the uniform to get in. Though the archetypal Download Festival goer is pictured as a Mohawk wearing tattooed awesome beast of a human, music really does break down such barriers. Download provided such a beautiful mix of young and old and a spectrum of genders, images & styles which proved once again what an amazing and accepting community the followers of rock and metal are. No one was out of place, no one was too cool or too uncool, everyone just was themselves and it was beautiful. Even in my preppy white boy wardrobe I felt perfectly at home.
Planes are LOUD
Like seriously, really loud. If you’ve never been to Download Festival it’s literally in East Midland’s airport. Our campsite was directly under the flight path where lovely DHL planes took off and landed within inches of our head every 10 minutes. There’s nothing like the sound of a jet engine at 4.30am (then 4:40, 4:50, 5am… you get the picture) to make you wanna just get up and get back on it! After all, it's Download - we don't come here for sleep - we come here for the noise! Rock on!
Well played Download, you certainly did not disappoint – see you next year!
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