This year’s Download may have been the wettest ever, but fans were out in force to liftshare to and from the festival while making sure everyone in the ‘Download family’ could get there safely and see the acts they wanted to.
Friday night saw headliners Slipknot, Black Stone Cherry, Fightstar and A each take on a different stage, with fans braving the rain in plastic ponchos and foil coats to watch the outdoor acts. Slipknot held the attention of thousands as they played through an incredible set that saw the crowds dance, sing, scream and host huge circle pits in the mud. But this was no surprise from a band who have headlined Download so many times that they’re practically a permanent fixture. The real surprise of the day was rumoured secret act BABYMETAL – who appeared on stage with Dragonforce in the Maverick tent, and seemed to win over the weary crowd with their unique brand of J-pop.
Saturday saw emergency weather measures seriously try to battle a ‘Brownload’ wash-out but alas, it was too late. Headliners included Muse, who seemingly played to a very good reception given their somewhat commercial edge, Marilyn Manson, who gave a masterclass in malevolence, and Andrew W.K., who unfortunately seemed to fall flat until, of course, ‘Party Hard’ was wheeled out. Faith No More delivered a bizarre but brilliant performance including a Lionel Richie cover.
By Sunday a lot of people had left, but the day ticket holders seemed to increase four-fold. The Darkness played a not-so-secret set that seemed gimmicky and over-subscribed, and Billy Idol disappointed. But the focus was really on the last three bands of the day on the Main Stage – Slash with Miles Kennedy, Motley Crue, and KISS. Slash was riveting and pulled out a bigger crowd than expected, but didn’t have too much big competition from the other stages. Motley Crue played their final UK festival appearance and ran through all of their classics, before KISS produced a spectacle of a performance to top off the weekend. Both sets really made for once-in-a-lifetime viewing!
The Sunday night saw lots of people leave and new campsites set up in the car park as people braved the rain in their cars for the night. Hundreds of liftsharers made new friends and chatted, sang and ate together before turning in for the night.
Download recommend liftsharing as a great way to get to the festival, and this year gave away a VIP upgrade to one car-load of people for using the site. No matter whether you’re going on a one-off trip to a festival or a daily commute, be sure to check out the journey on Liftshare.com!
Photo credit: Lex Barber
Author Lex Barber