Download Festival

Created as a modern extension upon the ‘Monsters of Rock’ festival, which ended in 1997, Download Festival has always asserted itself as a festival with impeccable line-ups and I do not think they have once disappointed. It’s an all-rounder and if like me, you care about freely exercising the ‘mum-two-step’ (read on for clarification) then this is the festival for you

Mixing it up:

The line-up this year is phenomenal. It has all potential elements covered for a rowdy rock-metal fan. You can see that the line-up hand has been pensively selected to pick something for everyone. ‘Cliché’ you may heckle- but where else do you find StatusQuo, Fall Out Boy and Opeth in the same park? Crazier things have happened but this sure is pretty exciting. They seem to magically acquire all the big names in rock and metal and a sprinkle of everything in between.

Crème de la Crème:

Some festivals pride themselves on variety and offer alternatives to the music for entertainment. That is great but I like to squeeze every last set out of a festival and I feel that Download nail this. Focusing solely on stellar line up and this shows on their bills consistently each year- carefully crafted and definitely satisfying. Still, like all good festivals in their village market area you can still be massaged, have a tattoo (not henna, like a legit tattoo that stinks of regret), piercings, and a host of little trinkets to remind yourself in winter that you were in fact having fun at a festival not so long ago.

Unashamedly British:

Over the last few years Download has been held in the second week of June and has notoriously been known for its glorious sunsh…rain, mud and mayhem. Perfect, there is no need to worry about dry shampooing hair when rain offers that assistance on tap, no need to worry about whether you need tights on or not- you just need a onesie and a pac-a-mac, and no need to worry about dehydrating in the baking sun either. We all love a moan about the weather- it is quintessentially British, but there is a sort of ‘we don’t give a flying F**k’ outlook and the energy remains with everyone ready to have a fab time. Besides, rain and storms, well they seem almost fitting for Download really don’t they?

I can let my hair down, in fact I must:

So you know on occasions dancing feels a little bit awkward and being too drunk a little inappropriate for instance at Glastonbury, with its slightly more family orientated vibe. Download however demands you ‘whip your hair back and forth’ as Willow Smith once said and have a damned good time soaking up the music and probably elbowing the odd crowd member. On a more personal note, AEROSMITH! Everyone has a favourite act, and this year Aerosmith are mine. I know that Steve Tyler is old enough to be my granddad and his groupies old enough to have raised me, but you know- those lips and his silky smooth tones- they just make me want to squeal and stamp my feet and do the ‘mum two step’- you know what I mean, bouncy with claps at each side.

Image: Adrian Purser
Image: Adrian Purser

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