\,,/(*_*)\,,/ It’s Download time \,,/(*_*)\,,/ \,,/(*_*)\,,/ \,,/(*_*)\,,/

It’s that Paganistic time of year when 120,000 tattooed, long-haired, skinny jeanists come to worship upon the sacred fields of north west Leicestershire. Roll ups? Check. Leather boots? Check. The ability to lose one’s mind/wallet/friends? Check.

This weekend, Download festival is serenading Donington Park.

Rock’s General Synod first hooked up for Monsters of Rock in summer 1980. Since then, by process of osmosis, Donington has become the Spiritual Home of Rock Music.

To my brothers and sisters this means lovely river-valleyed Leicestershire – with its oldest rocks in the world (Charnwood Forest), and the oldest rock monster (Charnia Masoni) also boasts the planet’s most cherished rock festival. Rock to the power of three. And we all know what three is, don’t we? (De La Soul et al 1990)

Over the years at Download I’ve wibbled away to three Swedes from Hederfors on their ninth day of a drinking bender (First pic – Anna, Lotta and Linda), had my head battered by the whiplash time changes of The Dillinger Escape Plan, witnessed a Viking longboat (Amon Amarth) as a stage prop and had my soul lifted by a succession of howling Gibsons/Gretschs/Fenders.

There have also been some really awful smells. Damn you Tuborg.

I could go into the gigs but that would take a long time, but here’s a few…Dinosaur Junior (2005), Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Billy Idol (2005), Steel Panther, Aerosmith (2014), Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden, AC/DC, Guns ‘n’ Roses (2006) …

Why Download over other festivals? It’s a festival for people who are into the music. Any old wanksock goes to Reading/Leeds, Glastonbury these days. Music is trendy. Festivals are trendy. People light on soul are feckless.

Donington attracts an international crowd of men, women and children who generally have a collection of band t-shirts. Most people who really like music, know, that where possible, music should be experienced live. Although over the years the increase in chatty bastards and nobs who take selfies (While the band are on, you dicks) have been on the rise.

Moments in life are not made by what you have or own, but what you experience. Don’t experience through a phone camera/video. Experience it with your eyes and your ears directly. No barriers. Be in that moment, have your soul yanked skywards. Let go.

It helps to remember that you, what you’re wearing, how young/sexy/attractive you are is insignificant. The music and the musicians are what count. Not you, pouting into your iPhone. You daft twat.

And, let me tell you, Download is all about the experience. I didn’t think I’ll ever get higher than that time with five 60-something men from Boston. But I did and I loved it. Aerosmith, thank you.

I could blather on but in the meantime…


PICTURE BETH WALSH Friday afternoon at Download festival 2014.

Friday afternoon at Download festival 2014.

PICTURE BETH WALSH Friday afternoon at Download festival 2014.

Friday afternoon at Download festival 2014.

PICTURE BETH WALSH Dowload Festival 2014. Festival goers arrive.

Dowload Festival 2014. Festival goers arrive.

Download Festival. Iron Maiden on stage. Bruce Dickinson.PICTURE CHRIS GORDON

Bruce Dickinson wins the chasm-like distance between one’s legs award.PICTURE CHRIS GORDON

Download Festival. Queens of the Stone Age on stage.PICTURE CHRIS GORDON

Joshua Homme (Grade A man flesh) of Queens of the Stone Age.PICTURE CHRIS GORDON

27372411This is how it was at Donington in 1980. Fish and chips, warm beer and a bonfire. With lashings of hot rock. Effing awesome.

PICTURE ALEX HANNAM - Download Festival 2012 - Slash - STORY GEMMA PEPLOW

PICTURE ALEX HANNAM – Download Festival 2012

PICTURE ALEX HANNAM - Download Festival 2009 - Music - Crowd - STORY

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Metallica fans getting in the mood. Headbanging.

This is the only way to react to full stream Metallica

IH050604A-39 Picture Telegraph Donnington Park Download festival Iggy and the Stooges

Iggy and the Stooges

Picture: Katherine Burnett KB130610A-33 The third day at Download Festival 2010 at Donington Park, with thousands of people from around the world flocking to Europe's biggest rock festival. Aerosmith close the festival, pictured Steven Tyler.

Picture: Katherine Burnett
Steven Tyler at Download Festival 2010.

AC DC's Angus Young plays the main stage at Download 2010. PICTURE BY DAN MATTHAMS C110610DM4-30

Angus Young at Download 2010.

27387875Hen party at Download 2012.

Download festival, crowds at the main stage. NewsPICTURE CHRIS GORDON


27384431Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains, who were just excellent in 2013.

Download festival, main stage. Strongbow can man puts the finishing touches to his suit.PICTURE CHRIS GORDON



Download. Megadeth have left the stage ad about to come on are Soundgarden.

Megadeth have left the stage and we’re waiting for Soundgarden.

Metallica in concert.


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