The biggest weekend in the rock calendar - took place this weekend as 90,000 people rocked out in Donington Park to headliners Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein plus a host of other bands across the weekend.
Crowds of rock fans packed out Donington Park as the opening day of Download saw Asking Alexandria, Papa Roach, Architects, Korn, Bullet for My Valentine all perform mind blowing sets throughout the day, while bands like Fearless Vampire Killers, Fidlar and The Algorithm ripped up the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage.
Slipknot had Donington in the palm of their hand as they opened their set with ‘Distasterpiece’ before launching into ‘Liberate’, ‘Wait and Bleed’, ‘Before I Forget’ and ‘Psychosocial’. A moment that will go down in Download history followed when 90,000 people knelt down on Donignton’s sacred ground before “jumping the fuck up” during a raging rendition of ‘Spit It Out’.
Saturday’s epic lineup saw Queens of the Stone Age make their Download debut as the sun beamed down on the home of rock, while Motorhead, Alice In Chains, Mastodon, Enter Shikari, Jimmy Eat World, The Hives, Kvelertak and many more all played blinding sets.
A Spitfire circled Donington Park before Iron Maiden burst onto stage with their headline set bringing the Maiden England tour to the festival marking 25 years since the band first headlined Donington Park. The set included ‘Run To The Hills’, ‘Fear of the Dark’, ‘The Number of the Beast’ and an encore of ‘Aces High’, ‘The Evil That Men Do’ and ‘Running Free’.
The closing day of Download has already seen crowds roaring with sets from Coal Chamber, Five Finger Death Punch, Parkway Drive, with Limp Bizkit, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Gaslight Anthem, A Day To Remember and many more still to come. And of course everyone is gearing up for a stunning set from tonight’s headliners Rammstein, who will close the festival with a set that’s sure to contend for rock show of the year.
Download Festival promoter Andy Copping commented: “It’s been an amazing weekend. We’ve had over 150 bands across five stages and a trio of ground breaking, world class headliners. Having Iron Maiden back 25 years after they first headlined Donington was an incredible moment. Slipknot as usual delivered an unforgettable set, and Rammstein tonight will be the first time the band have played Donington.”
Other activity on site included The Red Bull Studios live at Download, which culminated in an exciting series of sets from some of the UK's hottest emerging bands. Croydon trio Press To Meco were met with a raucous overspilling tent whilst Aberdeen four piece Semperfi had the electric crowds shouting back their lyrics. The highlight for fellow Aberdeen cohorts Akord was undoubtedly accepting an impromptu invite to play on the main stage during Down's set to a 70k strong crowd. Having previously nurtured the cream of new rock talent such as Radio 1 favourites Don Broco, Red Bull Studios will no doubt be seeing this year's alumni on bigger stages very soon.
Fans don’t need to be too down about the fact that the weekend is almost over, as festival organisers announce the dates for next year and a special early bird offer as a thank you to fans. Ticketmaster has discovered that metal and rock fans are amongst the most loyal there are. Research conducted by Ticketmaster’s LiveAnalytics team has revealed that attendees of Download, the UK’s premier rock festival, were much more likely to be returning after a previous visit than at an average festival. Loyalty is increasing significantly year on year, with 27% of this year’s festival goers returning after attending last year, growing steadily from 20% in 2012 and 13% in 2011, to this year’s all-time high.
‘Our findings suggest that metal and rock fans simply can’t resist the lure of their favourite bands: and with a line up including Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein, who can blame them?’ – Sophie Crosby, VP of Insight, Ticketmaster International.
Download Festival 2014 will take place 13-15 June, and as a thank you to fans for a limited time Download is offering £10 off the current 2013 prices for 5-day camping tickets, 3-day camping and weekend arena tickets. All tickets go on sale at 9am on 21 June with the offer closing on 1 July. There are only 5,000 available, visit www.downloadfestival.co.uk to get yours.
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