Download Festival 2016 commenced on Friday 10th June in its’ traditional home of ‘Donington’. The Download Festival was conceived as a follow up to the Monsters of Rock festivals which had been held at the Donington Park Race Circuit between 1980 and 1996. Rather than run as a single day event, Download Festival was initially a two-day event, expanding to three days in 2005.
The name Download was chosen for the festival for two reasons. Downloading was a dirty word in the music industry at the time, due to file sharing, and rock is seen as a rebellious genre of music. Also Download was to be a Monsters of Rock for the 21st century and the internet would provide connectivity with its audience.
The 2016 festival had over 90 bands playing across 5 stages. Headlined by Rammstein on the Friday, Black Sabbath on the Saturday and Iron Maiden on the Sunday and a daily attendance of around 100,000 fans from all over the country and world, it really is a fantastic occasion for lovers of rock music.
The main stage was called The Lemmy Stage in honour of the late Motorhead frontman who died in 2015 and whose music was considered one of the foundations of the heavy metal genre.
Royal Republic were the opening band with a huge crowd who enjoyed a lively performance. Despite a downpour of rain, the crowd was not deterred and neither were the Japanese metal pop sensations Baby Metal.
Later on we saw Korn, leading up to Friday’s headliners Rammstein.
At East Midlands Airport, just down the road from the festival, saw the Iron Maiden plane, Ed Force One, land and do a tour around the runway to the delight of the watching crowds.
Sixx:A.M were on stage followed by some outstanding performances from Rival Sons and metal legends Megadeth. Headlining on the main stage are a band that helped build the foundations of heavy metal: Black Sabbath with Sharon Osbourne on site to support husband Ozzy, looking young and glamorous.
Looking neither young nor glamorous were members of dbs who were there rocking it……..…… before heading off to enjoy the dry, comfort and wonderful hospitality of the Nags Head pub and restaurant.
Sadly, the final day arrived.
Despite rain over the 3 days, it didn’t seem to affect the enjoyment and enthusiasm of the crowd. Instead of wearing shorts and sunglasses pre opening, they were (mostly) in capes and wellingtons.
A busy day with lots of good bands so difficult decisions had to be made of who to see. First up were Canadians Monster Truck. The winners of the Juno Breakthrough artist of 2013 have had a manic few years touring across the globe and this is the second time they’ve brought their Southern blues rock to the many thousands waiting at the main stage at Download.
Following on were Amon Amarth, The Temperance Movement and Halestorm. Disturbed were the penultimate band on the main stage who included their haunting cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Sound of Silence’. But the main band of the evening were British metal stalwarts Iron Maiden, one of the world’s biggest bands. It was their sixth time at Donington and they maintained their standards with a great show and performance, complete with inflatable ‘Eddies’ and a Myan backdrop. ‘Maiden’ put a lot of effort into their whole show from conception to conclusion.
The night ended with the traditional fireworks.