Download Festival

Download Festival
The Download Festival is a three-day rock festival held in Leicestershire, England. The event takes place at Donington Park, a motorsport circuit located near the market town of Castle Doningtom. It is the most popular summer rock and heavy metal festival in the United Kingdom.

The Download Festival is not the first music festival to be held at Donington Park. The famous Monsters of Rock festival was held there between 1980 to 1996 but was canceled and discontinued because the promoters were unable to find strong enough headliners. The Download Festival was conceived as its successor. The first festival was organized by Stuart Galbraith, Andy Copping and Tom Pyke in 2003. Originally a two-day event, it expanded to three days in 2005.

The organizers chose the name Download for two reasons. Due to illegal file sharing on the Internet, downloading was regarded as a dirty word in the music industry, and rock is considered a rebellious genre of music which is not afraid to use dirty words. Besides, Download was designed to become a Monsters of Rock for the 21th century and the organizers hoped that the World Wide Web would help it connect with the audience. The official mascot of the Download Festival is the Download Dog.

The inaugural Download Festival was held on May 31 and June 1, 2003. The headliners were Iron Maiden and Audioslave (originally, Limp Bizkit was invited as the second headliner but had to pull out). Metallica played as an unannounced “secret slot” on the second stage with no sound check. The third stage was added to the festival in 2004. As of 2017, Download has four stages (Main Stage, Zippo Encore Stage, The Avalanche Stage, The Dogtooth Stage) and runs over three days in June.

Since its inception, the Download Festival has hosted some of the biggest names in rock and heavy metal. Past headliners include Aerosmith, Rob Zombie, System of a Down, Sum 41, Megadeth, Rammstein, Korn, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, KISS, Marilyn Manson, Muse, Slipknot, Linkin Park, Status Quo, The Offspring, Limp Bizkit, HIM, Metallica, The Prodigy, and others.

Download Festival

Photo: Kate Norton




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