The Download Festival is one of the best British annual festivals around, and is undoubtedly the best for Metal. It won the Best 'themed' Festival of 2004 award from Virtualfestivals.com.
Wow, what a prestigious award! Tell me Xorin, what is it like?
Gather ye round children, and I'll tell ye a tale. Let me set the scene; the rolling greens of Donington Park, the gentle sound of aeroplanes taking off and landing, the almost hypnotic effect of Donington racetrack glistening in the heat, the heaving mass of thousands of people, all of whom are trying to be at the front at once, you look out from the hill to the valley below and see row upon row of shops selling overpriced food/clothing/'legal' drugs/whatever. And of course, Iron Maiden blasting out 'Run to the Hills' at 97dB on the PA. “More Festivals should be like this.” That’s what you think to yourself as you shake your hair loose and prepare to rock out for all you're worth.
Festivals eh? Brilliant. Festivals have been at Donington for quite a while now, bands such as AC/DC (17/7/1991) and Iron Maiden (22/3/1993)* spring to mind. Anyhow, in 2003 the annual Donington festival got the Download name, and since then 50,000 people a year flock to see their favourite bands pollute some air.
And so it was that Iron Maiden headlined the first ever ‘Download Festival’ gig in 2003 – and it was good. Since then, the clever people at Download HQ decided to hold another Download festival at Glasgow Green. Both festivals usually happen Late May/Early June and tickets for this 2-day spectacular go on sale around March.
See also: Download Festival, 2003, Download Festival, 2004, Download Festival Scotland, 2004
N.B.: I went to the 2003 gig so I can review it, but feel free to review 2004 and 2004 Scotland.
*Both of these gigs were recorded and released, AC/DC's on DVD and Iron Maiden's on CD and Re-released on Enhanced CD format (with band info pictures and videos and stuff). Both were imaginatively titled Live at Donington.