Just returned from an excellent download Festival. I think it was the best Download I have been to. The atmosphere was friendly, the music was loud and the weather was mostly great for festival going. Here is my story of the weekend.
We, my wife (Blog and twitter) and I, don’t do camping. EVER! So only option was a hotel. We chose the Radisson Blu which is about 3 miles from Donington Park. We stayed here based on staying the last night here last year. Unfortunately, when we turned up at midday, we couldn’t check in; room not ready. We left our bags in the hotel staff’s capable hands and headed to the Festival in a minibus the hotel had laid on. At just £5 each way this seemed like a good idea. We only bought tickets for the journey out as we wanted to test how the walk back would be, more on this mistake later.
On arrival at the site, we made a n00b mistake and got in the wrong queue. Have to change the tickets into a wristband each first. Doh! But as a bonus we managed to smuggle in one flask of Jack Daniel’s and one of Bacardi (rum based cocktails for the ladies).
After cashing in some real money for beer tokens (£4.50 a token), we headed straight for the bar, as there was no one currently playing we fancied watching. The top bar had a decent selection of beer this year. The lager this year was again Tuborg and it is still crap. The cider was Somersby which was a lot nicer than last year’s offering. The ale on offer was Otter and Hobgoblin. A bonus for me as I like both of those. Trooper beer was also available from separate vendors – yet another bonus.
Met up with friends here too (Mark, Bev, Steve and Nigel). And had a few bevvies, before the heavens opened. Rain soon cleared though and we all moved over to see Uriah Heep on the Zippo Encore stage.
I don’t know much about Uriah Heep, but they played a good set and the sizeable crowd appreciated what they had seen.
Next up were Dragonforce. I had been looking forward to seeing them, although a little worried how the new lead singer would fit in. Oh god where do I start…. they were shocking. Overly long guitar solos and much prancing around. By the time they got to Through Fire and Flames, my favourite, I just wanted them to get off the stage.
Eighties rockers, Europe were next. Great I thought… a band I loved growing up, how bad could this be? Very is the answer. If they came on and just did Rock The Night and Final Countdown that would of been great. Those to songs were amazing, the rest forgettable.
Danish “metalbilly” act Volbeat were next on the stage. Wow. What an awesome set. I had been looking forward to seeing them a lot and I was not disappointed. From start to finish they killed it. Highlight for me was Sad Man’s Tongue which had the whole crowd going. Highlight of the day for me.
3 Doors down took to the stage after Volbeat. Not really my kind of music, but we caught the first few songs heard Kryptonite and moved on to the main stage.
The first act of the weekend for us on the Main stage was Bullet for my Valentine. Another band I had really been looking forward to. These guys rocked the place out. They played just about every single one of my favourite songs apart from All these things I hate which was a shame. Everyone went nuts when they played Scream, Aim, Fire. BFMV – big thumbs up.
We had planned on watching Slipknot to top the day off, but having decided on walking back to the hotel and having seen them a few times in the past, we decided to head for the hotel.
The walk pretty much finished me off and I just collapsed back in the hotel room. Note to self: Must get fitter!