Music

Festival Guide: Download Festival

The rocker’s highlight of the year is drawing near, so here’s everything you need to know about Download Festival 2017.

Launching back in 2003, Download Festival immediately established itself as the best alternative event the UK had to offer. Taking place at the UK’s spiritual home of rock, it reinvigorated events at Donington Park, building on the previous year’s Ozzfest and continuing what Monsters Of Rock had started during the 80s and 90s.

The first event saw the absolutely huge Iron Maiden headline the first day, joined by the likes of Marilyn Manson, Deftones and Sunday headliners, Audioslave. It also quickly stamped its broad reach, among its line-up inviting ska-punks Reel Big Fish, punk veterans NoFX, as well as emo heroes Funeral For A Friend and From Autumn To Ashes.

From there things have grown. Download Festival is now a three day beast, with plenty more excitement happening around the music. The Village offers fun sports, live shows, a fairground and explosive alternative DJ sets. Elsewhere the festival has teamed up with the WWE for some live wrestling entertainment courtesy of NXT.

Since 2003, the field has also welcomed a huge variety of the biggest names in rock, from Metallica to Tool, and from My Chemical Romance to The Offspring. The line-up caters to all fans of rock, with so many options at any one time.

2017’s outing is just around the corner (9 – 11 June 2017 in fact), so here’s everything you need to know about Download Festival.

The line-up is immense

This is the most important question, right? This year’s festival continues its eclectic trend, putting three huge names in rock right at the top of the bill. And we mean huge. Download Festival welcomes Aerosmith on the Sunday as part of their farewell run, having announced the end of the band back in November 2016.

Rather than telling you more about the headliners, here’s a track by each to get you in the rocking mood.

System Of A Down

Biffy Clyro

Aerosmith

The festival will also welcome performances by the likes of Prophets Of Rage, seeing members of Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill join forces, rock crossovers A Day To Remember, and Florida icons Alter Bridge. And this is barely scratching the surface.

While the huge names sit comfortably on the main stage, the Zippo Encore pushes the diverse line-up further, topped by Sum 41, Rob Zombie and the almighty Slayer.

The Avalanche Stage showcases a mixture of emerging punk and rock, and some established behemoths, not least the thunderous Dillinger Escape Plan waving their final farewell to the UK. Sleeping With Sirens and Simple Plan complete the top billing on the festival’s third stage, joined by the likes of State Champs, Four Year Strong, The Story So Far, Every Time I Die and Basement.

Lets be fair, we could go on about the line-up forever, and we haven’t even touched the fourth stage yet. Instead check out the line-up poster below to see why this is another unmissable year.

Download Festival

Site improvements are set to make this year even better

Download Festival organisers have been hard at work making improvements to the site to counteract any potential bad weather (although here’s hoping for sun) and traffic issues. There’s 3000 meters of new drainage to take water away from the site, as well as new driving routes to and from the event. Some stages have moved around to help the ease of movement, and disabled access has been dramatically improved. To find out more about all of these fixes making the festival even better, check out our article here.

It’s not all about the music

This year it’s also about wrestling. It’s not the first time Download Festival have teamed up with WWE, but it’s destined to be the biggest and best yet. Members of the NXT roster will be concluding their UK tour at the rock event. “Download was my very first show in NXT,” Bobby Roode said when making the announcement. “The combination of NXT Superstars and massive musical acts, entertaining tens of thousands of passionate fans makes Download a unique experience. Returning to Download as NXT Champion will make this an extra special moment for me as a performer.”

Don’t just take our word for it. We also caught up with wrester Ember Moon about things to come. You can read that here.

There’s also loads more on site to keep everyone entertained. As well as all the action the Village has to offer, and the ever-awesome atmosphere across the campsites, you can get involved in their dress-up theme. Fittingly this year it’s wrestling. On Friday, 9 June, they want to see all DLers in their “funniest, cleverest, most kickass” takes on the theme. We’ve got some ideas already.

All those important details

Download Festival runs from the 9 – 11 June at Donington Park, with three and five day camping tickets available for those who want to fully immerse themselves in the rock adventure. Non-camping tickets, day tickets and VIP tickets (or should we say RIP) are also available. There’s also space for camper-vans and specially dedicated disabled camping.

Donington Park lies where the three counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire meet. In virtually the middle of the country, it has excellent connections being only 3 miles from the major trunk routes of the M1/M42 and A50.

Getting there by public transport is also a breeze, with East Midlands Parkway, Derby, Nottingham and Loughborough all up to 20 minutes drive away from the site.

Fancy soaking in the sounds at the spiritual home of rock? Tickets are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk. See you there.

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