Download festival is the beating heart of the UK rock and metal music scene. Held each year in Leicestershire’s Donington Park, Download festival sees the biggest names in rock, and a 90,000-strong crowd, come together for a weekend of live music and moshing.
A list of previous Download headliners reads like rock royalty. With the likes of Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Metallica, Kiss and Guns & Roses heading the main stage since the festival’s birth in 2003, it’s obvious why this is the UK’s biggest rock festival. The festival campsite is open for 5 days – with three days of music, and two to set up camp and mix with fellow metal-heads. Prices for the full 5-day event cost as little as £215, with 3-day tickets costing £180 and day tickets starting from £83.
Megabus make your trip a little easier, with buses running from 8 locations to East Midlands Parkway, where you can hop on a shuttle to the campsite. We allow up to 20kg of luggage per person, so you can pack all your festival essentials – and you can keep your air guitar as carry-on.
Born in 2003, as a follow-up to the Monsters of Rock festival of the 80s and 90s, Download has drawn crowds of avid rockers to Donington Park year after year. Originally a 2-day festival, it introduced its current 3-day format in 2005 and has grown annually since its inception, holding crowds of 110,000 people in recent years.
Over the years, lucky festival-goers have seen memorable sets from iconic rock acts like Iron Maiden, Motorhead and AC/DC. Download has become famous for its friendly atmosphere – with revellers united by their love for live music. The Download website even hosts a forum, where fans chat about past experiences and upcoming sets, adding to the strong community feel. And the growing popularity of the festival has seen an expanded version of Download take to Paris, where it’ll enjoy its second year this summer. Acts including Green Day and Linkin Park are already confirmed to appear in the French capital.
For its fourteenth year, Download returns with a customary line-up laced with today’s biggest rock and metal artists. The likes of Biffy Clyro and Aerosmith will be rocking the park from Friday 9th June until Sunday 11th June, with the campsite opening from Wednesday 7th.
Download 2017 sees the return of rock gods Aerosmith to Donington Park, who headline the mainstage on Sunday 11th June. A set packed with huge hits from a career that has spanned decades is not to be missed. Other main stage headliners across the weekend include rowdy rockers System of a Down, and champions of modern rock music Biffy Clyro. And the main stage is set to keep the crowd bouncing all weekend long, with metal acts including Mastodon, Pierce the Veil, Of Mice and Men and Alter Bridge to name just a few of the bands performing this summer.
The only trouble you might encounter is deciding which stage to hit and when. Sum 41 and Good Charlotte take over the Zippo Encore stage on Friday night, bringing classic pop-punk anthems by the gallon. Heavy Metal hero Rob Zombie is set to appear on Saturday 10th June, in what is guaranteed to be an unforgettable night. And the Zippo Encore stage hosts thrash metal legends Slayer on the Sunday of Download – always a crowd favourite.
The Avalanche and Dogtooth stages provide non-stop rocking from today’s biggest up-and-coming bands. You’ll also find household names here, like Sleeping with Sirens, Simple Plan and The Dillinger Escape Plan, who headline the respective Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the Avalanche stage. Wherever you and your mates find yourselves throughout the weekend, you’ll have the perfect weekend rocking out to the hottest talents in rock and metal, surrounded by a fun-loving crowd.
Download bucks the trend of traditional festival food. Try out an exciting selection of artisan food stalls, offering dishes from around the world for around £9 per meal. Donington Park will be brimming with global delicacies, from Mexican dishes, Paella and Levi Roots chicken, to smokehouse stalls for meat-lovers and veggie and vegan food stalls. And if the weather is good you can even treat yourself at the delicious desert stalls, offering churros, slushes and more.
Bars stay open until 2am from the Friday to Sunday of Download meaning the party doesn’t stop with the music, as you can make the most of your weekend until the early hours of the morning. Download offers a bring-your-own-drink policy, to save you money on your weekend beverages, although glass bottles aren’t allowed and drinks brought externally can’t be taken into the main arena. If you arrive on the Wednesday or Thursday, it’s common for campers to mingle and have their own parties in the campsite – it’s a great chance to get to meet other passionate fans.
There’s plenty to do and see at Download aside from the music. Visit the festival market, home to jewellery, piercing and tattoo stalls that are full of character. Take a break from rocking out by visiting the cinema, where you can relax and watch a variety of films, before heading back to the rock soundtrack of your summer.
Don’t forget to head to the main stage on Sunday to see what may well be Aerosmith’s last ever appearance, after they announced that their 2017 tour of Europe would be their farewell run.
Megabus makes travelling to Download virtually hassle-free. Our coaches run from 8 nation-wide locations – Bradford, Doncaster, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Hull, London, Scunthorpe and York – all heading to the East Midlands Parkway Megabus stop. From here, a shuttle ride will take you door-to-door to the Donington Park campsite to begin your festival weekend. And you can pack up to 20kg of luggage per person, so you don’t have to worry about leaving out any of the necessities – wellies, macs, tents and the rest.
The campsite opens its doors on Wednesday 7th June at 12pm, for those with a 5-day camping ticket. The main arena hosting the Download 2017 music line-up is open from Friday the 9th June through until Sunday 11th June. The campsite closes on Monday 12th June, where the ultimate UK rock and metal festival ends until 2018.
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