Download is the soul of rock ‘n’ roll. Hosted in the spiritual home of rock in Donnington Park, it returns in 2017 with the weight of 14 immense years behind it. With previous headlining acts like Muse, Kiss, Aerosmith, Linkin Park, Iron Maiden, and My Chemical Romance, the pedigree of Download speaks for itself. This year is no exception.
The main stage this year is packed with classic rock acts back for more and brand new bands following true rock ‘n’ roll fashion, with a line-up to make your ears bleed. Friday 9th will be headlined by the Californian heavy metal band System Of A Down, supported by Prophets of Rage, Five Finger Death Punch and Mastodon. Saturday 10th welcomes Biffy Clyro, A Day to Remember and AFI, and Sunday 11th sees Aerosmith return with Steel Panther in support. You can practically feel the bass through the poster.
But there’s more to the Download experience than old school rock. The likes of Sum 41 and Good Charlotte bring their modern brand of Punk to the Encore Stage, while Rob Zombie and Slayer bring something heavier to their faithful fans.
Donnington Park is virtually in the middle of the country and has excellent connections from its three surrounding counties. Whether you’re going for one day or for the full camping experience, Megabus can get you within half an hour’s drive from the festival. There’s also a generous allowance of space per-person for luggage, making it easy for groups to organise wellies, coats and tents – though you’ll have to pitch them yourselves. It wouldn’t be a real rock ‘n’ roll festival if you didn’t get your hands mucky anyway.
Ticket prices for Download vary, but that’s due to the sheer amount of options available. Across the board these have dropped from last year, making an even more cost effective festival for 2017. An adult day ticket can cost as much as £83.00, while the three days is as little as £180.00. The full five-day camping experience is about £215.00, a price worthy of the sign of horns and a weekend of head-banging.
Donnington Park, East Midlands // 9th-11th June
If you’re into rock and heavy metal, Download is likely to satisfy your music taste. Donington Park circuit was initially home to the Monsters of Rock festivals held between 1980 and 1996. Back in 2003, Stuart Galbraith, Tom Pyke and Andy Copping created the first Download event as a sequel to the Monsters of Rock. The early noughties brought a lot of change for music, downloading was seen as something cheap by the music industry; illegal downloading and file sharing was at a peak and for this reason the festival was rebelliously named Download.
Since 2003, the festival has attracted more attention and hosted some of the biggest names in rock and metal including Black Sabbath, Whitesnake and Judas Priest. Starting out with a 2-day event across 2 stages, the event has grown stronger year on year attracting crowds of 90,000 people during the 3-day event. In addition to the UK edition, an expansion of Download will be held this year at an airbase in Paris featuring Linkin Park, Blink-182 and Green Day.
Download set an original precedent of providing music to its audience. Organisers created a new way of integrating the online world with live music. Tickets sold in 2003 included a code that gave access to MP3 downloads from the performing artists. A forum on the event website has also allowed a community to build, which has given feedback from fans, and helped organisers know what works. Rock Radio has been on-site radio broadcasting the event since 2009, airing music from the bands, interviews and news to the festival and its surrounding area.
Download Festival will be held on the 9-11 June this year, at Donington Park in Leicestershire; headliners will include Aerosmith, System of a Down and Sum 41. Following the death of Mötorhead’s front man Lemmy Kilmister on the 28th December 2015 it was announced that the Main Stage in 2016 would be renamed “The Lemmy Stage”.
Forget the car and get ready to party as you travel to Download Festival with Megabus this year. With your return journey covered, your trip to Download will be straightforward and hassle-free, leaving you to focus on the important business of enjoying your unforgettable weekend.
For 2017, the lineup at Donington Park is nothing short of epic, so hop on one of our coaches and prepare to rock out with headliners Biffy Clyro, Aerosmith and System of a Down, along with a whole host of other big-name acts including Coheed and Cambria, Good Charlotte, Mastodon, Sum 41 and Steel Panther.
To get to Download with Megabus, simply book your direct ticket to East Midlands Parkway from 8 different locations including London, York, Harrogate and Hull. Once you arrive, you can catch the shuttle bus service – run by Notts and Derby Bus Service – which will take you straight to the festival site at Donington Park.
If you opt to travel with Megabus, you’ll have a generous 20kg luggage allowance – ample for all of your festival needs. So grab your backpack, don’t forget your wellies, and bring plenty of supplies in preparation for one epic weekend.
Festival location: Donington Park, East Midlands
Megabus stop: East Midlands Parkway
Campsite opening times: 12pm Wednesday 7th June until Monday 12th June
Arena opening times: 12pm Friday 9th June until Sunday 11th June
Travel direct to East Midlands Parkway from: Bradford, Doncaster, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Hull, London, Scunthorpe, York
It’s always important to budget for food and drink costs when heading to any festival, and Download is no exception. You may have particular dietary requirements and worry that you may not be catered for. You’re in luck. A great range of food is available at Download Festival; whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan or simply have an acquired taste.
Eat Artisan or Keep it Cheap
In recent years, artisan food stalls have been cropping up selling all manner of foods from every corner of the globe. This food is great quality, though doesn’t come cheap and will set you back at least £9 or so per meal. A more budget-friendly option is to opt for your typical festival grub, which is widely available- burgers and hot dogs will cost around £5- £6. If you’re lucky enough to get great weather, no doubt ice cream will be in order- expect to pay between £2 and £3 per cone.
Bring your own Beer
You’re welcome to bring your own drinks to Download Festival, alcoholic or otherwise, just make sure they’re not stored in glass and bear in mind that alcoholic drinks purchased externally cannot be taken into the main arena.
Drinks are widely available to purchase at the festival. A range of soft drinks are available and bottles will cost around £2.50. Hot drinks can be purchased across the site and generally cost between £2 and £3. In terms of alcoholic beverages; beer, wines and spirits will all be on sale. A pint of beer or glass of wine will set you back between £3 and £4, whereas a single spirit and mixer will cost around £5. To keep hydrated, water taps are available at various points across the site and can be used at any time and for free.
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