The Download Festival is the UK’s largest event dedicated to alternative and metal bands. This year will see over a hundred bands grace four stages over the three day event, which takes place from the 12th to the 14th of June. Slipknot will headline the main stage on the Friday, marking their fifth appearance on a stage that front-man Corey Taylor describes as “like home for me and has been for ten years now.” Muse will be making their Download debut when they close out the main stage on Saturday night, straight after rap-rock pioneers Faith No More finish their set. It will be Faith No More’s first UK show following the release of Sol Invictus; the band’s first release in eighteen years, due out on May 18th. Classic rock legends Kiss will bring the whole event to a close on the Sunday night.
The event takes place at Donnington Park in the heart of England, a place that holds rich, historical significance in the UK’s alternative music scene. The site played host to the Monsters of Rock festival from 1980 to 1996, which featured many of the world’s leading rock bands of the time including Metallica, Iron Maiden and AC/DC. Ozzfest appeared at the park in 2002, headlined by Ozzy Osbourne, before current tenants Download Festival inherited the site in 2003.
In addition to this year’s headliners, many other members of rock’s royalty will be performing. Classic acts Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Slash and Billy Idol will bring the old-school vibe amongst the likes of Marilyn Manson, Enter Shikari, Black Veil Brides, Funeral for a Friend and A Day to Remember. If festival goers tire of the music on offer, there are many other activities taking place across the site. Progress Wrestling will be on offer, along with Demolition Download (a medieval-themed jousting event), a cinema, laser tag, circus workshops and comedy shows. There’s even an inflatable church, where attendants can “marry anything… be it beer, beards, dogs, donuts or even significant others, if you must. Anything goes.”
Download will also make UK festival history in 2015 when it becomes the first major festival to go entirely cashless. Said to help “reduce queues for the bar and food stalls” it will also remove the need for individuals to carry cash, “making security on site even tighter.” Festival goers will have the opportunity to pre-load funds onto a wristband, which will be issued on arrival and will become the sole means of making purchases throughout the weekend. More funds can then be added at any point through the Download website, free mobile app or at pay-points located across the site. Any funds not used over the weekend are automatically refunded to the originating card.
FDRMX will be reporting from the Download Festival in June, covering show reviews and interviews with the bands. You can read what Funeral for a Friend had to say about Download in my recent interview with lead singer Matt Davies-Kreye now.
FDRMX Eyes: The New Tarot is one of our new favorite sister duos to come out of the Brooklyn Indie Rock scene. Check out their music video “Makeup”: