June is the continuation of festival season with one of my absolute favourites: Download Festival. I attended my first Download in 2011, going for the Saturday to see System of a Down live for the very first time. Since then, the hallowed grounds of Donnington have been like a second home for me, and I’ve been for the weekend nearly every year since.
After a pretty stressful journey there, which involved Rhianna forgetting to pack half her wardrobe, delayed trains, and wellies falling from the overhead rack, we arrived at the Radisson Blu East Midlands for our Download Festival 2017 weekend. Yes, that’s right, we stay in a hotel for Download Festival. SORRY ABOUT IT!
So, who did I see?
From alternative bands like State Champs, Four Year Strong, Basement and Dead! on the new Avalanche Stage, to some household names like Good Charlotte, A Day To Remember, and Prophets of Rage, I saw a bit of everything this year. I could bore you by reviewing each and every one of them, but instead I’m going to tell you about those special sets which were real Download Festival 2017 highlights.
My Friday headliner was System of a Down, which was like Download coming full circle for me. Now if the band were as good as they were in 2011 it would have been great, but this time round they were even better. It was like a big metal dance party and I loved it. Biffy Clyro, the Saturday headliner, were also a standout band. I must have seen them around 10 times now, but Download Festival 2017 was something special, and it’ll undoubtedly go down as one of the best headline sets in the festival’s history!
One of my favourite discoveries of the weekend was a band called Fizzy Blood. We chose to go watch them on a whim and I’m so glad we did because they were ACE! Bonus points to the band as well because they’re from Leeds, which means I’ll definitely be able to see them live again soon!
Download 2017 was super special for me because of 2 bands in particular. First up, I finally got to see one of my favourite bands of all time; AFI. I was originally meant to see the band 8 years ago but ended up not being able to go, so I’ve been waiting for this for a LONG time. I may have cried. Twice. It was worth it. Finally, there was Aerosmith. Not only were they the last band of the weekend, but it’s also the last time I’m probably ever going to see them since they’re on a farewell tour! Aerosmith are just amazing live and getting the chance to see them one final time was incredible. To hear 60000+ people singing along to ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ is something I won’t forget any time soon.
Let’s talk about that weather
Download Festival has notoriously been named Drownload because of the horrendous weather in previous years. Thankfully, Download Festival 2017 did not follow this trend. The festival was bathed in glorious weather throughout the weekend, so it was a shame that I’d only brought wellies with me. I’ve never seen so much sunburn before in my life, but thankfully we’d planned ahead and packed some suncream.
The only downside with having such fantastic weather is that I’ll just expect it to be that nice and sunny every year!
What makes Download Festival so special?
So there you have it, Download Festival 2017 in a nutshell. It was undoubtedly the best festival experience I’ve ever had, and now my life is basically ruined because nothing will ever be that good again. That is, until Download 2018!
Were you at Download Festival this year? Thinking of going in 2018? Let me know!