Download Festival – Round up of the weekend
aaamusic | On 12, Jun 2011
70,000 fans turned out in force to celebrate the ninth annual Download Festival at Donington Park this weekend, with over 100 bands performing across 5 stages including headliners Def Leppard, System Of A Down and Linkin Park.
With a mix of sun and rain beating down on the crowds, spirits were not dampened with a huge variety of entertainment across the site including a Friday night Zombie Ball, comedy, fairground rides and exclusive acoustic performances in the backstage press area from Skunk Anansie, Frank Turner, Bowling For Soup, Madina Lake and The King Blues.
Download 2011 heralded an emotional return for The Darkness, who stormed the Main Stage on Friday, following their reunion earlier in the year. Lead singer Justin Hawkins proclaimed it ‘the best night of his life’ and confetti cannons sprayed the audience at the end of the set. Saturday headliners System Of A Down drew in a massive crowd to witness their only UK show since reuniting after a five year hiatus, with a mass sing along to ‘Chop Suey’ half way through their 26 song set.
Avenged Sevenfold paid tribute to their ‘brother upstairs’ during their Saturday Main Stage performance, with it being their first festival appearance since the tragic passing of drummer The Rev. The festival spirit continued as Black Stone Cherry on Friday covered Adele’s ‘Rolling In The Deep’, Skindred included cover versions of Tinie Tempah and Metallica songs in their Saturday performance, Skunk Anansie singer Skin – adorned by giant black feathered wings, ‘walked’ on the crowd during their Main Stage set, whilst flawlessly singing their biggest song ‘Weak’, Radio 1’s Huw Stephens (broadcasting live from site on Sunday 1-4pm) was kitted out to join shock-rockers Gwar on stage, and a Frankenstein monster joined Alice Cooper on stage for his Second Stage headlining set.
The Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage returned to Download for it’s third year and once again proved it was the place to see the best up and coming acts from across the UK and beyond. Bringing with it a line up that included 8 successful bands from this years Red Bull Bedroom Jam online platform as well as a hand picked selection from past seasons, the energy on stage never let up with each band giving their all for the first of this year’s festival performances. Punk rock troop Page 44 took to the stage on Friday and had the crowd singing along from the start. 2009 Red Bull Bedroom Jam champions Don Broco rocked the stage on Sat starting a pit in the process, which didn’t let up for their entire set. ACODA and Floods both smashed it on Sunday. The riff heavy sets soon had the audience jumping, warming them up in the process. To check out what’s coming up next on Red Bull Bedroom Jam and to find out how you could be one of those bands playing in 2012, head to www.redbullbedroomjam.com <http://www.redbullbedroomjam.com> .
Performing special acoustic sets on the Jagermeister stage were a host of upcoming new bands as well as acts from the other stages; including Bowling for Soup, Skindred, Dan Reed and Hyro Da Hero.
The Download online team were on site at Donington all weekend, tirelessly filling up the website with reviews, interview and breaking news. They uploaded hundreds of stunning photos from across the weekend to a brand new photo gallery. All this and more is available on the official Download website: www.downloadfestival.co.uk.
The team were also busy adding countless updates on the Download Facebook and Twitter pages, keeping everyone up to date with everything that was going on during the festival, giving you a sneak peek behind the scenes at Download. Join in the conversation and follow them now.