This time last week I was camping in a field in the middle of England getting ready for 3 days of hard rock and heavy metal. I went in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. After missing it last year, I was making my return.
This is how it went:
Who played – Who I saw
What a line up! Especially on Sunday. Highlights for me on Friday were Clutch, Five Finger Death Punch and Judas Priest.
On Saturday I enjoyed The Struts with their Freddie Mercury-esque front man, Creeper, Hollywood Undead, Faith No More were abrupt with the audience but I enjoyed them and Muse were good but not as overwhelming as I was expecting.
And then H.E.A.T followed by Backyard Babies, followed by We Are Harlot, followed by Godsmack, followed by Eagles of Death Metal, followed by Slash, then Motley Crue and finally the epic KISS just rounded off the weekend perfectly for a guy who loves 80’s hair metal.
Now, after 4 years of going and camping at Download Festival, you would have thought I would have learnt how to stay in a tent but NO. I had a small, 2 man, single skin tent. Sure, I was sharing it with my girlfriend and our huge bags but that did not stop condensation from leaving puddles of water. People, if you’re going camping get a DOUBLE SKIN tent! Oh and try and vent it as much as possible, (tough I know, but try). Also we had to queue over 4 hours with 2 tents (we set our friends’ up), a camping chair, all our clothes and sleeping bags in the searing heat with no sun tan lotion and more importantly no beer (and not much water).
TIP: if you’re camping at a festival, especially Download, and are getting there first thing, expect a queue. Queue first, get your wrist band, then go back and get your things.
Finally, whilst watching Slash and Motley Crue we had to deal with 2 annoying drunks. The “Slash drunk” wanted to talk to everyone around him, fit another man into his poncho and once turned to someone and said “did you hear that Guns N Roses are reuniting to do a tour with Pantera”. That statement alone showed me he clearly knows nothing about good music because if Guns N Roses ever reunite I’ll eat many hats. And the “Motley Crue drunk” wanted to start a fight with whoever he could until he passed out. If you’re going to a festival please do not get wasted. It ruins it for everyone, most importantly YOU!
Getting too old?
I must admit that this year was the first year where I just thought, “I’m getting too old for this shit!” Yes, it is true. And I’m only in my mid 20s! But standing up for so long, then sleeping in not the most comfortable beds, and walking everywhere, especially in thick mud. It was just tough. When it rained on Friday and Saturday I really just wanted to be inside with a cup of tea. Also, the loudness of people who stay up until 5 in the morning! Believe it or not, tents are not sound proof. Maybe next year I’ll go for a sunny vacation.
For the first time ever in the history of Download and I think even the world, the festival was “cashless” which means we put cash onto an account linked with my ticket and then the wrist band had a plastic chip on it that you scan and it takes the money off. At first I thought it was an awful idea but in practice it was awesome. I have read some reviews that said it did not work and I believe there probably were issues but for me personally I preferred it to cash because you know how much you’re spending and unless someone cuts off your arm, your money is safe!
This leads me to ask, is this the future of festivals and….THE WORLD! Imagine a cashless world. People would be hacking off arms left, right and centre (and I really believe people would go to those lengths). Get ready people, this spending revolution is coming!
So, thanks for reading my experiences of Download 2015. All in all, despite my moaning, it was awesome! Sorry if it went on for too long. Please let me know what you thought or if you went in the comments.