What can you really say about Downoad?

Its featured some of the greatest hard rock and heavy metal bands of all time. It has showcased legends of rock and transformed up and coming bands into superstars for the next generation. And so, for me to be apart of Download 2012, the ten year anniversary of this legendary event, just made the whole experience much more memorable.

This years Download held some of the biggest names in Metal history with headlining acts The Prodigy, Metallica and Black Sabbath as well as plenty of old and new exciting bands for everyone to enjoy. Being a Metal Head, I’m used to large crowds and I’m an expert in surviving mosh pits, circle pits and a walls of death! However, when you’re at the biggest metal festival in the world going through all these different bands (and pits!) it can take a lot out of you within the first day!

It was still amazing for me getting to see some of my favorite bands sharing the same stage one after another.

One of the best bands which I had the pleasure of seeing live were Steel Panther whose entire stage show consists of them re-living the days of Glam Metal and singing songs about having sex with hundreds of women (!) Their performance on stage got the whole crowd jumping and singing along – not to mention got the girls flashing (an added bonus) Other bands which met my expectations were Trivium and Machine Head who never failed to keep the crowd moshing throughout the long festival weekend. I even managed to see new rock band, Halestorm whose music is upbeat and catchy and easy to sing along too, even if you haven’t heard of them before. As soon as I got back from Download I bought their second album “The Strange Cases Of…” and I’m already looking forward to seeing them play live again in September.

Of course, how could I forget the headliners?

The Prodigy were the perfect band to have at the helm on the first night of Download bringing us into the 10th anniversary of the festival. Being in the crowd during this band was like being in a giant rave; being pushed from all sides while jumping to the hard bass of the music.

Metallica put on one of the best performances of the whole weekend playing their iconic “The Black Album” in its entirety as well as classic anthems, “Master Of Puppets” and “Whiplash”. Being able to see a band that have influenced some of the greatest metal bands of today was such a privilege for me and to be standing in the crowd singing along to “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters” was nothing short of a privilege.

Finally, Black Sabbath performing with 3 out of the 4 original members made the final day of Download something people will never forget. Standing close enough to taste the sweat of Black Sabbath is one thing but crowd surfing through the main stage crowd is a moment I will remember forever.

There were, of course, problems that I faced during my first festival experience. Relentless rain fell over the weekend and almost completely flooded the entire festival and left 100,000 people treading through the mud, struggling to carry luggage on their backs. Flooding delayed the opening of the arena by an hour which resulted in one of my favourite bands, Rise To Remain’s slot being cancelled altogether and the adverse weather also prevented Europe from getting to Donnington Park and they were also cancelled.

Thankfully, riots were narrowly avoided!

My first festival experience was not perfect; with the flooding and cancelled bands but it was exactly what I was looking for; the experience of a festival for the very first time, good and bad. I had amazing weekend that I shared with my best friends and look forward to repeating again next year . . .but with a little less rain, hopefully.