It all began in 2003 when 75,000 folk were treated to unique interactive wizardry, with attractions such as gaming pods and extreme sports. Text messaging was linked up to the big screen making Download a festival that involved everybody that was there.
Legend rockers Iron Maiden secured a blinding reputation with rock connoisseurs whilst Marilyn Manson freaked out for the babies with the brand new piercings. Really though, it was the ‘secret’ set performed by Metallica that threw Download into the festival stratosphere and helped it clinch ‘Event Of The Year’ in 2003’s Kerrang! Awards.
2004 was witness to a Download that was slapped unmercilessly with sponsors. Nonetheless, people from all walks of music life came for a taste of what was now a well renowned event. Skater boys and BMX’ers flashed their tricks in the Snicker’s Soul Bowl and the ‘Download Vault’ was launched, in which tracks and videos from most of the bands could be sampled for free. This year saw a mixed bag of bands, with anyone playing from The Hives to Slayer.
Rockers/moshers and whatever-you-fancy gagged for another taste of Download in 2005. It was even bigger and better, with another day has been added for extended pleasure (!) and 100+ bands. A new cinema tent was also added along with the Soul Bowl open until 2am and several campsite bars (hurrah!). A surprising mixed bag of bands that is NOT at all scary for any festival newbie. Swap your cardigan for a leather basque, don some spikes and enjoy a truly mental weekend!