History – Download Festival

Download Festival


If you’re into rock and heavy metal, Download is likely to satisfy your music taste. Donington Park circuit was initially home to the Monsters of Rock festivals held between 1980 and 1996. Back in 2003, Stuart Galbraith, Tom Pyke and Andy Copping created the first Download event as a sequel to the Monsters of Rock. The early noughties brought a lot of change for music, downloading was seen as something cheap by the music industry; illegal downloading and file sharing was at a peak and for this reason the festival was rebelliously named Download.

Since 2003, the festival has attracted more attention and hosted some of the biggest names in rock and metal including Black Sabbath, Whitesnake and Judas Priest. Starting out with a 2-day event across 2 stages, the event has grown stronger year on year attracting crowds of 90,000 people during the 3-day event. In addition to the UK edition, an expansion of Download will be held this year at the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris.

Download set an original precedent of providing music to its audience. Organisers created a new way of integrating the online world with live music. Tickets sold in 2003 included a code that gave access to MP3 downloads from the performing artists. A forum on the event website has also allowed a community to build, which has given feedback from fans, and helped organisers know what works. Rock Radio has been on-site radio broadcasting the event since 2009, airing music from the bands, interviews and news to the festival and its surrounding area.

Download Festival will be held on the 10-12 June this year, at Donington Park in Leicestershire; headliners will include Rammstein, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. Following the death of Mötorhead’s front man Lemmy Kilmister on the 28th December 2015 it was announced that the Main Stage in 2016 would be renamed “The Lemmy Stage”.

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