Download Festival
Download Festival
Genre Heavy metal
punk rock
alternative rock
Dates May/June (2003)
June (2004–present)
Location(s) Donington Park, Leicestershire, England, UK
Years active 2003–present

Download Festival is a British rock festival, held annually at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England, since 2003. It is the most popular British summer rock and heavy metal festival and has hosted some of the biggest names in rock and metal. The 2015 festival featured massive technological surveillance by police in conjunction with festival organizers Live Nation UK. RFID wristbands and facial recognition technology was used to compare visual scans of attendees against a European criminal database.[1]


The Download Festival was conceived as a follow up to the Monsters of Rock festivals which had been held at the Donington Park circuit between 1980 and 1996. The first Download Festival was created by Stuart Galbraith, Tom Pyke and Andy Copping in 2003 in the same location.[2][3][4] Rather than run as a single day event Download was initially a two-day event, expanding to three days in 2005.

The name Download was chosen for the festival for two reasons. Downloading was a dirty word in the music industry at the time, due to file sharing, and rock is seen as a rebellious genre of music. Also Download was to be a Monsters of Rock for the 21st century and the internet would provide connectivity with its audience.

The 2003 festival tickets had a code on them, which would allow festival goers to download tracks from bands which had played. Although this idea has been dropped in subsequent years, the festival organizers have nurtured an online community through the Download Festival Forums. Initially a sounding board for the fans (and critics) of the festival, the boards have become an integral part of the festival organization with regular contributions from Festival Director John Probyn and Promoter Andy Copping. The forums also provide face to face feedback through the Fan Forum meetings (started in 2006) and organise the Boardie BBQ (2006 on) and the Boardie Takeover night (2009), football tournaments and a pub quiz for the R.I.P. campers who arrive on a Wednesday night.

When Download began, it took place on the Donington Park circuit infield as had Monsters of Rock. However in 2008 developments for Formula One meant that the infield was no longer suitable as a festival site. 2008 saw a move to the "Sunday Markets" site to the west of the circuit. Although adequate, numbers were limited and the location of the campsite meant that getting from tents to the arena was quite a hike. 2009 saw the festival move to a much more suitable location to the south of the circuit. Security for the festival has constantly been undertaken by professional crowd management specialists Showsec, although the campsite area has had various contractors throughout.

Since 2009 there has been on-site radio broadcasting from Rock Radio on 87.7FM. This RSL broadcast has aired music from festival bands, interviews and news to the festival site and the surrounding area, with the signal reaching as far as Nottingham.

The 14th annual Download Festival was held on 10–12 June 2016. All three headliners were confirmed between 19–21 October 2015 and it was confirmed that Bruce Dickinson flew his Ed Force One 747-400 Jumbo Jet across Download to get to the festival. Motörhead were due to play the Main Stage on the Friday of the festival, however due to the death of lead singer Lemmy Kilmister on 28 December 2015, the band will no-longer be playing, as confirmed by drummer Mikkey Dee.[5] In 7 February 2016, 36 more bands were added to the bill, as well as the announcement that the Main Stage would be renamed "The Lemmy Stage" in memory of Kilmister, instead of having a band replace Motörhead, it is confirmed that there will be a tribute to Lemmy, which was confirmed at the fan forum to be a 20 minute video.

In June 12, 2016, ONE OK ROCK went to the United Kingdom to perform at Download Festival in Donington Park, England. They were assigned to performed at the Zippo Encore Stage, the same stage were Jane's Addiction ,Billy Talent, Don Broco, Breaking Benjamin, Periphery, Delain, Grand Magus, Whiskey Myers, and Buck & Evans performed.[6]


In addition to the annual UK edition of Download Festival, it was also announced that in June 11, 2016, the day before the Download Festival in UK was held, there would also be a Download held at the Longchamp Racecourse (French: Hippodrome de Longchamp) in Paris. The lineup was similar to the UK Festival, but not identical.

ONE OK ROCK performed at this festival as well.

The Download DogEdit

The Download Dog is the official mascot of the Download Festival,[7] and appears on a wide range of material related to the festival, such as tickets, stage banners and merchandise.


  1. "Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE".
  2. Music Tank "Speaker Biographies: Stuart Galbraith - CEO, Kilimanjaro Live". Music Tank
  3. City Showcase "Workshop Panellist: Stuart Galbraith". City Showcase Website
  4. Georgie Rogers "Live Nation ex-boss rues merger". BBC News
  6. Download Festival 2016 Line-up
  7. Download Festival Homepage
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