NME.COM

The history of Download Festival in pictures

  • Vince Neil of the sixth (and original) incarnation of Motley Crue headlining Download's Dimebag Darrell stage last year. The band have recently suggested that next year might see the movie release of their legendary autobiography 'The Dirt'.

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Scott Weiland with the now-defunct Velvet Revolver at Download Festival in 2005. Weiland has since split with the band and reformed Stone Temple Pilots, and they're looking at replacement singers. Skid Row's Sebastian Bach was mooted but looks unlikely, and Velvet Revolver's bassist Duff McKagan is said to be interested in Lenny Kravitz and Linkin Park's Chester Bennington. Watch this space... Pic: Phil Wallis

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Motorhead headlined the Snickers Stage in 2005 and are back at Download tonight (Friday). We'll be there losing our hearing in the pit, so check back later on for exclusive pics and blogs. Pic: Phil Wallis

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Biffy Clyro played Download for the first time last year, and we met them backstage. Head to nme.com/video for the exclusive interview.

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • In 2006, Enter Shikari were third on the bill on the Gibson/MySpace stage. A year later, they played just before headliners Korn on the Dimebag Darrell stage, where this snap was taken.

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Gallows' gigs are always talking points. They played five shows at SXSW last March, including an afternoon set amongst worried family picnickers in a park, frontman Frank Carter got tattooed onstage at Reading, and they've been banned from playing the Anaheim House Of Blues in California by owners Disney, who objected to their lyrics. Their Download performance last summer was arguably one of THE sets of the weekend. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Evanescence stop by Donington during their two-year 'The Open Door' tour, which saw them race round Europe, the far east and America twice to support their multi-platinum second album. This year's Download festival kicks off today (Friday) with sets from KISS, Judas Priest, Motorhead and more, and NME.COM is there catching all the action.

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Iron Maiden show the young pretenders how its down at Donington Park in 2003. Vocalist Bruce Dickinson has just co-written a horror film, 'Chemical Wedding', which premiered in Cannes in May. Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Linkin Park in 2004. We're speaking to a whole bunch of Download stars this weekend, including The Offspring, Biffy Clyro, Rise Against, Pendulum and HIM, so keep checking back for video interviews, plus news, pictures and blogs from the festival. Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • My Chemical Romance's appearance last year was subject to intense internet debate in the weeks leading up to the weekend, and they endured heavy bottling during their opening few tracks, which eventually subsided as morons made way for fans. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Garbage hit Donington in 2005, the year the festival was headlined by Feeder, Black Sabbath and System Of A Down. The event was dubbed Ozzfest 2005 on the Saturday and referred to as "indie day" on the Friday. Pic: Phil Wallis

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Marilyn Manson - aka Mr Brian Hugh Warner - at Download 2007 just after the release of the band's sixth studio album 'Eat Me, Drink Me'. They took to the stage between Slayer and headliners Linkin Park. Pic: Andrew Kendall

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Metallica headlining Download in 2006, two years after the 2004 show without Lars Ulrich, who had been rushed to hospital just before the set. In 2006 it was Korn's turn to perform without a member; vocalist Jonathan Davis was taken to A&E and replaced by members of Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold and Trivium. Pic: Tom Oxley

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • My Chemical Romance backstage last year, just before speaking to NME.COM. Check out the video interview with them, and a host of other Donwload alumni including Megadeth, Paramore, Enter Shikari and loads more, over at nme.com/video. Pic: www.photoshot.co.uk

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Billy Corgan onstage with Zwan at the first Download Festival in 2003. The band only made one album before Corgan reunited Smashing Pumpkins in 2006, six years after their initial split. Pic: Rex Features

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Iowa metallers Slipknot hit Download for the first time in 2004, a month after releasing their third album 'Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses'. Drummer Joey Jordison replaced Lars Ulrich during Metallica's headline set at the festival that weekend after Ulrich fell ill and was rushed to hospital. Pic: www.rmusic.co.uk

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009

  • Paramore at Download last summer. The festival first started in 2003, with headliners Iron Maiden and Limp Bizkit booked, although Limp Bizkit pulled out and Audioslave stepped in instead. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 22 Jan 2009