This weekend rock fans are off to Donington Park to see The Prodigy, Metallica and Black Sabbath headline Download Festival. To kick things off, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite photos from previous years, including this classic shot of Metallica’s James Hetfield. Click through the gallery to see more of the action from Download.
Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst gets up and close and personal with the crowd on the Friday of Download 2009, shortly before Korn and Faith No More took to the main stage.
Did you catch Biffy Clyro back in 2008? Here’s another shot from Danny North. And in case you missed it, you can watch a video interview with the band, as they discussed the 2008 festival and Bon Jovi with NME backstage.
Remember way back in the day, when Paramore still had their original lineup? Here’s the gang in full back in 2007, photographed by Danny North.
No one’s too young to rock the Devil’s Horns. Danny North snapped a picture of this small rocker at Download 2010.
Ever wanted to join the circle pit, but were stuck in the back of the masses? A simple crowd surfing procedure should to the trick and get you right up front in the action. This photo’s from 2010, and was taken by Danny North.
Here’s another shot from Danny North – Slipknot performing at Download Festival 2009. This was one of their final festival appearances with Paul Gray, who passed away in May 2010. After a short hiatus, the band have returned to music.
The notorious on-stage rowdiness of Pulled Apart By Horses was captured on film by Danny North at Download Festival 2009.
Phil Wallis snapped this photo of My Chemical Romance at Download 2005 – back before Gerard’s hair was the colour of campsite BBQ flames.
No festival is complete without some fancy dress. Unfortunately, some costumes are easier on the eyes than others. Tom Martin took this photo in 2010 – did this guy think he was at Green Man Festival?
Every rock festival needs a bit of KISS. Gene Simmons and his monster tongue graced the stage at Donnington back in 2008. Photo: Danny North.
Danny North captured Enter Shikari mid-jump at Download Festival 2007.
From a helicopter, the festival site looks so clean and pretty. (When in reality, it’s probably got overflowing port-a-potties and old empty pint glasses everywhere). Photo: Andrew Kendall, 2006
Here’s a picture Danny North took of Pendulum at Download 2008. The following year, we caught up with the band backstage – you can watch our video interview with the band from Download 2009.
Tom Oxley snapped this picture of Soil at Download Festival 2006.
In 2007, Gallows’ Frank Carter told NME Radio of his band’s Download set: “This day has been amazing, we were all shitting ourselves, nervous as hell and then we played in front of 8-10,000 people and they all loved it and shouted: ‘Gallows’. It’s changed our lives…I couldn’t talk for 30 minutes afterwards.” Photo: Danny North
This photograph of Cancer Bats was taken in 2010 by Tom Martin. If you’re heading to this weekend’s Download Festival, check out our round-up of all the latest news here.
During Marilyn Manson’s 2009 set, he was joined onstage by a small entourage of make-up and costume assistants, who primped and preened him after almost every song. Looks like his lipstick’s a bit smudged, though. Photo: Danny North
Here’s a photo of Velvet Revolver performing on the Main Stage at Download Festival in 2005, taken by Phil Wallis.
Tom Oxley snapped this photo of Bullet For My Valentine at Download Festival 2006. We caught up with the band at Download 2008 and 2010 – click here watch the video interviews.
Here’s a classic crowd shot from Download Festival 2009, courtesy of Danny North. That face mask must have been rather warm for a festival, though.
Click here to watch NME’s backstage video interview with Metallica from Download Festival 2006. Photo: Tom Oxley
Here’s a shot of Deftones at Download 2006 from Oxley. Missed them? We caught up with the band a few years later at Download 2010 as they walked on stage, and chatted with them about keeping the band together and Chi Cheng’s progress.
At Download 2009, Korn held a press conference, where they discussed writing a concept record and returning to their old sound. Photo: Danny North
At Download 2010, AC/DC brought their own stage along, which featured two inflatable horned caps on its top, each emblazoned with the letter ‘A’. Photo: Tom Martin
Phil Wallis captured Guns N’ Roses’ Axl doing what he does best at Download 2006. Axl’s never been much of a people person, has he?
System Of A Down ended a five year hiatus when they were confirmed as headliners of Download Festival 2011. Here’s Serj Tankian snapped by Tom Martin.
Tom Martin captured the moment when Trash Talk’s Lee Spielman took the plunge at Download Festival 2011.
Skunk Anansie’s Skin ruffled a few feathers at Download Festival 2011. Photo: Tom Martin
Letlive. managed to cause a stage invasion before they even took the stage at Download Festival 2011. Photo: Tom Martin
System Of A Clown fans at Download 2011. Photo: Tom Martin
Along came a spider: Alice Cooper at Download Festival 2011. Photo: Tom Martin
Bring Me The Horizon salute the 2011 crowd – but with just one finger. Photo: Tom Martin
Bowling for Soup’s Jaret Reddick would’ve found their 2011 set much easier to play if he’d just held his guitar in front of him. Photo: Tom Martin
AC/DC kept their hats on at Download 2010. Photo: Tom Martin
The boys are back in town again: Thin Lizzy at Download 2011. Photo: Tom Martin
You may not be able to see his face, but who else but the Darkness would wear trousers like that in 2011? Photo: Tom Martin
Contrary to pre-gig rumours the Pope failed to make a guest appearance with Ghost in 2011. Photo: Tom Martin
The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon battled through a downpour at Download 2011. Photo: Tom Martin
Bowling for Soup come over all patriotic, despite being American, in 2011. Photo: Tom Martin
Josh Homme prowls the stage during the Them Crooked Vultures show in 2010. Photo: Tom Martin
No prizes for guessing that this photo is from the year Slipknot headlined: 2009. Photo: Danny North
Megadeth return to Download this year following a triumphant performance in 2010. Photo: Tom Martin
It’s always embarrassing to bump into your parents at a festival. From Download 2010. Photo: Danny North
AC/DC’s Angus Young schooling the younger acts on the opening night of Download 2010. Photo: Danny North
Motorhead were joined onstage by legendary former guitarist Wurzel during their 2008 set. Photo: Danny North
After playing the second stage in 2009, The Prodigy return to Download to headline the Friday night this year. Photo: Tom Oxley
Judas Priest took to the stage before Kiss on the Friday night in 2008. Photo: Danny North
Bullet For My Valentine’s Michael “Moose” Thomas enjoys the roar of the crowd in 2008. Photo: Danny North
Download’s annual attempt to smash the world record for most Devil’s Horns in a field: 2008 edition. Photo: Danny North