The Download festival celebrated its 30th anniversary this weekend (June 11-13) with AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine and Aerosmith headlining the bash. NME’s photographers were up the front and in the pit so keep clicking for the best bands and behind-the-scenes action.
HIM scream their way through their set on the second stage, otherwise known as the Ronnie James Dio stage, before 30 Seconds To Mars on Saturday.
Costumes this year included numerous vikings, a platoon of Steel Panther hair metallers and this guy, presumably the drowned ghost of Brian Blessed.
Bullet For My Valentine salute the crowd during their Friday set. For a video interview with the band, head to NME.COM/video.
Cancer Bats get up close and personal with the fans during their Friday afternoon set. Grab next week’s NME magazine for the full review of the festival.
Cancer Bats onstage at Download festival on Friday (June 11). The 30th anniversary of the metal bash saw 100,000 fans descend on the Donington Park site.
Coheed And Cambria bring the big hair and bigger riffs to Donington. This year saw over 100 bands play the festival over five stages – a first in the event’s history.
Deftones play the main stage shortly before Rage Against The Machine. The band recruited Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega to cover for Chi Cheng, whose car accident in 2008 has left him unable to play. We spoke to the band about his progress.
Bullet For My Valentine rip through their flame-filled set at Download.
Danny and James from The Humour opened the Red Bull Stage on Friday. We asked them how it went. Danny: “It was amazing! We only thought there would be about seven people but it was packed out. Download is fucking awesome!”
Billy Idol on the Main Stage on Sunday. This year the stage was renamed the Maurice Jones stage, in honour of the Monsters Of Rock promoter, who passed away last year.
Download honoured several rock legends this year. On Friday a video celebrated the lives of Ronnie James Dio, Slipknot’s Paul Gray, Paul Steel from Type O Negative, Stuart Cable, Evile’s Mike Alexander and Maurice Jones.
Saturday saw a more in-depth tribute to Slipknot’s Paul Gray. The band headlined on the Saturday of Download in 2009.
Kids chuck bottles at each other waiting for a band at Download. Behaviour in general was improved this year and no bottles of piss were seen flying through the sky.
This year saw numerous girls on guys’ shoulders, baring their breasts. AC/DC, Slash and Steel Panther’s sets saw a particularly high nipple count.
We asked ladybird punters Chloe and Izzy who they were most excited about seeing. “It’s got to be Rage,” Chloe answered. “Yeah, and Deftones,” Izzy added. “We’ll be buzzing about down the front for that too!”
The crowds gather at Download 2010. The weekend was full of bright sunshine until around 4pm on Sunday when the heavens opened and the ground turned into a swamp.
AC/DC headline their own stage on Friday night. The hit-packed set included the likes of ‘TNT’, ‘Hell’s Bells’, ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ and ‘Back In Black’. There was no-one else playing onsite during their set.
AC/DC lined up their stage right next to the main stage. It featured about five times as many speakers, a massive strut and two inflatable caps with horns that flashed as the sun went down.
AC/DC’s set begun with a huge freight train crashing through the backdrop and featured a huge bell descending for ‘Hell’s Bells’, a giant inflatable Rosie for ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ and cannons during ‘For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)’.
Cannons are fired during ‘For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)’ before AC/DC leave the stage on Friday to a massive fireworks show. No-one else was playing at the time and the stage wasn’t used for the rest of the weekend.
Friday night’s main attraction AC/DC close out their set with fireworks, marking the end of day one of Download 2010.
Tollef from Hastings is a massive AC/DC fan. “They changed my life,” he admits, “if it wasn’t for them I’d never have taken up guitar.”
A metaller praises the gods of rock at Download 2010. For a full review of the weekend grab next week’s NME magazine, out Wednesday.
Jack Daniels tees were in abundance this weekend, as were dodgy burgers and chips, as the UK festival season kicked off in style. Watch video interviews with the bands, including Bullet For My Valentine, Slash and Deftones, at NME.COM/video.
Crowds gather during Friday afternoon for three days of rock and metal. Over 100,000 turned up to the site in Donington.
Dave Grohl of Them Crooked Vultures checks his pockets. Their Friday night set saw the band pack in a few extra jams to their repetoire.
Meet Will and Chris from Maidstone, Kent, who are excited to see Sybreed. Words of advice from Chris: “Suncream is a festival essential!”
Lemmy of Motorhead brings the noise to Sunday. “I want to see you rock out with your cock out” he said.
Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars revealed his new hot pink ‘do at the BBC Radio 1 Tipi Tent.
Rage Against the Machine attacked “pop bullshit” during their headline set, and spoke out against the American and Israeli governments.
It’s been a big year for Rage Against The Machine, and rock fans at Download Festival are glad to have them back on the radar.
Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello captured in mid-air on the Main Stage. The band closed their set with an epic rendition of ‘Killing In The Name’.
Josh Homme and his band Them Crooked Vultures played a 75-minute set, including one epic nine-minute jam. “We got to get loose today,” he told the crowd.
Them Crooked Vultures perform during the Main Stage’s Friday night slot, right before AC/DC.
Meet Thomas and Natalie from Leeds. What was the most interesting thing they came across at the festival? Natalie says: “Well, we met a man in the bar last night who told us he had been Megadeth’s manager and that if we wanted to make it in the music biz we should talk to him! That was pretty odd!”
Download brings out the metalhead in everyone. Don’t mess with these guys.
One punter crowd surfs over a sea of fans, and looks pretty excited about it.
Stone Temple Pilots battle extreme rain on Sunday ahead of Aerosmith’s headline set.
Download marks Slash’s first festival appearance of his solo career. He also stopped by a press conference at the festival, where he revealed that a Guns N’ Roses reunion is “looking increasingly unlikely”.
Rolo Tomassi’s Eva Spence lets her vocals loose on the Ronnie James Dio stage on Saturday night.
Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry on stage together at Download. Their headline set included big hits like ‘Dream On’ and ‘Walk This Way’ alongside fan favourites from across their career, from ‘Back In The Saddle’ to ‘Eat The Rich’.
The Humour get the crowd going on the Jagermeister Stage on Saturday night.
A few of the many zany outfits spotted at this year’s Download Festival. Meet Silvia and Francesea, who traveled from Italy just for Download to see Killswitch Engage.
Punters enjoy the nice weather, before the rain kicks in.
There’s no such thing as a dress code at Download Festival – so a monkey suit and an inflatable banana fit right in.
Jonathan was most looking forward to crowd surfing in his monkey suit to AC/DC’s ‘Hell’s Bells’.