Another year, another wash out.
Despite the presence of the mighty Iron Maiden, the fearsome Rammstein and an emotional final British show by Black Sabbath, Download once again had to contend with ridiculous apocalyptic weather. And the weather, unfortunately won, sending a lot of fans home, washing others out and injuring far too many.
Look, you cant blame anyone for the weather, but there are things you can do to prepare a site, especially after hosting a major event there for so long. Ironically for a show that felt so doused in nostalgia, it was hard not to think that a return to the hallowed days of Monsters Of Rock and having the arena on the race course might be the best idea. Maybe its time to split the festival into New Wave and Old School and move it back there?
As it was, its another year defined by complaints about logistics, preparation, mud rivers and moisture, rather than sound quality, atmosphere and entertainment. But thats not to say it was a total write off by any means - there were phenomenal performances, lots of fun and great moments. It just wouldnt be right not to acknowledge the big wet elephant in the room.
Incidentally, the decision to host WWE NXT shows was completely inspired. The atmosphere was great, the matches went over well and the fit was perfect for the spirit of the festival. If it doesnt happen again, I will be extremely surprised.
So, on to each day of the festival. First up, Friday...