LIVE: Download Festival @ Donington Park (Friday – 10/06/2016)

Date: June 10th, 2016
Venue: Donington Park, Donington

It would come as no surprise if the 2016 run of Download Festival would be known forever going forward as the year of Drownload. Easily the wettest Download Festival to have happened, with storms and torrential downpours happening throughout almost the whole weekend, it’d be impossible to be mud free, even if you were only catching one band. Thankfully, we had wellies and warm waterproof clothing well equipped. Download, let’s be ‘aving ya!


Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

If you don’t know the cover of ‘Smooth Criminal’ by Alien Ant Farm, then where the hell have you been? In the same sense, you could arguably say where the hell have Alien Ant Farm been since. However, they’ve been coming back to the UK a little bit this year, celebrating their ‘ANThology’ record, and the crowd certainly appreciate the nostalgia. Unfortunately, there’s little else to get from their performance, other than a couple of off the cuff jokes from frontman Dryden Mitchell.

They’re over half an hour late going onto the stage, and the rain is pouring down hard, but Babymetal finally come to the forefront of the main stage, and it doesn’t take long for the crowd to be rejoicing in the downpour whilst the J-pop/metal and idol culture trio deliver songs like ‘Gimme Chocolate!!’ and ‘Karate’ with a captivating choreography alongside to boot. The late start results in a reduced set, so sadly the full Babymetal experience is far from what is here today, but expect this music phenomenon to continue on their current rise.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

KORN – 9/10
They’ve been at this game longer than most, and they know what Download want more than most, and they deliver it tenfold. By now you’d assume that Korn would have more than proved their worth for a headline spot, but a sub-headliner will do just fine. They fire through hits cut from throughout their discography, and evidently there’s an awful lot.

Kicking in with the one-two of ‘Right Now’ and ‘Here To Stay’ to kick things off, the tone is already set for what could very well be one of the best sets of the weekend. Fresher material like ‘Hater’ and seasoned classics like ‘Blind’, ‘Falling Away From Me’ and ‘Freak On A Leash’ all sound as vibrant as one another, and frontman Jonathan Davis delivers arguably a career best performance. Maybe this will finally push the Californians forward to becoming a Download headliner.

Fire. Fire. Fire. Fire. Fire. If you have any knowledge behind German metal titans Rammstein and their live sets, you’ll know that they bloody love that hot thing we call fire, and they’ll use it however, whenever, and wherever possible. Returning for a Download headline slot again after their 2013 set was such a success, the pyrotechnic orgy is more than welcome now within the ongoing onslaught of rain.

All the favourites are shoved in there with their accompanying blasts of flames. It shoots up from the floor during ‘Du Hast’, a flare bursts from frontman Till Lindemann’s chest during ‘Mein Herz Brennt’, he wears a huge pair of steel wings equipped with flamethrowers during ‘Engel’, and guitarists Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers along with Lindemann shove on flamethrower masks for ‘Feuer Frei!’. By the time we reach the climax of set closer ‘Sonne’, it’s hard to remember a life without an inferno again.


Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

The idea of New York veterans Glassjaw performing at Download to many would be nothing more than a work of fiction, but, alas, it is real. It’s a little surreal, just as much as it is surreal to see the crowd numbers so thin for a band that has pioneered and influenced so many acts in the scene both on and off this year’s bill. Oldies like ‘Pink Roses’, ‘Ape Dos Mil’, and ‘Tip Your Bartender’ sound far from dated, despite being over 10 years old now, and Daryl Palumbo still sounds as incredible as ever. The question is, though, will we finally see album number three this year?

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.


Chiming as one of the first bands to be performing in the arena for 2016’s edition of Download Festival, and the Chester pop-rockers also bring some of the first catchy hooks of the weekend. Flirting between the sugary pop of Busted and the… well, slightly less sugary pop of All Time Low, the likes of ‘Move Closer’ and ‘When The World’s Fast Asleep’ get a bit of dancing and singing along nice and early.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

ZOAX – 8/10
The tent is pretty heavily filled for London’s Zoax, who have certainly been imprinting a name for themselves across the UK touring circuit for the past few years, and now that their debut album is finally out, things are in full gear. The quintet have been to Download a couple of times before, but now they’re welcomed favourites. Frontman Adam Carroll jumps in the middle of the crowd and dances amongst the fans for ‘Devil Dance’, and prove once again how fun they are, and why they’re deserving of all the hype they’re getting lately.

HECK – 7/10
If chaos, destruction, anarchy, and a set where you’ll never know what you’re going to get is something that you’re after, the HECK certainly deliver a heck load of the above, and then some. ‘Good As Dead’, ‘Totem’, and ‘Powerboat Disaster’ thrust all of the fast-paced and aggressive energy that the band have been renowned for over the years. Matt Reynolds carries his guitar, microphone and stand through the crowd to the other end of the tent, clambers onto the disabled viewing stand, and continues to thrash away, all the while Jonny Hall is in an ever-frantic state onstage.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.


Sadly, we were unable to catch any acts performing on this stage.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)