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Download Festival (Donington Park)
Member Name: skooby89
Download Festival (Donington Park)
Advantages: All your favourite bands in one place
Disadvantages: Quite intense and the setting up is the hardest part
I've been to download for the past 4 years and i have loved every minute.... well, almost :)
Ok so first things first... getting there! There are a few options, you can get yourself on a coach or get a train to the closest station where they arrange shuttle buses to and from but i would stay away from both of these... dont get me wrong i'm all for public transport but if you're going to a festival - DRIVE! Think about it, you have your tent... hold all, backpack, beer... more beer, it all adds up when your trying to find your camping spot! Now some people go first thing wednesday but i always go thursday afternoon (the festival itself starts friday)... i dont see the point going too early but you do need a few hours to set up! From where you park you can probably expect a good 40 minute walk to where you'll be camping but it could be longer... hence leaving a few bits in the car to come back for later!
Now some advice for getting your kit to the campsite... if you can get hold of some sort of trolley do it, but make sure it has decent sized wheels becuase it is quite a journey over different ground! you should'nt over do it on your first trip in because you have to queue to get your wrist band and have bag checks etc once you're through the ticket gate into the village you should try to find a festival worker... i cant tell you the time wasted by heading into campsites that are totally full... find out where the spaces are before you set off! Once you've found your space, start setting up, try to get a space right on the edge, that way it's easier to find your way back in the dark at the end of each night... also, try keep a reasonable distance away from the toilets.... you can guess why!
Make sure you pack some fold up chairs... you'll be sick of standing and its nice to sit outside your tent at the end of the day having a drink and talking about the bands you went to see. Secondly pack a blow up mattress, ive been with and without and trust me... take one, they only cost around 19.99 for a double and it makes the weekend so much better, you sleep so much better and you dont get the same aches and pains you get from just sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor. (just dont forget the pump)
Now when it comes to food it depends on preference... you cant take gas stoves in any more so you would be limited to using a small foil bbq to cook anything... so i would suggest saving a bit of extra cash to buy food. You can take loads of cereal bars, water, lucozade, crisps and other bits to stock your tent up so you can get some food and drink first thing but in the arena you'll need to buy food and i find its just easier to buy breakfast... you're looking at around £5-£6 for a burger, £7 for curry and noodles £14 for a pizza... if you go as a pair its best getting a main meal each and sharing anything extra... beer costs quite a lot too, about £20 for 5 tokens, you take I.D to the bar and get Tokens or a pass to save you using you're I.D every time and hading over money every time.
Now at this point you are probably thinking "why oh why would anyone do this?" Now know it sounds like a long treack, it is expensive and just getting there and set up is stressful enough... but when you step into the arena and look down the hill at the two main stages, you'll forget all that instantly! Its an intense festival, nearly 90,000 people per day but thats what makes it special, download is monsters of rock from all those years ago, its the holy grail of rock festivals and as the sun goes down as your watching the headline act in the middle of 60,000+ be it AC/DC / Metallica / Aerosmith / Slipknot... there is no better atmosphere, its like being amongst the biggest football crowd ever but without the worry or stress, imagine your team scores and the way everyone celebrates and the feeling you get... its like that but endless....
The visions you get of being muddy and soaked through... it doesnt happen like that, yeah it might rain but you take a poncho and the rain passes, no problem, you leave spare clothes in the car so if it gets too bad you head back and change there. its the drunks that roll around and get muddy... that doesnt happen by just standing there!
Finally my last recommendation is to leave on the sunday night... dont wait till monday morning, if you all want to drink then fair enough you dont have much choice and if you live to far away then it would be unsafe driving at that time after a full day stood around but if u can then leave on sunday. We pack up before the bands start that day then we can head straight off and sleep in our own bed that night, plus you avoid the chaos on monday as all the kids with cheap gear just wreck their tents and scatter rubbish everywhere... plus everyone will be up all night so you probably wouldnt get much sleep anyway!.
So thats it... my advice on festivals, i love them and the chance to see all your favourite bands in one place is a great experience, yeah there are a few downsides but you will have such a good time that it wont matter, enjoy and keep on rocking!!!!
Summary: An absolutely awesome way to spend a weekend
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