Despite the wind, rain and cold, Hurricane 2018 was a complete success! With Diverse headliners including Billy Talent, The Prodigy and The Arctic Monkeys the festival was sure to have something for everyone.
Would it even be a Download weekend if there wasn’t at least the threat of rain? It’s grey but holding off as we head into the arena for a day of pure rock and metal shenanigans. The first notable difference is the somewhat extreme, and numerous bag checks. We’d been warned via the site and social media that only A4 sized backpacks and smaller would be allowed into the arena, but didn’t realise that there would also be multiple check-points between the car-park and actually getting in to see the
It’s possibly the sunniest day of Download’s entire history and we’re collectively scorched after spending our Sunday rocking out to a wealth of amazing bands and artists. The swirling masse of black clothing is now contrasted by a beautiful tinge of red sunburn and vampiric-sorts are cowering under their parasols awaiting The Prince of Darkness himself… Ozzy Osbourne.
Day two of Download and arguably the most anticipated revival in rock history topping the bill tonight. Yes yes, we’ve all seen some other iteration of Guns’N’Roses… the one where Axl turned up an hour late, got bottled and slipped over… the one where everyone hated Chinese Democracy… the one where Slash just came and did his own thing and everyone completely loved it and uh, Velvet Revolver. But this is it. As close as we’re ever gonna get to a feud-less, most-members, sort-of-real G’n’f’n’R. F
The rain has held off all day, we’ve weedled our way into the middle of the black sea of metal-tees - beer in hand, and it’s time for the first headliner of Download Festival 2018 – Avenged Sevenfold. Heading out onto the Donington stage for the first time in 2006, A7X have been firm favourites at the festival, returning in 2011 and then 2014 to headline, but this is something else entirely.
Bestival. The summer finale. The big kahuna. Bestival has been my homecoming for the last twelve years and this is the first time I don’t have to catch a ferry to get there. No lies – it feels weird. There was something sort of magical about catching the ferry with everyone, the anticipation, the journey, knowing that you were really going on an adventure. The short drive from the motorways to The Lulworth Castle estate just isn’t the same. On the other hand, the hefty hiked Red Funnel ferry pri
It’s day three of Bestival and though the rain hasn’t hit has hard today, the wind has managed to savage the site to the point of an arena-wide closure. However in true rockstar form the stage screens have been lowered, strapped in and everything is back up and running in under an hour, and we’re on track for the grand finale headliner: Pet Shop Boys. The only problem is, since the arena was closed for that time, a lot of people seem to have taken it as red that the festival has been stopped
After a night and days’ worth of on-off downpours the Bestival arena is a veritable swamp, we’ve sacrificed our trainers to the weather gods and spent a lot of time trying to avoid falling on our faces, but it’s off to the main arena we go for A Tribe Called Quest’s last ever show. Following founding member Phife Dawg’s sudden death due to complications with diabetes in March 2016, the band decided to wind down their shows, with the finale right here at Bestival 2017. There’s a huge turnout f
Well here we are, Friday night at Bestival’s new home of Lulworth Castle in Dorset. The arena is packed out, there’s a chill of anticipation in the air and we’re all praying the rain holds off for tonight’s main stage headliners – The XX. The band take to the stage to a huge roar from the crowd and it’s pretty much straight down to business with ‘Crystallised’ and ‘Say Something Loving’. The bands’ ear-drum thumping percussive and electronic sounds come courtesy of Jamie Smith, stood atop a plat
It’s day one of BOA 2017 and we’ve got our obligatory black band tees on, grabbed our wristbands and are headed into the arena for a weekend of pure metal fun. Friday sees Swedish metallers Soilwork take to the main stage with classics ‘Nerve’ and ‘Stabbing the Drama’ but the sound doesn’t seem quite settled yet and most of what you can hear is distortion and cymbals. Luckily the Kraken tiki bar is on hand with cocktails and you can get your mitts on a Black Kraken ice-cream again, but be war
Someone said all good things must come to an end, and sadly it is the final night of Bloodstock Open Air for another year. On the plus side, tonight sees the mighty Megadeth return after headlining the festival last in 2014, this time as part of their Dystopia World Tour. The LA thrash idols fronted by Dave Mustaine, known for their political commentary and lyrics, are sure to have something to say about the current events in America unfolding this week – adding to the overwhelming anti-Trump se
Night two at Bloodstock and we’ve seen a whole host of spectacular bands already. It’s with little surprise that we see the arena considerably less full than yesterday, Ghost are one of those marmite-type bands who seem to divide people pretty cleanly into love or loathe.