Download Festival Review 2014

Download: Europe's biggest spiritual home of metal, rock and post hardcore. This year's line up was a diverse range of classic punk to death core such as Linkin Park, Aerosmith and Avenage Sevenfold. For many years Download has bought fans from across the country and surely caters to a diverse range of age groups for up to 90,000 fans. This year's Download had a lot of celebratory elements such as dedicating the main stage to the legendary Stephen Sutton after his amazing efforts for fundraising in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. His dream was to attend the festival which he acomplished in 2013. Stephen unfortunately passed away last month after his battle with cancer. In rememberance, on Friday, during an interval, the whole of the festival gathered and engaged in a one minute applause as well as his signature 'thumbs up' sign.


Photo by Danny North @ Download 2014

Friday –

Welsh band Skindred debuted at Download in 2006, this year was their fifth appearance and front man Benji Webb claims “We present the UK in Music.” Skindred’s original and iconic genre of mental, dancehall, jungle and punk had an elaborate twist when they mixed the Harlem Shake with their set. As any Skindred fan may know Newport Helicopter is a tradition of taking off their tops and spinning them around in the air. Next on was Black Label Society, and although the crowd didn't seem as involved as Skindred’s performance, the incredible talent of the guitarist made up for it throughout the duration of their set. Rob Zombie took to the main stage for this year's opening headliner, Avenege Sevenfold. Robs Zombie's promise to pull off a spectacular performance did not disappoint. Crazy attire, makeup and hair was awash with leathers, hippy flowing tops, dreads, awfully applied tribal style face makeup which all complimented his stage presence which was truly remarkable, hence the term "so bad, it's good". After this performance, the main arena started to progressively fill ready for Avenged Sevenfold. This being their first time headlining at Download, the band have slowly built up their name over the past 14 years to be one of biggest mental names in music today. The band stated “It feels amazing. It’s a true testament to our fan base for putting us there.” Their opening revealed the amazing Hail to the King tour set visuals, which wooed the crowd topping it off with fire and fireworks. Avenage Sevenfold really did suit being a headliner. Their performance was jaw-dropping and captured even for fans who are more fond of their older albums such as 'City of evil', their self titled album 'Avenged Sevenfold' and 'Waking the Fallen'.

Photo by Danny North @ Download 2014


Saturday –

Bowling For Soup, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary together, drew in the crowds with their popular classical punk, especially with there 90’s hits such as ‘Girls all the Bad Guys Want’ and ‘1985’. Bowling for soups high demand and their array of well loved hits these were the only band allocated two slots, one being on the main stage. Their hilarious banter got the crowd even more excited. The giant inflatable sheep as a stage prop which they also had on their 2011 appearance gave the band an opportunity to do something bizarre to the sheep, which seems to be a running theme for Bowling for Soup. Predictably, Fallout Boy gave an incredible performance on their glorious return, playing a mix of their ageless anthems such as 'Sugar We're Going Down,' 'This Ain't A Scene,' Michael Jacksons cover of 'Beat It,' as well their new stuff 'My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark,' which is currently in Radio 1's top 40 Rock singles. Linkin Park closed the night and performed an amazing array of 25 songs in 2 hours including their full 'Hybird Theory' album, telling the crowd "This is a special night for us, we've never done this before." Expectedly, the turn out of fans for this was epic as this was a rare moment for fans having the chance to experience their most popular album that was released in the year 2000. After their first album the band then played singles from their new album and to finish threw a signed album into the crowd after a scream off competition with opposite sides of the stage.

Photo by Andrew Whitton @ Download 2014


Sunday –

Sunday kicked off with Memphis May Fire on the Pepsi Max stage that included a lot of head banging from the fans and enthusiasm from the band. Many of the band's songs include ultimate breakdowns, which result in the crowd going wild. Similar to their performance in Febuary at KoKo Camden the band never fail to produce a good performance. Later in the evening the beautiful Taylor Momsen hit the Zippo Encore stage to perform with rest of the band members of The Pretty Reckless. During the set, Taylor engaged the audience with her sexy, seductive dance moves and played the fans' favorites 'Miss Everything' and 'Make Me Wanna Die.' The festivals finale headliner and the band everyone was waiting for, Aerosmith. This being their 44th year in the music industry this band know how to pull of a bloody good performance effortlessly delivered the highlight act of the festival. Getting the crowd to sing with him, and singing to women in the crowd as well witty banter in-between song, Aerosmith was the perfect band to finish an amazing weekend of talented musicians, oddly dressed fans, careless attitude and drunken insanity. 

Photo by Andrew Whitton @ Download 2014


Suede, Fall Out Boy, Katy B and more added to Isle of Wight Festival

Musical icons Suede, rock heroes Fall Out Boy, chart topper Katy B and BRIT Award nominee Tom Odell. Plus Brit Award winner with Rudimental Ella EyreThe Pretty RecklessAnna CalviStarsailorBoy GeorgeThe StrutsAlison MoyetAmber Run, Inspiral Carpets and The Doors Alive all join this years Isle of Wight Festival lineup. 

These exceptional artists will be appearing alongside the award winning rock trio Biffy Clyro who headline the Main Stage with an English Festival exclusive on Friday 13th June, ahead of Calvin Harris who closes the night. On Saturday 14th June, the legendaryRed Hot Chili Peppers bring a UK & Ireland exclusive performance to the Main Stage and this will be their ONLY UK show! Tennessee four piece Kings of Leon then make a much-anticipated Festival exclusive return to the Main Stage on Sunday 15th June rounding off another unmissable Isle of Wight Festival.

Tom Odell saidWhen I was a bit younger, I used to climb up on the hill near to where I grew up and stare at the Isle of Wight. I remember knowing that a grand music festival was held on the island every year, and I dreamed at some point I would be there, playing. That day has come and I am thrilled."

John Giddings, the Festival’s promoter said: “It just gets better and better. We are honoured that these incredible artists are coming to our Festival to kick off the summer festival season in style.”

With an impressive collection of hits to their name, the iconic band, Suede now bring a very special live performance to the Festival. Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated Chicago rockers Fall Out Boy are making their debut appearance on the Main Stage. Having just secured her first number 1 album, Katy B knows how to get the crowd on their feet so don’t miss her special performance in the Big Top. Next up, making his Isle of Wight Festival debut is the incredible Tom Odell, plus a welcome return from Starsailor, who are back for an exciting show at the Festival this summer.

Also appearing will be The Pretty Reckless, featuring Taylor Momsen, star of hit TV show Gossip Girl. What’s more we’ll have performances from the talented Alison Moyet and singer songwriter Ella Eyre, whose collaboration with Rudimental scoped the top of the charts last year. Across the weekend festivalgoers will be treated to sets from the iconic Boy George, unstoppable rock & roll quartetThe Struts and the critically acclaimed Anna Calvi. And if that wasn’t enough, hot newcomers Amber Run, much loved Manchester band Inspiral Carpets and tribute band The Doors Alive will all be there… Roll on June!

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Kings of Leon – Biffy Clyro – Calvin Harris

Alison Moyet – Anna Calvi – Amber Run – Boy George – Chlöe Howl

Clean Bandit – Dappy – Deap Vally – Duke Dumont – Ella Eyre – Fall Out Boy

From The Jam – Gorgon City – Inspiral Carpets – John Newman

July Talk – Katy B – Lawson – Neon Jungle – Nina Nesbitt

Passenger – Peace – Rudimental – Starsailor – Suede – Swim Deep – The 1975

The Doors Alive – The Horrors – The Move – The Polyphonic Spree

The Pretty Reckless – The Selecter – The Specials

The Struts – The Strypes – The Vamps – The Waterboys

Tom Odell – Travis