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

Killswitch Engage set for Download Festival exclusive

Emerging first from this guitar-fuelled tempest are metal giants and 2014 Grammy Nominees* for Best Metal Performance, Killswitch Engage, bringing their seismic roar back to Download in a European Festival Exclusive. That’s right; 50 countries, 750 million people, 90 official languages, a reported 600 music festivals: one European festival performance from Killswitch Engage in 2014: and it’s at Download.

Today also sees The Pretty Reckless, set to drop new album “Going to Hell” in March, join the 2014 line-up. The New York four-piece known for its swaggering grunge-pop is fronted by former Gossip Girl Taylor Momsen, who will sashay into Donington with filthy on-stage antics and filthier on-stage ensembles. The organisers of Download Festival are still awaiting the rider request for Duct tape.

Momsen commented: We're so excited to play Download again, it was one of the highlights of touring our last record and we can't wait to bring Going to Hell to Donnington.

The craziest genre-mutating ragga-metal party in the world, Skindred, will also be crashing ashore at Download 2014, where Donington devotees will get a first live taste of incredible new album Kill the Power which, in an outrageous twist of fate, is out today! (Monday January 27th)

Expressing his excitement about returning to the festival, Skindred’s lead singer Benji Webbe called on the Download faithful to adopt the band’s iconic signature crowd celebration, the Newport Helicopter: The last few years have been an epic time for Skindred. The band has gone from strength to strength collecting more and more friends and fans along the way. This Download announcement has excited us more than ever, as we once again return to the home of ROCK. We shall bring and take to another level the energy and excitement that we are world renowned for. So bring a spare t-shirt and let’s get the Newport Helicopter flying higher than ever before.

And if that triumvirate of rock titans doesn’t rev your engine, there’s plenty more fuel in the Download tank.

South African grunge monsters Seether announced recently that they will be dropping a new album in 2014 and Download will be the UK’s first glimpse of the new material.

Adding a bit of dark wave theatricality to the line-up is gothic-metal-multimedia-storytelling-project, September Mourning, inaugurating a whole new art form into the hallowed Download canon.

Of course no Download announcement would be complete without its compliment of battle-hardened rock legends from across the pond; American Head Charge add to Donington’s already impressive Industrial roster, The Used ride in to the UK on a tsunami of soaring choruses, Joe Bonamassa will be shredding his soul-melting blues guitar for the first time at the festival, and 90’s firebrands Crazytown and Quicksand also make their Download debuts.

Another gracing Donington for the first time is classic metal supergroup Kill Devil Hillfeaturing Vinny Paul and Rex Brown of Pantera fame.

Getting even heavier, outspoken hardcore tyros Emmure and King 810 will also be raining down some good old fashioned American mayhem on Download, with Emmure’s Frankie Palmeri saying: Once again we have been invited to be a part of one of the most prestigious music festivals of all time. We can't wait to step on stage and connect with our fans at such an amazing event. See ya there.

Showing these Download rookies the way will be sharp dressed Texan deathcore bruisers Upon A Burning Body who wowed crowds when they made their Donington debut in 2012. Fresh out the studio from recording album number 3, prepare to have your face melted when they once again take to the hallowed Donington stage.

Contrary to their name influential home grown Prog rockers Anathema will be welcomed back to Download with open arms fresh from recording their first studio album for three years in Norway, with the band looking forward to hooking up with their fellow Prog heavyweights:

What can you say about download that hasn't been said already? It'll be an honour to play there again and anathema can't wait. We have our newest and most exciting material from our 2014 new album to perform too. An intense Setlist, world famous festival, and our mates Opeth on after us! Bring it on!

Download 2014 will also play host to a wide range of the very hottest rock and metal from mainland Europe, including Dutch metal screamers and Donington rookies, The Charm, The Fury, Japanese berserkers Coldrain, Swedish power-metallers Sabaton and freewheeling Danish alt-rockers New Politics.

Caroline Westendorp from The Charm, The Fury said: We are super excited to be returning to the UK to play Download Festival, the festival is always filled with so many bands that we take influence from and we cannot wait to give the fans a show to remember!

But Download isn’t just about being as culturally diverse as the British Museum’s Halloween Party, with local superstars of tomorrow MalevolencePolar, Heart in Handand Lyger all appearing at this year’s festival.

Heart in Hand reflected on becoming part of a select group to make the transition from Download fan to performer: Having all been to the festival in our younger days, it's an amazing feeling for us to now be a part of the musicians making up the bill this year. Genuinely all very excited in our camp to play such a legendary festival and then enjoy the whole weekend once the pressure's off a bit!

T in the Park announce Fancy Dress Friday theme + more acts

 2011 welcomes Fancy Dress Friday official sponsors Smiffy’s, the Fancy Dress Experts, on board who’ll have a pop up shop on site to make sure T in the Parkers are kitted out in spectacular Smiffy’s style – visit the shop at to see the full range of costumes available and get planning your outfit.

The Pretty RecklessNow, back to the bands – added to the unmissable T in the Park bill is Taylor Momsen and her brood of rock and roll playthings The Pretty Reckless. Inspired by the likes of The White Stripes, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, Momsen is not only a model, dancer and actress in US hit ‘Gossip Girl’, but a phenomenal rising star in the music scene.  Her belting vocals and rock star attitude have earned her notoriety in the music world and she’s sure to show Scotland her wild side when the band touch down in Balado this summer.
Hailing from the blistering valley of Los Angeles Cherri Bomb are a badass all girl rock band taking the music scene by storm. Set to conquer Scotland at T in the Park with an electrifying performance influenced by greats such as Foo Fighters and My Chemical Romance – the girls also have a limited edition EP out this summer and T in the Parkers will be among the first in Europe to behold rock music’s next big thing..
Fresh faced folk favourite Rachel Sermanni has exploded onto the folk scene to heaps of praise from fans and critics alike. At just 19 she was the youngest artist to perform at this year’s Celtic Connections where she and her band went down a storm.  With Mumford and Sons championing her talent, she’s destined for big things this year and her performance at T in the Park is sure to be one of them.
Retro-rock outfit Frankie and the Heartstrings’ 2011 debut album ‘Hunger’ catapulted them into the music mainstream drawing comparisons to indie greats The Smiths, The Libertines and Suede.  Armed with energetic, solid gold pop songs their live set will put a smile on the face of the most passionate music fans on the planet when they rock out in the fields of Balado at T in the Park.
Scottish boys Woodenbox have gone from strength to strength and have built up a reputation for their raucous live shows since getting together at the beginning of 2008. The band’s brass section is among many things that set them apart from their peers – huge fans of experimental folk and blues acts, they’re sure to put on a show to remember for their debut appearance at T in the Park.
DF Concerts and founding partner Tennent’s Lager are thrilled to announce today’s additions to the A-List line up which already includes Arctic MonkeysColdplayFoo FightersThe Strokes, Beyoncé, Pulp, The Script, Plan B, Slash, Tinie Tempah, Tom Jones, Jessie J and many more.
A limited number of T in the Park Residence packages are still available to buy. The Residence offers festival goers a bespoke, luxury experience where all their accommodation needs are taken care of. Guests are welcomed into an oasis of indulgence to enjoy a unique festival experience in their luxury accommodation of choice. Once they have settled into their home for the weekend, festival goers can relax in the Residence Lounge Café & Bar or treat themselves to a pampering session in the spa before heading to see their favourite bands as well as accessing the festival’s hospitality area. For more information, log onto
Be Chilled has proved to be one of the biggest hits at T in the Park and due to phenomenal demand; Tennent’s Lager is bringing back the hugely popular, quick and slick service to the heart of the T in the Park campsite for the fourth year running.  Campers can pre order Tennent’s Lager or Magners Original Cider now at and Tennent’s will have orders chilled and ready for collection on the campsite throughout the weekend.
At the heart of T in the Park is the music and atmosphere that continually unites the crowd and creates a weekend of memorable moments that will last a lifetime. Brit Award and Grammy winners, the best breakthrough talent, multi-million selling artists, new music icons and legends….T in the Park 2011 has them all.  Bring it on Balado.

Chipmunk, Alexis Jordan, J. Cole and more for Wireless 2011

chipmunkChipmunk, Alexis Jordan, Jodie Connor and Dot Rotten join an already sensational line up on Friday 1 July, with Black Eyed Peas headlining and other acts so far confirmed including Plan B, Tine Tempah and David Guetta. Widely considered as one of the best UK grime acts around Chipmunk burst onto the scene in 2009 with his platinum selling debut album ‘I Am Chipmunk…’. He has amassed five top-ten hits on the UK Singles Chart, including the chart topping ‘Oopsy Daisy’, and his highly anticipated second album ‘Transition’ is out soon. One of 2011’s explosive new arrivals, Alexis Jordan, is an 18-year-old pop powerhouse currently tearing up the club & airplay charts in the UK. The former America’s Got Talent finalist, who has the backing of hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, has already scored two top ten UK singles with her insanely catchy pop hits ‘Happiness’ and ‘Good Girl’. Mancunian singer songwriter Jodie Connor and hotly tipped South London MC Dot Rotten are also set to join Friday’s fantastic line-up.

j coleJ.Cole is now confirmed to join headliners The Chemical Brothers on Saturday 2 July, a day which already boasts Chase & Status, Aphex Twin and Janelle Monae amongst others. The first ever artist signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, North Carolina born and bred J. Cole made himself notable when he dropped his recent mixtape The Warm Up, as well as a coveted guest verse on Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 with ‘A Star Is Born’. New Orleans rapper Jay Electronica will also hit the stage, a fellow Roc Nation recruit, he has gained widespread critical praise for his lyrically dense performances and soulful tunes. Michael Franti and Spearhead also join the bill, well known for their moving politically charged tunes, they were at the forefront of hip-hop’s renaissance, mixing hip-hop with a unique blend of funk, reggae, jazz, and rock. Also added to Saturday’s enviable line-up is North London’s Modestep, electronic dance act Her Majesty and the Wolves featuring former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, Maverick Sabre, who appeared on Professor Green’s latest single, and acclaimed DJ James Holroyd.

the pretty recklessHaving recently announced Grace Jones as support for Pulp on 3 July, Wireless with Barclaycard have announced a string of new acts bursting with talent to join the Sunday line up. The Pretty Reckless have already netted a top ten album here in the UK (for 2010’s Light Me Up), featuring Gossip Girl Taylor Momsen they are set to give an amazing performance. Utah rockers Neon Trees will blast out their hard-hitting anthems of adolescent angst with heart-on-the-sleeve passion. Hotly-tipped Nottingham singer songwriter Liam Bailey, who recently hooked up with fellow Wireless with Barclaycard performers Chase & Status on their hit single Blind Faith also joins the bill, along with Californian trio Funeral Party who will deliver their dance inducing spirit. Irish synth-pop rockers Fight Like Apes, London’s electro-pop maestros Clock Opera and Belfast based Cashier No.9 also join Sunday’s storming line-up. 

VersaEmerge, The Pretty Reckless and more added to Download 2011

versaemergeNew kids on the block VersaEmerge, tipped to be the next Paramore (whom they share a label with) will be making their Download Festival debut, hot off the heels from the Alternative Presstour in America where they share the bill with Black Veil Brides, who are also playing this year’s Download.
Gossip Girl and Hollywood actress Taylor Momsen will bethe pretty reckless bringing her rock outfit The Pretty Reckless to Download, following a Top Ten album in the UK charts (for 2010’s Light Me Up). Multi million selling US rockers Puddle Of Mudd, will return to the UK for the first time since 2002 to play Download for the very first time in their 19 year career, which hasseen hit singles such as ‘Blurry’ and ‘She Hates Me’.
Roadrunner signings Times Of Grace, featuring Killswitch Engage guitarists Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel, and formerKillswitch vocalist Jesse Leach will perform, along with West Yorkshire heavy metal outfit Evile, who are now writing their third album following North American dates with the likes of Kreator, Overkill and Voivod.
Having already played the Download Festival, plus toured with metal legends such as Slipknot, Slayer and Megadeth, Suicide Silence are to hit Download once again to showcase the new material currently being written for their third full length album, with UK hardcorepunk rockers Your Demise also returning to the fray to raise hell with this year’s Download crowds.
Weekend tickets for Download (at 2010 prices) are on sale now from
Guest Area passes are once again available, allowing you unlimited access to the general guest area over the 3 days of the festival. Located only a short distance from the main stage fans can get away and relax with undercover facilities, toilet trailers, privatecash bars, dining options and “random occurrences” unseen in the general arena!
RIP Packages are also available.