Download Festival – Looking for a Full Powered Heavy Metal Festival? This is It!

Download Festival is one of the best metal fests you will ever attend!


Download gets its name from the beauty that is the internet download.

It’s Time to Download
Download is the most wonderful time of the year for metal fans across the world! This festival gets its name from the beauty that is the internet download. Attendees were initially encouraged to file share and transfer music via the festival website, though it never really worked. Though this plan failed, the festival name lives on and is a reminder of the Internet age and all its glory.

Music at Download
The UK is the home of hardcore! This genre actually got started years ago right in the UK. Though people may think many listeners do not subscribe to metal, when it comes to loving hardcore music, over 90,000 people can’t really be wrong. Each summer, attendees make their pilgrimage to see metal favorites like Motorhead, Rammstein, Slipknot, Alice in Chains, Iron Maiden, and 150 other music acts.

With so many musicians, the festival often expands into five days rather than three. Check Download’s website regularly for any new additions or changes to the schedule.

A Hardcore Festival Experience
Glancing through Download’s’ list of bands may give you the idea that the festival only features big name bands. However, as well as featuring fan favorites and popular names in the genre, this festival has an incredible lineup of new, smaller metal bands that are quickly gaining traction in the underground music world.

In addition to discovering new talent, hearing lesser known bands at Download allows for a more personal experience. At these smaller, there are less people in the crowd, more areas for dancing, and better chances to get to know the artists in person.

If you are worried about going to Download and not knowing any of the bands playing—don’t worry! Before you head out to this festival, make sure you listen to a few tracks of the performing artists and maybe even have a few new favorites to check out on the festival days.

The Download Family
The atmosphere at this metal festival is something many do not expect: warm and inviting. While many onlookers and outsiders would see a metal festival like Download as something to avoid, hardcore veteran attendees can’t get enough of this fest! The attendees that come in year in and year out always talk about how much the fans feel like family.

If you’re visiting for the first time, don’t worry! Try looking online to meet people that are already planning to go to Download. While you’re at the actual festival, try your best to talk to new people and make new friends. Download really breaks down the stereotype of the unfriendly metal music lover.

For those that are die-hard Download lovers, do yourself a favor and buy your tickets in the early bird season; the festival often sells out in no time! Early Bird Festival tickets start at around £160 and climb steadily to £185 for 3 Day Admission and Camping and £195 for 5 day Admission and Camping.

As the festival approaches, the ticket prices escalate at different tiers. If you miss purchasing tickets all together, check the festival website to see if anyone is looking to sell or exchange their tickets.

Preparing for Download


Download sees several “metal” friendly fashion choices.

Do not make the mistake of being underprepared for the weather at Download. Dress for hot and humid weather; bring a hat and sunblock for the sun.
Dehydration does happen often at festivals—especially in the UK in summertime.

Weeks before Download, it is important to make sure you are hydrating yourself well to prepare for the festival. During the festival, definitely take a water bottle with you, preferably a reusable one. Along with a water bottle, festival fans often swear by water packs in order to stay happy and hydrated. In order to make the most of the water, keep the alcohol and caffeine beverages to a minimum.

What to Wear to Download
Download sees several “metal friendly” fashion choices. From chains and spice, the dark heavy clothing, you’ll see it all at this festival! Whatever your inclination is towards fashion, it is a great idea to keep your surroundings in mind as you prepare! Suggestions for clothing include going a little lighter on the fabric, avoiding dark colors, visors and headwear to block the sun, sunglasses, and a watch to keep track of the time.

Take a look at pictures of past attendees to get an idea for what to wear. Keep in mind that it’s possible to celebrate the culture of metal and not get overheated! Opt for one or two dark clothing items while keeping the rest of your look cooler with white items.

Safety at the Festival
In addition to staying safe at Download, it is important to keep track of the scheduling changes at the festival. The festival has a phone app that updates immediately with any new information. Having the phone app will keep you aware if any bands drop out, shows get cancelled, and the other unforeseen circumstances. Festival apps also have a handy map with all the amenities and band information enclosed.

Be careful when going to shows at Download! Sometime’s things can get pushy in the crowd. Try to avoid the center at all shows so you don’t get sucked into the mosh pit or hit with anyone’s flailing limbs. It’s best to stand at the sidelines or in the back at metal festivals, so keep this in mind as you pile in to see your next favorite band.

Prohibited Items
When thinking of festival safety, it is important to note what NOT to bring to Download. When attending the festival, do not bring professional recording equipment, professional cameras or video equipment, drones or flying devices, coolers, camping equipment, non-collapsible chairs, glass containers, framed backpacks, outside food or drink, unlicensed pets, illegal substances, selfie sticks, motorized personal vehicles apart from ADA approved items, weapons and/or explosives, amongst other things.

Download does allow empty reusable water bottles, two factory sealed water bottles, standard backpacks, baby strollers, sheets, towels, blankets, purses, non professional cameras, hand-held umbrellas, portable phone chargers, and flags, totems and rage sticks are among the accepted festival items.

Getting to Download
The Midlands are centrally located in the UK. Take routes M1/M42 and A50 in order to get here. If you’re looking into public transit, Big Green Coaches are the best way to go. Along with the energy and money saved with carpooling, these coach buses plant a tree for every full bus they have.

If you aren’t in the UK, most traveling attendees fly into East Midlands International Airport. The airport is quite close to the festival grounds- once you arrive, all you need is a 2.5 mile cab ride and you’re there! The train is another travel option if you are around the area of Nottingham, Loughborough, Derby, and East Midlands Parkway. The Notts and Derby Bus Service does most of the shuttling for attendees that are on site at the festival.

Accommodations and Travel details
Though the native residents flock to Download for the festival, many people travel into the city when coming to Download. For festival goers that are traveling, this festival has partnered with several hotels, hostels, and motels to accommodate you.

Booking through the Download’s website will get you cheaper rates and better travel packages. Many of the hotels and accommodations offered are within walking distance of the festival grounds. that are in walking distance of the festival. Additionally, attendees can use Air BnB to rent vacation homes for the perfect festival vacation.

How to Make it Through Download
So after you’ve nailed your supplies down, purchased your tickets, marked down key spots on the map, it’s time to seek out sage advice before you start your Download adventure. Take note that it will take time to settle in on the first day of the festival. Pace yourself when you get there so you don;t burn out on day one.

For Download on-site campers—go the extra mile and splurge on good quality equipment. The die hard Download fans will tell you that through the three days of wind, rain, and endless sun, you’re going to need to best of the best for shelter, shade, and protection while you sleep–you never know what the weekend may have in store.

Out in the Midlands
The UK Midlands is a place with its own unique hangouts, popular tourist places and great landmarks that are just waiting to be explored. While you’re in town for Download, make it a point to explore the rest of the city.

Many people love visiting Shakespeare’s Birthplace as it is a historical monument The Warwick Castle is certainly a sight to see, so do your best to stop by here as well. Don’t forget to visit the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery for some of the best art in all the UK. Check out the Coffin Works Museum if you’re interested in unique and kitschy tours.

When all is said and done, don’t forget the true meaning of Download! Make new friends, rock out to your favorite music and live life as one loving, metal community. So whether you’re a UK native or coming from countries away, Download is a destination music festival worth traveling to.

Visit information about festivals section to explore a full list of festivals happening around the world yearly!