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This is a review based on my experience at Download 2013, but some parts will be about the festival in general. Download Festival is an annual rock and metal festival held at the legendary Donington Park (previously home to Monsters of Rock) usually in mid-June. I bought my ticket for the 2013 festival as soon as the headline acts were announced in September 2012 so had a long time to wait for it! The social media team did a great job of getting me excited through regular updates and information via facebook and twitter. They also have an app which was really good both in the lead up and while I was there. It was my first ever festival so I wasn't sure what to expect, but my boyfriend had been twice before and gave me loads of tips. My ticket was £202 for 5 nights camping, entrance to the arena. I also forked out £12 for a locker (recommended - see below) and also I bought insurance just in case. =Campsite= We arrived at 10.30am and the gates opened at 12 so there was quite a wait. With camping equipment for the weekend as well as food, drink and clothes we had quite a lot of stuff and it was heavy. The queue would inch forward every few minutes which was incredibly uncomfortable. This was by far the worst part of the weekend. I'd seriously consider investing in some kind of trolley if I were to go again as having to keep picking up heavy bags to move a few inches was unpleasant to say the least! Once we were in we headed to Blue Campsite - there are 8 different campsites as far as I'm aware and they are all named after colours. They're all in different locations and you have to look on the map beforehand to see which one best suits your needs. The campsites fill up pretty quickly - especially the most convenient ones so it's definitely worth getting there early to get a good spot. As I mentioned earlier I bought a locker with LockerHouse which was one of the best decisions. Everyone at Download is really friendly and I never felt unsafe, but it was nice to throw my purse, keys and phone in a locker so I didn't have to worry about it at all. They were located in the centre of the campsite and they also have electricity in them - the same as a car cigarette lighter. You can usually buy a phone charger that fits into one of these for about £5 and it was so nice to be able to charge my phone for free while I was there. The facilities in the campsite were pretty good. Each campsite has a big block of toilets, a block of urinals and a load of taps for drinking water (or washing up). The toilets rarely had toilet paper, but other than that they were better than I was expecting. There weren't usually long queues and they didn't smell nearly as much as I thought they would. There's also a help point in each campsite with really friendly people to help with any problems you have. My biggest issue with the campsite was the lack of lights. I couldn't see where I was going to go to the toilet at night and it was quite dangerous with guy ropes everywhere! Definitely bring a good torch or lamp! The close proximity to East Midlands Airport means that planes are going over the campsite every few minutes. And they are LOUD. I live near an airport so I thought I'd be prepared for it, but I have never experienced anything so loud. I thought the world was ending every time one went over - and you don't really get used to it! But when you're listening to very loud rock music every day, you can't really complain about it being too noisy - it's just annoying when you're trying to sleep. Weather obviously plays a huge part in any festival with no reflection on the festival itself. It did rain quite a bit when we were there and we were not prepared clothing wise. Macs and Wellies are an absolute necessity as well as a decent tent that won't let rain in. There are a lot of shops in the campsite that sell all kinds of camping gear and wet weather clothing, but at inflated prices so it's best to plan ahead. You can also buy day tickets if you don't fancy camping or if you only want to see the bands on one day. =Food and Drink= I was incredibly impressed with the food variety here. I'm a vegetarian and I never had any problem getting anything. It was reasonably priced as well. A meal was around £5 - £10 which is a lot cheaper than I was expecting for a festival. There was every food imaginable from Mexican to Chinese to Yorkshire Puddings. It was mostly quite unhealthy, but there were some options if you're trying to keep away from really high fat foods (such as wraps with salad and yoghurt). I know the alcohol selection is limited because of sponsoring issues, but I would prefer a greater choice. There was one choice for beer and once choice for cider as well as red or white wine and VKs in some areas. Drinking the same old thing all day every day gets pretty unpleasant, but I can't imagine this will change anytime soon! I brought a lot of my own alcohol to drink in the campsite, but in the arena you're not allowed to take anything in so it's only the options they offer. Little snacks like biscuits or crisps were hard to come by so I'd definitely recommend brining snacks with you. =Line-up= Most of the bands playing Download Festival are categorised as metal or a metal sub-genre. There are occasionally other genres playing such as punk or even electronica, but like I say, it's mostly metal. In 2013 the headliners were Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein with some of the other big names being Korn, Bullet for my Valentine, Queens of the Stone Age and Limp Bizkit. Previous years have included Metallica, AC/DC, The Prodigy, Black Sabbath and Linkin Park and it almost always appeals to a wide variety of rock fans. I like the mix between old and new talent. Big classic names are mixed in with the new generation of metal bands to create a really diverse weekend. There are usually 4 or 5 stages with the main stage and second stage being open air and most of the other smaller stages in undercover tents and music goes on from about 11am to 11.30pm. The nature of the music means that crowds are often very energetic with violent mosh pits and lots of jumping. Everyone is really friendly though, so people help each other out if they're getting hurt. =Arena= The Arena is about a 20 minute walk from the campsite. One way to get there is across the racetrack which is quite fun. There is security at the entrance to the arena that conduct a quick search for banned materials (such as food, drink, glass, recording equipment), but this doesn't usually take too long to get through. I'd always leave plenty of time to get between the campsite and the stage so you don't miss the band you want to see! There's a huge selection of food and drink in the arena and it's similar prices to the campsite. Alcohol is really only available from the big bars at either end of the arena - the food stalls don't serve alcohol. The arena is huge, but still very accessible. It doesn't take too long to get between stages, but because of the huge crowds (around 90,000 people) it isn't too easy. Leave plenty of time if you want to change stages. Other than stages and food and drink, there are also a few clothing tents selling merchandise and other clothing. The prices are usually quite high with fairly limited stock, but worth a look! There is also usually a signing tent (with huge queues) and some fairground rides. This year they also had a zipwire which apparently gave a great view of the arena and cost £15. The main attraction is obviously the music! I found it really easy to get a good view of the stage and/or screens for every band I went to see. I am fairly short as well so if you're tall you should have no problem! The screens are placed in prime view and the footage on them captures everything you want to see. Sound quality was always fantastic - you could hear everything even near the back thanks to fantastic PAs. Some bands put on really spectacular stage shows with pyrotechnics and spinning drums etc. =Getting to and from= Donington Park is in Leicestershire and very close to the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire county borders so it's a fairly central location in the country, making it quite accessible for most people. I chose to get the Megabus to and from the Festival. The bus was £8 each way per person from York to East Midlands Parkway so a real bargain. Megabus was not the official bus partner of the festival, but it was the most convenient for me. The Festival organised shuttle busses to and from the closest train stations (Derby and East Midlands Parkway) to Donnington Park. In 2013 it was £6 return from EMP and I believe £10 from Derby. This isn't too pricey, but you have to be careful not to lose your return ticket over the course of the weekend. Both EMP and Derby are well connected to the rest of the country through trains and busses and East Midlands Airport is very close by if you choose to fly in. Although I have never driven to the festival, I have been told there are pros and cons. The pros are that you can take large amounts of stuff with ease and you can leave items in your car and come back for them later which avoids my problem of lugging all my things through the long queue to get in. The cons are that traffic is very heavy around the park and there are lots of traffic jams to get in and out. I've heard of people being stuck in traffic for hours just to get out the car park! There is also the issue that everyone is drinking large amounts and so driving home on the Monday morning could be potentially dangerous and illegal, especially if you've been drinking the night before. There is also a cost to park your car in the car park. =Overall Impressions= Overall it was an unforgettable experience. Although there were some small organisational things I would like to see changed for future years, the fact is that it was organised pretty well considering the sheer amount of people and scale of the festival. I would probably go again, depending on line-up of course, but I think I would look into the price of a nearby hotel. This is because I'm simply not a camping person and nothing to do with Download's camping facilities in particular. I would probably also invest in better waterproof clothing! 4/5 for Download Festival - recommended as long as you come prepared.
I went to Download 2013 and it was my first big festival so I don't really have anything to compare it to. All I can do is write it from my point of view. Download Festival is a rock/ metal festival which takes place at Donington Park in Leicestershire in the second or third weekend in June. ***The Campsite*** The campsites are split into different colours so you can easily find where you are as it's so huge. The grass is firm with plenty of pathways in between. They open from the Wednesday if you have a five day camping ticket and I would recommend getting there early unless you have a tiny tent as they get full up quite quickly. I arrived on the Friday and my sister had been there since Wednesday and managed to keep me a spot, but it was very tight. ***Ablutions*** The campsites have portaloos, showers and running water. The portaloos are the quality that are to be expected at festivals. They start off clean enough with toilet roll and hand sanitiser but they soon disappear. I would definitely recommend taking your own of both of these. The toilets are cleaned daily but they do still end up pretty grim by the end. First thing in the morning, the queue is humongous for several hours. If you are queueing for toilets in the shape of three sides of a square, I recommend joining a diagonal queue heading for the corner as you are queueing for twice as many toilets as the ones along the straight. If you are a lady, I would recommend taking a she-wee type device to enable you to go for a wee without having to touch anything in the toilet, or for weeing into a bottle in the night if you don't want to leave your tent, and emptying it in the morning. I didn't use the showers so I can't comment on these, but the queue was always very long. If you can manage three days without going for a shower, baby wipes, deoderant and dry shampoo are life savers! There was running water in each campsite which was apparently suitable for drinking, but I only used it for washing up. Towards the end of the festival, the 'troughs' ended up blocked and full of suspicious gunge and only 10% of the taps were working. ***Security*** There are marshals to the entrance of every campsite, The Village and The Arena and you need to show your wristband to them each time you enter any of these. In The Arena, they can be a bit over zealous. To give an example, at one point, I lost the party I was with so I placed half of one foot on the disabled runway, which was a couple of inches higher, so I could see over the crowd. The runway was about eight feet wide, but a marshal was instantly on my back telling me to get off. There are uniformed and also plain clothes police patrolling the site at all times, which was reassuring and made me feel safe. However, at no point did I see any fights, hear about anyone being robbed or causing any trouble so I felt safe and at ease at all times. ***The Bar*** What everyone is interested in. They have an excellent bar system; first you go to a kiosk to buy tokens. You can buy as many as you like in one go and, if you don't spend them all, you get a refund at the end of the last day. Once you have your tokens, you choose your drink at the bar where everything is the same price, which is a rather steep £4.50. All the drinks are already lined up and ready so the visit to the bar literally takes about 10 seconds. However, the over zealous marshals are once again in force; if you dawdle or consider your purchase for more than two seconds, they're out with the loudhailers, herding everyone to the exit. I only had lager and cider while I was there and I'm sure they were watered down, which made the steep price even more hard to swallow. ***Catering*** There is a large choice of food to choose from such as burgers, fish and chips, Chinese, Mexican, pizzas, hot dogs and Yorkshire puddings. On the first day I had Chinese; sweet and sour chicken with rice. While the quality was fine, I paid £7 for a carton full of rice with three pieces of chicken and sauce on top, so the value for money wasn't there, which I suppose is to be expected at a festiva. On the second day I had a hot dog, which was hideous. The bread was stale so I couldn't even eat it and there was no ketchup; definitely not worth the £6. I was considering trying a giant Yorkshire pudding filled with meat and gravy but, judging by the discarded pile of Yorkshires I saw on the ground, I decided not to risk it! For most of my meals, I took my own food and ate at the campsite. ***The Music*** Well, it's what we're all here for. As Download Festival is a rock/ metal festival, most of the music is on the heavy side, natch. Some of the bands playing this year were Slipknot, Iron Maiden, Rammstein, Korn, 30 Seconds to Mars, Queens of the Stone Age and Gogol Bordello. Over the three days, I think we saw 15 bands. As tickets are £195, this works out at £13 a band which is good value for money considering you'd pay £50 to see each of the headliners. There is plenty of room for the 90,000 attendees in the main arena and, if you are a long way back from the stage, there are three big screens to make sure you don't miss out on what's going on. There are several stages with a good mix of bands but, if you want to move between the stages to see different bands, give yourself at least 20 minutes to fight through the crowd! ***The Village*** There are loads of cool things in The Village including merchandise stalls (VERY expensive, get the merch on eBay instead!), fairground rides, phone charging stations, camping stalls in case you forgot to bring anything and entertainment tents with music going on until 3am. ***The Site in general*** As this is my first big festival, the site seemed enormous to me, but looking at the map for Glastonbury, Download seems like its baby brother. From my car to my tent it was about two miles and from my tent to the arena, it was about one mile. You will be doing a LOT of walking during the three days so it's not for the faint hearted. Make sure you take boots that can withstand a lot of mud and water and are also really comfortable for long periods; walking boots would be perfect, I wore my Doc Martins which were fine. Wheelchair access seems to be adequate as there are plenty of hard walkways and ramps everywhere. When you first arrive and when you leave with all of your stuff, use the shuttle bus! I wasn't aware of the shuttle bus when I arrived and walked the two miles with my 38lb bag on my back as well as blanket roll, tent and camping chair. It took me two hours as I kept having to stop! When I was leaving, I used the shuttle bus and it was like a drem come true as it cut about 1.5 miles off my journey. Plus, the bus drives around Donington Park racetrack, which is very exciting, albeit at about 5mph. All in all, I had a fantastic time at Download and was very impressed with the organisation and the relative cleanliness. I felt safe and happy at all times and, although the toilets were unpleasant and the walks were very long, I cannot fault the organisers one bit and can't really think of a way to improve it. Definitely recommended.
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!!!!
Download Festival Ah, thinking back on Download Festival 2011 makes me a little bit sad, I miss it! It was my first festival, and as you can guess I was so incredibly nervous, but also insanely excited; I was seeing the majority of my favourite bands, in one weekend! I have been wanting to write this for a while, but I could never be bothered getting around to it, but here I am typing away and re-living the best weekend of my life so far. But, not everything goes perfect. The weekend did come with a few hiccups! ==Purchasing my ticket== I chose the 5 day camping plus coach ticket, it cost me £235. Expensive, I know but to me, it was worth it. Purchasing the ticket was quick and simple and it didn't take all to long for it to arrive either. You book them through live nation, which is a company I always book my tickets through since I find them reliable and trust worthy, they are yet to disappoint me! *touch wood they never will* ==Pre festival jitters== So I'm packing for Download...and I'm starting to panic; it's a big place. What if I don't find my friend? What if something goes wrong or they don't accept my ticket? (If that would have happened, I would have been in floods of tears) However, I remained calm, got my packing done and tried to take my mind off it... the excitement never let me do that though. ==What did I take with me?== -bread -nutella -Hotdogs -water -tin can opener -juice -crisps -pot noodles -dry shampoo -toothbrush -toothpaste -makeup -sleeping bag -6 hoodies -baby wipes ...Unusual list isn't it? I survived off the food...just about (you will understand what I mean about that soon) and the dry shampoo was a great idea, since I hate my hair getting greasy. What? It was 5 days without a shower; I needed to at least keep my hair looking good! ==The coach== The coach was actually a nightmare. It said it would reach destination point at 1:15pm (I think) but didn't arrive til about 4pm! Not only that, it stood in Chester for what must have been a good 40 minutes. My patience grew ever shorter. But then I got chatting with the girl next to me and two guys behind me, and the journey went rather quickly after that. I do think they should put on at least 3 coaches for the day though, because it was horrendous! I have never been so cramped in my life, plus people had to have a lot of luggage on their laps. ==Getting there!== As we all piled off the coach, I started to feel sick with nerves so I grabbed my case and had to sit down and have some water before I could follow on to get to the gates, the girl that sat next to me on the coach was kind enough to wait with me and make sure I was okay. So I reached the gates and handed in my ticket, they did a luggage check and put the wristband on me. That was it for me, the wristband, excitement took over the nerves and knocked me sick again so I had to go to the side and sit down before I passed out or threw up. Once I was...relatively calm again I was allowed to carry on and search for my friend. We were in Green Camp! ==The Atmosphere== If you want to go somewhere, where everyone is friendly and all up for a laugh, a festival is your place to go. I had never been as happy as I had been whilst there. It is a great place to make new friends, I certainly did and the friends I made there are rather special to me now. It's great fun, but remember, you still have to be careful. ==The Village== The village is a field with shops, rides, burger bars e.c.t on it and the place you go after a day at the arena or even before. At night time, the village is a great place to be, to bounce off all that adrenaline you still have coursing through you before you go back to your tent to unwind for a few hours and try to get a kip. You don't sleep at a festival, since there is always too much noise, but you can close your eyes and relax before another crazy day begins. ==The Arena== The arena is where you go to see the bands; there are multiple tents and stages. Not only that, you have rides there too, just like the village. I mostly stayed at Main stage, the only other stages I went to were 2nd stage for Korn and Pendulum and Pepsi Max for Asking Alexandria. Here you also have the signing tent, where bands do a meet and greet and sign a postcard for you. I never got chance to meet any band though =[...I joke! I actually got to go back stage to meet Black Stone Cherry, by far, that beats the signing tent, no table to ruin the hugs. The band also put on one of the best sets of the weekend! On Saturday, it was a good day, up until Down came on the stage, at this point I had seen 3 out of the 5 bands I wanted to see at that stage. 2 of which were the last 2 bands. I felt a pop in my side and had to get pulled out of the crowd (I was at the front too!) I was taken to the medical tent, where they examined me and checked me over. Now here is the funny thing. Whilst I was screaming in pain, Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold (one of my favourite bands, and the band I was desperate to see) walked past, obviously he heard me and popped his head in. He asked what the noise was about and laughed as I just screamed, more of pain than a typical fan girl moment, I was in shock. He spoke to me for a while and was really nice to me and hoped I got better before I was driven off to another medical tent. My sugar levels went down to 2.3, danger zone, apparently. So they gave me sugar and pain killers and sent me on my way. I made it back down to main stage and fairly close to the front for Avenged Sevenfold, where I cried my eyes out. I never managed to see System of a Down, since I needed to go get my phone and was in incredible amounts of pain. Sunday was wet and muddy and I saw one band: Bullet for My Valentine. After that I got left in the middle of a field, caked in mud by one of my 'friends'. Naturally I panicked and called my Dad, who came to my rescue and a few guys were nice enough to sit with me while I waited and even gave me a jacket to keep warm since everything I had was soaked. So I went home early, missed Linkin Park and Rob Zombie but I still had one hell of a weekend. And I would do it all again, minus the horrible friends and low blood sugars and this time I would water proof myself. I had work the next day, which was fun because I still managed to get sunburnt, I had a cold sore and no voice at all, so the managers were not impressed with me. But I was still on a high, despite the crap moments, it was worth the money. Also posted on ciao under rockchick2k7 ©
Download 2010 was the first time I had attended at Donington Park, East Midlands. The headliners were AC/DC, Rage Against the Macine and Aerosmith so there was no reason not to go! I knew it would be good but I never thought it'd be as good as it was. This year's tickets remain the same as last year at £180, which seems steep but for the bands I wanted to see it was value for money, and it's pretty much the going rate for music festivals this year. A lot cheaper than other well known festivals such as Glastonbury or Reading and Leeds festivals. The first thing which blew my mind was the sheer scale of the festival site. There's plenty of space for people camping the whole weekend divided into several different areas, enough to accommodate 110,000+ people anyway! I was camped with some friends and I was overwhelmed by the friendliness of everyone all around you. I had no trouble at all and everyone is there to have a good time which is what makes it such a good festival. It's a family friendly festival provided children are accompanied by adults if any older metalhead want to take the family along! I'd been there 2 nights, the music hadn't even started but I was having the time of my life. There is a large area of shops by the main entrance known as the village which contains food stalls, merchandise stalls, a funfair and various stalls selling lots of weird and wonderful things! This is open 24 hours a day the whole weekend though only a limited number of stalls are. There are burger vans located all over the camping sites which offer food 24 hours a day. The only downside is how expensive the food is, though you'd find this at any major festival you'd go to. A useful way round it is to bring your own food and grill and cook your own food at a fraction of the price! Oh and take a coolbox, it helps! The music begins on a Friday in the main arena, which is absolutely huge and has similar stalls and shops to the village, just as expensive though. You are limited to what you can take into the arena but it's very relaxed and only disallows things that you should know not to take into such a place e.g. knives and alcohol. The arena is absolutely huge though, I asked one of the stewards on the way out on the Friday night and 200,000 people turned up to see AC/DC, with room to spare! The main arena is comprised of a main stage, a second stage, and usually 3 or 4 other small stages dotted around the site to give play time to lesser known bands. The only disadvantage is that some acts you may want to see could overlap as bands can play on the main and second stage simultaneously making decisions difficult if you're stuck in between two of your favourite bands! Any fan of rock music of any kind, I highly recommend attending Download festival if you ever get chance! Year in year out since its inception in 2003, the organisers at Download book bands from all genres and eras, and have ranged from anything from Iron Maiden and Metallica to The Prodigy and Pendulum to System of a Down and Rage Against the machine, there really is variety in that general genre of music. Now that I've been once I want to go every year, mainly just for the atmosphere as it's just such a surreal experience! I can't wait to go this year provided nothing clashes with the weekend it's due to be held!
First Reading now this, after attending Download in 2009 and 2010 I'm pretty sure I should be able to tell you one or two things about this festival. If you look at the headliners then you could be forgiven for saying that this is a festival that books bands everyone has heard of. When your not busy seeing bands that you plan to see stick around and see who's on next, even if you dislike a band there is nothing more confirming of your own opinion then watching them live. Always remember to look all the way across the board, every day could have a hidden gem of a band waiting to be heard by the masses. When looking at other large festivals ticket prices often become an issue, Reading have been slightly stepping up the prices recently. Download however have managed to maintain a sub £200 price tag for a full weekend ticket with camping. Your camping experience could be the best, it could be hell, just be wise when picking your spot considering water points and toilets primarily. Your never more then a five minute walk away from food at anytime, ideal even if your paying over a fiver for a cheeseburger. If possible you should try to buy all of your alcohol before setting off to the festival in order to avoid higher prices for purchasing onsite. Take some disposable BBQ's with you if you plan on cooking at the festival since fires/gas canisters are strictly banned. If you don't want to cook be sure to take sandwiches or something filling so you can save money for anything else. If you like - Rock,Metal,Core then theres something here for you, remember theres always bands playing during the day so get out there and find some new music. Enjoy yourself don't drink too much and see some great bands.