To make this year's Download festival a reality, a staggering 15km of fencing had been erected, 130 water tankers and over 4 miles of water pipes. There were 2,200 members of staff, 273 concessions stalls ranging from tea and toast outlets, Thai food stalls and drum workshops, over 400 recycling bins, approximately 240,000 bottles of water were sold, 25 gallons of sun cream used, 250,000 pints of beer, 200,200 burgers and not one of the 250,000 souvenir recyclable drinking vessels sold were found on the floor.
From the monumental opening night performance of MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, through to the immense crowd witnessing the Saturday night headliners LINKIN PARK to the closing moments of IRON MAIDEN on Sunday, the fifth anniversary of the Download festival has been a colossal event. Across the whole weekend, Donington Park, Leicestershire, England saw an incredible 80,000 people fill up the extended arena. From watching the bands on the three stages, exploring The Village, gathering at the Dimebag Darrell Stage for the Red Bull FMX demonstrations, to the Hot Fuzz DVD premier on the Hot Fuzztival Big Screen the atmosphere throughout the three days has been absolutely electric.
For those wanting to get a head start on next year's festival season, festival organizers have confirmed that a limited amount of tickets for Download 2008 will be on sale as of 9:00 a.m. from Friday, June 15 at the same price as this year's tickets. Download 2008 will take place June 13- 15.
Festival Director Stuart Galbraith, Managing Director of Live Nation Music UK said: "The weekend has been absolutely fantastic and ran extremely smoothly, which has been the best celebration of the Download festival's fifth anniversary we could have asked for. We have made some significant changes this year, and they have all been really successful, initiatives such as the shuttle buses have been really embraced by the fans. There has been a significant reduction in numbers treated for serious medical reason, and there have been no major incidents to report."
This year has seen moments of pure legend, IRON MAIDEN's record fourth headline appearance at Donington Park, VELVET REVOLVER arriving five minutes before on stage time and putting on a phenomenal performance of pure rock, MEGADETH at their brilliant best, BOWLING FOR SOUP captivating all around them, ENTER SHIKARI's spectacular performance that saw the ram packed Dimebag Darrell Stage crowd crawl over each other like spiders and the GALLOWS fans throwing packets of socks at the bassist after a MySpace bulletin left on their site by singer Frank Carter.
Riding high at Download, Red Bull's FMX (Freestyle Motocross) demos each day were a resounding success wowing crowds of over five thousand each time with a series of jaw-dropping live displays. Creating the ultimate combination of rock and riding the action also played out to the main stage screens in between acts allowing visitors throughout Download to witness some of the slickest moves ever to be seen on two wheels, performed by some of the world's most talented riders.
Download festival this year took massive strides in making it a more environmentally friendly festival, and it has proved to be a huge success. Many new initiatives including an increased number of recycling points, bikes for staff to get around the site, reusable drinking vessels, making sure that vendors disposed of their rubbish on site correctly, were just some of the successful policies. The festival organizers also embraced technology as a way lessening paper usage, Nokia, the official mobile partner of the festival, made a free Download mobile festival guide available through www.nokia.co.uk/rockupandplay which proved invaluable.
There has been the usual fun and frolics in the back stage area. It turns out that MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine is not only a rock legend, but a bit of a god when it comes to table football as well, MÖTLEY CRÜE's Nikki Sixx turned up in the media area too do an off the cuff press conference, whilst KORN's Jonathan Davis was seen tattooing fellow band mate Fieldy. The exclusive back stage hair salon, Bed Head Studio, saw MEGADETH and MARILYN MANSON's full ensemble loving their Bed Head hair products and clearing their shelves, and WOLFMOTHER's frontman Andrew Stockdale having his hair "enlarged" before he went on stage.
The Live Nation/Download interactive team has received a whopping 15,000 text messages across all of their text services over the festival weekend. This covers text messages and photos to the big screens on the main stage and entries to meet bands. Meanwhile the official website, www.downloadfestival.co.uk has received over 250,000 seperate visitors in the last two weeks. IRON MAIDEN's live stream of their headline performance pulled in a phenomenal amount of viewers on the Sunday evening, with 63% from the UK, and 37% from other parts of the world including Japan, Brazil and USA.