Download Festival is held each year in Castle Donington in England since 2003, featuring some of the world’s great bands.
These are some of the bands which played this year:
- Smashing Pumpkins
- Enter Shikari
- Alien Weaponry
- Def Leppard
- Rob Zombie
- Eagles of Death Metal
Besides the great bands that played, it was an absolute mud-pit/ mud-bath/ mud-fest with the torrential rain from the Thursday to relatively incessant showers of rain throughout the Friday to Sunday.
There were a number of campers who’s tents got inundated with rain and had left the festival early or seek accommodation elsewhere.
Besides all the rain, there were a couple things I found along the way to make the trip a bit more bearable:
- Wellies (the mud actually reached the top of the Wellingtons)
- Lots of thick socks for wearing inside the wellies
- Plasters (for when your wellies take revenge on your feet, but the socks kind of prevent blisters)
- Lightweight packable jacket in addition to whatever warm layer of clothing you have on the day (it had a tendency to be pretty chilly at night mid-summer)
- Packable rain jacket with 5000mm rainproofing
- SPF50 sunblock (yes… being outside all day you can burn even in the cloud cover)
- Tissues (helpful especially if you’re a chick when the loos have no TP)
- Earplugs (great for if you have a speaker right next to you)
- Anti-bacterial wipes or hand sanitiser (the loos generally have, but they do run out eventually)
- Lip balm
For extra points for a festival inundated with rain and mud:
- Bring a camping chair (it’s such a pleasure to sit on something that is not mud when your feet are aching)
- Have an A4 size waterproof bag (if you don’t have one, putting your bag under your rain jacket during a downpour works)
- A cap to keep the rain off your face (because there is nothing more irritating than rain on the face!)
- Decent size umbrella (especially for when you’re sitting it helps keep your chair, legs and bag dry during a downpour)
- Or just waterproof pants! I saw a couple people wearing them in addition to a rain jacket and they did look quite stoked about being dry.
Unfortunately, it does give you the look of a fisherman rather than a metalhead, but these things do help when you’re at a British summer festival and you have the misfortune of a rainy festival.
This can also apply to an Irish festival. I went to the Metallica concert at Slane Castle in Ireland just one week before Download Festival and this advice would have been great and applied to that too.