Download Festival 2019 and come and gone and I survived! Even with the top of my little finger missing… (If you don’t follow me on Instagram you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about, but a blog post about it is coming soon).
Anyway… Finger injuries aside, how was Download 2019?
Muddy good fun. That’s how it was.
But let me expand…
As you will have seen on social media and some weird newspaper articles, Download 2019 was a wash out! Like, none stop rain all week leading up the weekend, with consistent drizzle for the festival dates. Unlike other year’s where I’ll do two to three nights, we made the sensible decision to just stop over on the Saturday.
The reason for this was mainly THE FINGER. I mean, an open wound + festival + alcohol = sepsis, probably.
We did go on Friday and saw Clutch and Eagles of Death Metal. Who were both phenomenal. Although Eagles of Death Metal took the crown for entertainment. Singer Jesse Hughes welcomed bassist Jennie Vee to the stage with him, alongside the other band members. There’s a distinct lack of females at festivals, particularly rock festivals, so seeing an awesome bassist like Jennie Vee out-perform the blokes on stage was quite something. Her outfit and new pink hair were also complete goals.
After going home and having a good night’s sleep we headed back to Download to set up our tent bright and early the next day.
My tent was still full of glitter and sequins from Leeds Festival last year, which is always quite the juxtaposition from the goff vibes of Download...
Saturday was the day I also got to see my new favourite band at Download Festival, Royal Republic.
I discovered Royal Republic by chance literally days before the festival. My interest was sparked by some kind of advert on some platform (escapes me which one) where there was a picture of them all wearing fancy pants suits. Further reading taught me that they came from Sweden. Sweden, to me, produces some of the best bands around. And no I’m not talking about ABBA…
Sweden is home to not only Royal Republic, but also Refused and The Hives – two of my favourite bands to see live.
I was going to say that I don’t know what it is about seeing them that I love, but I totally do know what it is. It’s the sense of humour and showmanship. The Hives are simply hilarious, whilst Refused just bring a stage presence akin to sticking your head in a jet engine.
Royal Republic? About 80% of the energy of Refused with all the humour of The Hives.
Their sound is similar to The Hives with a disco twist that boarders a little bit on something like Kaiser Chiefs and the indie of our youth.
Anyway, check it out:
Aside from Royal Republic we also managed to see Slipknot. To be honest this wasn’t the best I’d seen Slipknot and there didn’t seem to be all that much energy flying around. Perhaps it was the weather? Perhaps it was because I fell straight in the mud on my butt? Who knows.
Die Antwoord at Download Festival on the other hand?
I was wondering beforehand how they’d go down. I mean, whilst Download does draw a crowd who are very friendly, you do still get a bit of a ‘more metal than thou’ vibe at times. So Die Antwoord rocking up with their high pitched squeaks from Yolandi and often cringe-worthy raps from Ninja is something quite different.
It seemed to be a bit of a split when they were on. 50% of the crowd took it in a good way, dancing and some singing along, whilst the other 50% had a permanent ‘wtf’ face on. I was definitely part of the good vibe side.
We then go on to the Sunday at Download, where my head was a little sore to start with.
I can not only blame this on a few too many rum’s that I took myself, but also on the Bulleit Bourbon Bar and pesky Red’s True Barbecue stand.
Not only did I enjoy a load of bourbon based drinks, but Reds were also doing a bone marrow luge. This rather novel idea is pretty simple. Just pour a shot of Bulleit Bourbon through the bone then eat the bone marrow afterwards.
Seems like a good idea… until you realise shotting bourbon is the worst idea, ever.
I got to meet Rihanna from https://www.rhiannaolivia.com/ at the same time though, so it was overall a jolly good time.
Anyway, on Sunday we stuck around for most of the day just to watch The Smashing Pumpkins.
They seem like one of those bands which is such a rarity to see live.
I was pretty excited for their set, but there was just something about the lack of energy on the stage that kinda ruined it for me? I couldn’t quite work out if it was just their *thing* to be so cynical and dry, or the genuinely hated being there.
Regardless of that though, I still got to hear some classic pumpkin bangers, which rounded off the weekend nicely before I headed home to sleep for a thousand years.
I honestly don’t know how I used to manage three nights at a festival and go to work the following day because now I need at least two weeks to recover…