Metal fans praise festival with 'great' atmosphere

Janey Noble and Rae Taggart
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Janey Noble (left) and Rae Taggart have been friends for about 25 years

  • Published

The first crowds of rock and metal fans have started going through the gates of Download Festival in Leicestershire.

About 75,000 people are expected to descend on Donington Park over the weekend, with Queens of the Stone Age, Fall Out Boy and Avenged Sevenfold as the headline acts.

Long-time friends Janey Noble and Rae Taggart said the festival is special because "there's no judgement" and it has a "friendly vibe".

A traffic plan has been developed by Download's organisers after major delays on nearby roads during the 2023 edition of the festival.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,

Download Festival 2024 gets under way on Friday

Ms Noble, 49, said: "It’s the people that make it. It’s a really friendly vibe.

"Everybody gets on. It’s the same at any metal concert as well. If you fall in the mosh, someone gets you up.

"It's not a massive arena and everything is within a five minute walk to see the bands you want."

Ms Taggart, 54, added: "There’s no judgement. There’s very little fighting. It’s a very safe place to be."

The friends "absolutely" agreed that no matter your age, who you are or where you come from, you were welcome at Download.

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Fans have praised the atmosphere at the festival

Connor Parker, who attended Download Festival in 2015, 2016 and 2017, said: "It’s so much fun. It’s a very welcome feeling place.

"Great music, good drinks, great atmosphere. It’s what we’re here for."

His sister, Chloe Parker, said: "We like the same kind of music. We’ve both got similar hobbies, so it just makes sense to be here together.

Both said they were most looking forward to seeing Fall Out Boy.

Ms Parker added: "It’s my teenage years coming back to me. It makes me feel young again."

Image caption,

Ewa Pacha says Download "feels like home"

Ewa Pacha said she flew from Belfast to attend the festival.

Ms Pacha said: "I love it. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like. Last year was fantastic because we had a heatwave.

"I love the atmosphere. It feels like home to me. Everyone’s friendly.

"You can express yourself. You come in here and literally relax.

"You listen to your favourite music. You meet people, crazy people.

"Everyone’s completely different in normal life then when it comes to the festival everyone goes crazy with the clothes, the looks, makeup and stuff."

Thundery showers expected

National Highways has urged people driving to the festival to allow extra journey time.

The authority said it would deploy extra traffic patrols to try to keep vehicles moving.

Some East Midlands Airport passengers missed flights in 2023 because of the traffic jams.

The airport also warned drone pilots at Download to steer clear of its airspace. This came after drones near the festival closed EMA's airspace at least four times.

Four artists say they have pulled out of this year’s Download Festival in protest against its links with Barclays.

In terms of weather, sunny spells and thundery showers are expected on Friday, with similar conditions expected on Saturday until the evening, where some sun and drier weather is anticipated.

Sunday looks to be drier, with less breeze and more sunshine, but still a chance of showers.

One family have completed a 7,300 mile (11,765km) rock odyssey from Indonesia to attend Download.

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