From Friday 10th- Sunday 12th, I went to my first ever music festival: Download in Donington Park. It definitely lived up to reputation of bad weather, with Ozzy Osbourne declaring it ‘Downpour Festival’.
Tents were washed away, people were having boat races with hot dog trays down streams, some were desperately trying to keep dry in tents, whilst others embraced the weather and looked like they had just done a Tough Mudder assault course. I would have preferred sunshine, but secretly quite enjoyed the rain! I was very happy I had chosen to wear shorts too – better to have cold legs rather than walk like a penguin in sodden jeans.
To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy the festival; I hate music where the singer only screams. My husband tells me it is just someone expressing their anger, but who is that angry? And when I listen to music I normally want to feel positive. On my itunes I have made playlists called ‘Relax’ or ‘Motivation’ or ‘Energetic’, depending on which state of mind I need to move into to help me paint! ‘Anger’ would surely lead me to an artist’s tantrum, “I CAN’T WORK IN THESE CONDITIONS!” Then perhaps I’d throw paint on the walls and cut my ear off.
However, there is plenty of other Rock that I just LOVE. Mainly Classic Rock, but I was very excited that Black Sabbath would be playing, and found loads of other artists I liked. I think my new favourite band (and it’s been added to my ‘Energetic’ playlist), is Billy Talent. They need the big stage next year! Rammstein were the most exciting to watch, with fireballs and fireworks cracking off every few minutes. Iron Maiden were the last act of the event, and were a fantastic band to end with; I was glad I had brought a bucket for the last day.
Rammstein, freeze frame from a Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3xf_xdkxjk
Being 5’4″, I was getting quite fed up of tall people pushing in front of me in a crowd, and then just staying there. Thanks. Now I can see nought. Obviously, if they were there before me then I had no problem with it, but I did when they pushed me out. During Black Sabbath I couldn’t even see a screen 😦 However, my lovely father-in-law had a great idea…
On the last day, I came armed with a bucket. The officials tried to take it off me.
“It’s for sitting on,” I indignantly replied.
During the day I found many uses for my bucket. On the walk in I got very hot, and carried my jumpers and waterproof in there. When it rained really hard, I could wear it like a hat. Lots of rockers were complaining of back ache, so I happily lent my bucket to a number of people who needed a sit down. Finally, it meant I could watch Billy Talent (at the back of the crowd) very content, stood on my bucket. My friend (who is even shorter than me), shared my bucket during Iron Maiden. We swapped every couple of songs; Iron Maiden’s stage was fantastic and changed constantly. We put the bucket in front of my husband who stands at about 6’3″; there was no way we were going to block his view.
Download was an exciting, muddy, loud, energetic, and sometimes manky experience. But as well as that, there was a whole lot of love shared amongst families, friends, rockers, artists, and their music. On the same weekend, we heard from Billy Talent and Bruce Dickinson about the awful news of the attacks in Orlando which led Bruce to say if the world was ran like an Iron Maiden show, no one would care about colour, creed, faith, sexuality. Instead everyone would just rock and be happy.
“Life, Love, Laughter, and Music will go on.” – Bruce Dickinson, Download in Donington 2016.
And on that note, I intend to make some art inspired by Love, and by Music that paints a beautiful, profound picture in my mind (and there are plenty of those). If you have any suggestions of music that you could imagine as a painting, feel free to leave the title in the comments.