Festival Blagger's Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Download 2014

18 June 2014

[Stef Murphy]

This year Grazia Daily's heading across the country (and overseas) to give you the inside scoop on what it's really like to attend the world's biggest music festivals. We'll be giving you the anecdotes and knowledge you need to a) decide whether to go next year and b) pretend you were there…

Rock fans headed to Leicestershire's Donington Park for Download this weekend, where they got their mosh on to headliners Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park and Aerosmith. Grazia Daily joined in on the fun to suss out the three-day event.

1. The music

Miss May I opened the main stage on Friday with a super-loud set before Skindred somehow got the crowd to do the Harlem Shake without seeming cringily 2013. We later switched to the Zippo Encore stage to reminisce on our teen years with The Offspring. Saturday saw us giggle along with funnymen Bowling For Soup before Linkin Park helped us lose our voices by playing Hybrid Theory in full. Sunday felt a little different with a series of older rockers taking to the mic.

[Stef Murphy]

2. The after-hours

The campsite village kept its rides, bars and shisha stand open until the early hours but if you paid for a guest ticket you could indulge in a delish cocktail from the Beetle Juice caravan and watch the circus performers at the quirky Bar Of Hope & Sorrow.

3. The location

With the site almost slap-bang in the middle of the UK, festival-goers were attracted from all over. Driving in was hassle-free and leaving on Sunday night meant we skipped the queues. We hear coaches were also a good option.

[Stef Murphy]

4. The celebrities

None, although we did spot a convincing Bryan Cranston lookalike (if Walter White had a bright pink beard and wore studded waistcoats).

5. The streetstyle

85% black and band T-shirts. Also plenty of checked shirts, ripped denim and leather.

[Stef Murphy]

6. The beauty looks

One rule: look as scary as possible. Hundreds painted gory fake blood over their faces for the 'zombification' theme on Friday. Obvs absolutely no fake tan. 

7. Overheard...

Singer: 'I've just downed THREE shots of whisky'. Audience member: 'Americans really need to learn how to drink...'

8. The food and drink

A good selection as far as festival grub goes. We tucked into Lebanese and Mexican and popped to Jack's Natural Super Foods for a falafel salad in an attempt to detox on Sunday. Cheeky pots of churros and chocolate sauce were a favourite late night snack.

[Stef Murphy]

9. The highlight

Aerosmith closing the festival with their amaze theatrical show, particularly when Steven Tyler shouted out 'f**k the curfew!' at 11pm.

10. The lowlight

East Midlands airport is only two miles away. For someone with a crippling fear of flying, it's a tad disconcerting to feel like low-flying planes are 10ft above your tent while you're trying to sleep.

Written by Anna Duff



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