So it's that time of year again where we try and work out in the mash of information who is playing when?! Praying for minimal clashes and small change around times for which Download is renowned and infamous for. How is it looking for this year?
Sadly not great. Recent years seemed to have spread a little better but 2013 has gone right back to roots with headaches and debates of who you'll have to choose. Add that to an ever growing crowd and arena of over 100,000 metalheads, kids, traffic jams and crowd droves with near impossible muddy grounds in which even your wellies won't handle and dusty paths fatal enough to take out even mild asthmatics, will this year's £205 be worth it?
Why all the negativity? Don't get me wrong - I love Download, I have been every year, but they just seem to lack common sense. Why did they put on a bus (as fun as it was) to go half way around the race track, when they could have just made an entrance on the west where most were parked instead of taking us all the way to the east side entrance? Why don't they spray down the paths to stop the dust clouds? Why is the sound at stage two so shit?
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Yeah OK I'm a grumpy old man, but surely they could have enough common sense to not start bands on every stage at the same time? How can someone have not thought; "Hey, I know, lets start the second stage half an hour later, then when the main stage band has finished, there will be someone playing, instead of no one!" Mr Copping does a great job with bands, but who on earth works out these times?!
This year actually looks to be the worst ever, pretty much the whole weekend, every band on each stage will be clashing with all the other stages. Friday's headliners are not so bad, Slipknot, Black Stone Cherry and HIM, a good choice to go from and something for everyone, but earlier in the day, Korn, Volbeat and Turisas all clashing together!
Saturday's clashes are also varied musically all day though I'm sure many Karnivool fans would also want to see Alice In Chains. No second stage clash with Iron Maiden, with just The Hives holding up on third. But if you're waiting for Maiden after QOTSA, enjoy the hour long wait!
Sunday again varied but I'm left with a great dilema to end the night, Sonic Boom Six will be great fun, Satyricon are awesome, Limp Bizkit so so, but it will have to be Rammstein, with a disappointing one hour thirty minute set - can they squeeze in enough tracks??
There's still a few gaps on the Red Bull Studio stage to be filled and of course campsite entertainment such as the comedy tent and the cinema yet to be divulged but some interesting food stalls are catching my eye, 'I Love Ostrich' burgers and 'Uncle Gio's Italian' pizza pockets - yummy! Even sushi, or 'Notso Sushi', a westernised sushi with meats alongside fish. But after forking out £200 for tickets, plus another £100 on travel and expenses, who can even afford to buy food in the arena these days?
And how about the weather? Last year's wind and rain were horrendous, we lost three gazebos on the first night! The beeb says: "Drier and brighter conditions look set for the start of June though there will be some cloud and rain around. Unfortunately temperatures look like they will be little disappointing hovering slightly below average for this time of year especially. However, there is a chance things could warm up later in the period."
Net Weather tells us: "Into June the rainfall pattern is currently expected to be close to normal, but with some local variations meaning some parts could see a wetter than average month. Temperatures are forecast to be close to or above average."
Historically we can expect highs of 20 and lows of 10, but the way it's been going this May, I think we can expect the worst!