Download 2023 / Let the Heavy Metal madness begin

Driving up to Donington Park and blaring out Planet Rock radio, I heard presenter Wyatt comment on the bubbling adrenaline that was beginning to surround him. “This looks to be one of the best years yet, here at Download 20… or Download ’23. It can get a bit confusing!”

Twenty years of the largest Heavy Metal festival in the UK (if only they had started three years earlier, eh?) has been not only a resoundingly poignant place for musicians of the scene to perform but also a haven for anyone with tattoos and a tendency for wearing black.

Download '20 - 2023.
Download ’20 – 2023. Photo: John Hayhurst/MetalTalk

This year is set to be bigger than ever, with not three but four days of performances within the familiar setting in Derby. Metallica are on for two full-length sets, and the heat is already on as we’re looking to get sunshine for the whole weekend.

The only overcast seen yesterday was the parking situation, with thousands of punters being stuck for hours at a time trying to enter the site.

Download '20 - 2023.
Download ’20 – 2023. Photo: John Hayhurst/MetalTalk

Organisers scrambled to work with the highway patrol to sort out the issue, which seemed to have subsided as I made my way up to the parking with only the expected festival queueing to endure.

The sights of my fellow ripped denim and leather comrades can be seen for miles. Beers in hand, deck chairs underarms and the sense of a hot rocking mess of a good time in the air.

Download '20 - 2023.
Download ’20 – 2023. Photo: John Hayhurst/MetalTalk

Towards the arena, we head! The madness has begun.

Join Hillbilly Vegas on Tour This July

Travelling to Download? Keep an eye on Download social media.

For people arriving onsite today, use the South Car Park only. All other car parks are at capacity.

For those arriving from the North on the M1, use Junction 24A onto the A50 and then use Junction 1 or Junction 3 towards Download and follow signage.

For those arriving from the South on the M1, use Junction 23 and follow the Download signage to the festival.

Those coming from the South via the A42 should use Junction 14 & follow the signage.

Take Part: Are you at Download this year? Who are you looking forward to see? Want to get in touch and tell us how it’s going? Email MetalTalk Editor Steve Ritchie to tell us how it’s going for you.

MetalTalk Download 2023 coverage can be found at

Download 2023 will see the festival celebrate its 20th anniversary with an additional day, meaning four days of live music in total.

This year’s MetalTalk team is:

Monty Sewell

Paul Monkhouse

Photography by John Hayhurst – SnapAGig

For Download 2022, visit

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