Download Festival 2023 – Sunday. As hordes of masked Downloaders cram their way towards the Apex stage pit, there is a tension-enticing atmosphere in the air as Donnington Park prepares itself for Slipknot and the last festival showdown this year.
Maggots, clowns, spiked menaces, and just generally hard-core-looking folk are en route to gather for Slipknot in a Heavy Metal ceremony. It’s their fifth time headlining here, and even before playing, they have been welcomed back with open, dirt-ridden arms.
No chance for ease out Sunday when the world’s most notorious Metal group are taking to the stands. With a menacing might, they kick things off with The Blister Exists when a mad surge of adrenaline suddenly pumps into the audience, throwing the masses into pits of moshing and jumps.
A special moment comes when founding member Clown comes out onto the stage for the first time since taking a break from touring to support his wife through health issues. Download was in a haven of its own, which was clearly noticed by frontman Corey Taylor after he announced he had lost a £20 best on how “unhinged” this years audience would be.
I mean, come on, Corey. Four days of full frontal, dirty, heavy musical utopia? There was no way we would go out quietly!
Left Behind saw its tour debut, and the usual hedonistically dark set tracks like The Heretic Anthem, Snuff and Psychosocial tore up the field beneath our feet to a new level of jawed.
It’s visually damning, nostalgically tremendous and fresh as a tar-sheered daisy as Download 2023 ends with the bang that is Slipknot.
It’ll be a long apres festival recovery, and even longer till we experience a show quite like that.
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. Download@MetalTalk.net.
Download Festival 2023
MetalTalk Download 2023 coverage can be found at MetalTalk.net/tag/download-2023
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:
For Download 2022, visit MetalTalk.net/tag/download-2022