Little did we know it but this was to be the last year in the infield before the infamous (and unsuccessful) attempt to upgrade the site for Formula 1. Headliners this time around were Iron Maiden, Linkin Park and My Chemical Romance. Elsewhere on the Main Stage was the likes of Velvet Revolver, Megadeth, Slayer, Machine Head, Killswitch Engage and Mastodon all having fine old days.
Lamb Of God's performance was released on their DVD Walk With Me In Hell and Turisas woke everyone up on Saturday morning with their rousing Battle Metal plus a cover of Boney-M's Rasputin!
Korn returned following Jonathan Davies illness in 06 to headline the second stage along with Mötley Crüe and Billy Talent. My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost brought the doom, Porcupine Tree, Anathema and Dream Theater showed us how to be progressive AND rock.
Napalm Death and Orange Goblin made a lot of noise while Gallows and Cancer Bats stamped their high octane shows with the required mayhem. Meanwhile over on the third stage urban veterans Suicidal Tendencies rubbed shoulders with country hicks Hayseed Dixie, seeing the stage go from hoedown to hardcore in the blink of an eye.
Sunday saw Indian band Parikrama open the main stage and saw a scorching day of rock rounded off by what felt like a proper old-school Monsters Of Rock style show from Iron Maiden - a fitting send off for the arena which had hosted the very best of rock & metal on & off for 27 years.
Corey Watch: Stone Sour on Main Stage again, this time moving up to fourth from the top!
Forum View: The first Fan Forum took place with 20 or so members of the forums heading down to London to chat to the organisers and grill them over a pint and a platter. The Download Festival forums BBQ stepped up a notch and put on a band after the burgers! The mighty Scumface (featuring a cardboard cut out of Alan Sugar on bass) had the honour of being the first band to play at Download on Thursday. The forums also won the BT Digital Music Award for Best Online Community beating off competition from Bloc Party, Bebo & HMV!
Words by Phil Hull (HullHellHalifax)