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Download Festival 2022 – Wednesday Highlights

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Download 2022 is GO!

We’ve been waiting three years, and it’s finally here – we’re all reunited in Donington!

Things kicked off on Wednesday with the Boardie Takeover, plus Alternative Anthems and Satan’s Hollow rocking out with us late into the night. Here’s all the action from the first day.

It’s been a bumpy few years, but it’s finally the return of THE rock event of the summer. Whilst of course Download Pilot blessed us last year, nothing quite compares to a full-blown Download – and we’re all ready to throw ourselves into a long weekend celebrating all things heavy.

While the main line up may be kicking off on Friday, why waste any more time? We’ve done enough waiting the last few years, if you ask us! That’s exactly why Wednesday started off the weekend with the Boardie Takeover – a selection of new up and coming bands hand picked by our very own Boardies.

Boardie Takeover

Defences perfectly ease the crowds in with a thick dose of atmospheric alt-metal. Vocalist Cherry Duesbury’s rich, mystifying vocals captivate the ears of all listening, before crushing breakdowns force heads to start rocking along.

Next up are Sertraline, and by now The Doghouse is starting to really fill out. Sertraline’s groovy riffs seem to go down a storm with the crowd, and new vocalist Ben Mars looks completely at home on stage. If tech metal is your jam, these are definitely ones to check out.

Fury then take to the stage in a flare of classic heavy metal charm. The group are clearly crowd-favourites, if the fans crowding forward in tour shirts and chanting “Fury, Fury, Fury!” are anything to go by – and it’s clear why. They take to the stage like rockstars, delivering mighty riffs and bruising breakdowns, gorgeously balanced out by Julian Jenkin’s fullbodied, soulful vocals. The entire performance is a whirlwind of heavy joy – everyone onstage throwing themselves into the thick of the music, grinning with fervour as each track charges onward.

Doghouse Crowd

Borders’ effect on the crowd is immediate; their sharp, urgent opener ferociously rousing a pit out of the hungry crowd. Their cocktail of metal and rap-infused hardcore is enough to welcome in the first crowdsurfers of the weekend. By the time frontman Jordan ‘JJ’ Olifent climbs into the pit to crowdsurf himself, you can tell that they’ve definitely won over a whole slew of new fans.

An embodiment of innovation, Seething Akira’s electronic nu-core is heavy in an entirely unique way. With a sharp punch of rap and brutal breakdowns, their performance has crowds eagerly headbanging along, waiting to see how much harder the next track may hit. Sturdy riffs carry rap and spoken vocals, emphasising their importance and emotive weight.

Rolling in on a wave of rumbling guitars and dark gutturals to headline the Takeover is Red Method. An eclectic selection of members grace the stage: some in make-up, another in a dark mask, all adding to the air of doom surrounding their sound. As the unclean vocals vibrate through the speakers, they can be felt in your guts – impossibly rough and dragging you into Red Method’s thick sound. Every head is banging as the metal collective knock out track after track of gruelling bangers, satisfying everyone’s itch for some broodingly heavy anthems.

But why stop there?

Doghouse Crowd

Late Night Entertainment

As day turns into night, we’re also treated to an evening of non-stop fun – DJ sets dominate the Village, festival goers screaming and moshing along to all their favourite tunes. Satan’s Hollow welcomes in an endless string of iconic tracks, while Hang The DJs set has the crowd fully moshing to its chaotic distortions of well-known tunes (who thought we’d ever live to hear a remix of Katy Perry’s Dark Horse melded in with Fall Out Boy’s Thnks Fr Th Mmrs, honestly?). Kerrang DJ Jon Mahon even has the masses star-jumping along at times, insisting that “hey – just cuz we’re metal heads it doesn’t mean we can’t have a good rave!”


We’ll see you again tomorrow for all the highlights from Thursday! Keep rocking!