download festival crowd and stage

Download Festival


Download Festival

Download Festival is the home of rock and takes place on the sacred grounds of Donington Park, which have been associated with rock since the '80s. The event attracts giants of rock and metal to its main stage, plus some of the hottest new acts in the world.

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Visitor Details

Key Information

Donington Park, Castle Donington, Derby, Derbyshire, DE74 2RP

Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)

* Download Festival is a yearly event, taking place in June.


Map & Directions



  • Uncover the story - With a 40+ year history as the home of heavy metal, Donington Park is beloved by rockers the world over, and brings the UK’s second largest music festival to Leicestershire every year. <hr> The leafy countryside of North West Leicestershire might not be the first place you’d think of as a home for hellraisers but it has become the spiritual home of rock and heavy metal thanks to the second largest music festival in the UK, The Download Festival! <hr> The Midlands has long been known as the home of heavy metal, with bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Leicester’s own Blitzkrieg first emerging from the region, but the one name that is synonymous with the genre is Donington. Donington Park’s heavy metal history begins more than 40 years ago. <hr> In 1980, promoters Paul Loasby and Maurice Jones were looking for a venue for their band Rainbow to tour. They began planning a one day festival for hard rock and heavy metal bands. Donington Park had been used as a motor racing track for many years, but the site, with its gently sloping ground, was also the perfect place to hold a concert. <hr> Thus, Monsters of Rock was born, with the 1980 festival featuring Judas Priest, Scorpions and Saxon alongside the headliners. 35,000 people attended this first show, but over the years audiences grew, reaching 100,000 plus in the late 80s. As its fame grew, rock legends begged to play the festival and Donington welcomed household names including ZZ Top, AC/DC, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden and many more. <hr> The festival also became a successful export, with Monsters of Rock shows taking place in the USA, across Europe and famously, as the first major western festival in the former Soviet Union following the fall of the iron curtain. The festival finally came to an end in the mid-1990s, with a few one-off shows filling the gap, but audiences craved the return of a huge event with a harder edge. <hr> Enter Download, in 2003, which returned rock music to its spiritual home at Donington with a two, then a three-day festival attracting up to 110,000 fans. Download is now the second largest festival in the UK, with only the mighty Glastonbury attracting more music fans. In the weekend it runs, the festival more than doubles the population of North West Leicestershire! <hr> With the 2023 Festival marking 20 years of Download and selling out in record time, there will be many more years of great music to come. <hr>

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