After three years a full Download Festival was held. I was to go with Ravi, and we were doing the RIP Hotel package.
Back in 2020, I had booked this package, which included the Radisson Blu hotel for three nights, after the 2020 festival had been cancelled. During 2021 the festival was again cancelled, but I elected to carry my tickets over to 2022. Now it was finally happening, and I patiently waited for my tickets. This was fraught, with several people panicking on the Download forum. Electronic tickets were replacing paper tickets. The process and information appeared to be different for different people, depending on which company the tickets had been booked through. But the tickets did arrive, and I stored them in my Google Pay wallet. They worked without a hitch.
Ravi arrived at our house a couple of days before the festival. A metal festival was on his bucket list, and I had organised two. During 2019, he and I had ticked off Glastonbury from his bucket list. Friday, we set off in the Polestar and arrived at the hotel. Parked, checked in with the RIP Reception where we were given our wristbands, programmes, t-shirts and especially useful waterproof backpacks. (We could not check into the hotel room; this was not yet ready.) The buses to the festival site ran once an hour, so we were soon on our way. The buses were exceptionally reliable, though at peak times they could be full, so you just had to wait for another. They normally put an extra one on to collect those left behind.
Arriving at the site, we walked to the Guest area, had a beer from the bar and some lunch at the Delhi Club, (Saag Aloo and rice). Friday was the warmest day; the other days were cloudier. Thankfully, there was no rain during the festival.
- Theory 1.55
- Cellar Door Moon Crow 2.50 (Dogtooth Stage)
- Myles Kennedy & Company 3.50 (Opus)
- Skindred 5.10
- A Day to Remember 6.40
- Kiss 8.50
The breakfast at the Raddison was excellent. A good full English with freshly fried eggs, or omelettes made to order. There was also the option of cheeses, meats, and pickles.
Today I arrived from the hotel before Ravi, and spent time walking around the site, looking for real ale or craft beer. For some reason, the location moves around every year, and there is never any indication on the programme map to indicate its position. Found it, so Ravi and I were happy. We spent many an hour there, seated at the tables, talking with whomever we met. One couple had flown in from America for this festival.
- The Raven Age 11.00
- Monster Truck 1.35
- Black Label Society 3.00
- Deftones 6.10
- Iron Maiden 8.55
The highlights of Sunday were, for Ravi, the bands Wargasm and Alestorm, and for me. Biffy Clyro
- Wargasm 11.00
- Alestorm 1.45
- Marianas Trench 3.50 (Avalanche Stage)
- Volbeat 4.50
- Korn 6.30
- Biffy Clyro 9.10
This was the first time I had stayed in an hotel for a festival. It was nice, the food was good, the other guests were pleasant. There was no noise or throwing furniture out of the upstairs windows. For Download, I did miss the bar and bands which played late at night at the RIP camping. Instead, we were always on a deadline to catch the 23.30 bus back to the hotel. My preference is still to take the campervan to the RIP camping.
Ravi enjoyed the festival, or so he said. He expressed the opinion that it was more enjoyable than Glastonbury. Glastonbury is so huge, and it takes ages to walk anywhere, either for a drink or to walk to another stage. At Download, you can walk from the bar and be near the front of the stage withing minutes.
I managed to catch Covid, but I didn’t realise immediately I got back home, so I managed to pass it on to the wife. It did not make me popular.