If the hallowed turf of Donington Park could talk it could regale us all for eternity. The premiere site for rock music in the UK, and arguably across the world. The rock star's playground and home to the annual Download Festival - the fist-pumping, head-banging phoenix which rose from the ashes of the fondly remembered Monsters of Rock.
Stay tuned to this page for all your Download Festival news both ahead of this summer's much anticipated event and following the weekend where New Rock Times will be bringing you exclusive interviews from the front line of rock n' roll.
They are, and have always been, a band which hits hard and leaves the kind of first impression which is never forgotten.
Volbeat will pull in a huge crowd for their Download Festival set and there will the thousands, and thousands, lining the hallowed grassy knoll at the main stage will embark on the world's biggest ever Elvis-metal singalong.
Meshing J-Pop with metal shouldn’t work but it does and Babymetal are a band we have taken to both our hearts and our headphones.
In a little over 90-days we will be nesting down in East Midlands all over again. Time to start stocking up on baby wipes, portable power banks for your phones and preparing to make another head and heart full of unforgettable memories.
"We're just delivering the pizza. They're the ones who decide what's on it,"
While they might not have infected the ear canals of the majority of Download goers – by the end of their set on Sunday I fully expect thousands more to devote their rock n' roll soul to All Them Witches.
‘I can play big stages easy, because I’ve played the Dog & Dick to one man and his dog. ‘
It’s Asking Alexandria in full swing, happy and excited and hungry.
Loathe are heavier than a two ton anchor hooked onto your earlobes.
‘I feel I have unfinished business, stories still left to tell, points to make, noise to create, all of the above. Besides, it wasn’t a choice, more of a need’
‘There’s some stuff on there that has to do with religion. I was writing it was when Head [Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch”] left the band, so I was very angry at religion at that time.’
‘All the modern music we were exposed to is stuff on the radio, and I can't stomach that’
‘We’re going up against Avenged Sevenfold which is quite funny. I don’t think they’ll be much crossover because I don’t think prog fans like Avenged Sevenfold.’
‘We pride ourselves on the fact people are out there, an they’re seeking out our music. Maybe that’s just a sign that good music breaks through and it touches people.”’
Milk Teeth are evolving into one of Britain's best live bands and they are punching Donington Park into the Milk Teeth mobile's Sat-Nav right now.
‘The people who come to our shows really love music and they see it as an opportunity to completely leave all of the shit of the outside world, whether it be work, family, friends, whatever’s going on in their life, they leave those issues at the door.’
For anyone who isn't familiar with Bad Religion or who has had their playlist and head under a rock for the past quarter of a century then prepare to be wowed and to fall in love on the grassy banks of Donington Park this summer.
The Pink Slips pull together the very best of synth punk, pop-=punk, reggae and hard ass rock n' roll and mesh the whole lot together for a musical Sundae for your ears.
Meshuggah are far more than a cookie-cutter metal band though. They are pioneers. Innovators. The poster boys for an entire genre they helped created on their own.
If you were to build a perfect band and sound to provide the live soundtrack to a sunny afternoon of rocking out in a field in the sunshine with friends, while making new friends, sharing a cold drink, and stomping a melodic mud hole in the ground with your foot – then Monster Truck would be the band you would build.
The Ohio band are one of the last bastions of the over the top hair metal madness of the 80s both in sugar sweet choruses which demand foot stomping and sing-a-longs, and also the 'look' - studded belts, endless miles of leather, space age guitars, and more hair spray than a dozen Asda's.
Expertly paced, passionate and energetic live shows have been the staple of their recent run and Downloaders – your ears are in for a treat this summer.
A hearty blend of sugar-sweet choruses to prompt even the sternest of rock fans into a sing-a-long, draped over intricate guitar playing and built around 'the voice.'
Avenged Sevenfold will lock and load on the Download Festival main stage with material from 2016's well received album 'The Stage' and peppering their new tracks around classics such as 'After Life,' a slice of melodic metal heaven, or the poignant, 'So Far Away' will keep the masses at the main stage as if the Donington turf is draped in velcro.
'The best position to be in is to be defining where it (music industry) goes and where that next step goes, rather than following. Make a path for the next generation'
"It has been born through pain, sacrifice, and conviction, with the ultimate goal of expanding not only what Parkway Drive stand for musically, but who we are as people."
The impact of Ozzy Osbourne on rock and metal simply cannot be understated or undermined. He isn't just the man. He is almost the only man. The Prince of Darkness and the King maker of the business.
And we all get another audience with his Highness at the Churck of rock and metal when Donington Park opens her doors for business this June.
Catch Cancer Bats this summer at the Download Festival where they will cock and load both barrels full of their southern-flavoured, hardcore punk riffage over a crowd who will beg for more.
Black Stone Cherry are the perfect festival band. A band with a stacked back catalogue of sing-a-long favourites, a band that can drift from foot-stomping, partner-swinging, hair flinging, frenetic riffs to songs which slow the pace down to a gentle sway with a tear in your eye and make you want to call home.
21 more exciting names have been added to the bill including Andrew W.K, Hell Is For Heroes, Avatar and Bad Religion.
Now L7 are Donington bound and there is no guarantee they will keep their tampons to themselves. Get ready Download for the original Riot Grrrls.
Throughout the nineties and early part of the noughties, Marilyn Manson was the unrivalled ayatollah of shock n' rolla.
Wrestling the metal baton from the legendary Alice Cooper, his angst ridden, dark lyrics and brooding guitars mirrored the hell which seemed to be inside his head.
If history is anything to go by then Guns will continue for anything up to three hours and they will still be playing long into the fading light to an ocean of happy, grinning rock fans – scattered throughout the vast expanses of Donington Park.
“Personally, festivals are my absolute favourite shows to play and Download is gonna kick ass!”
'I think every band wants to play the major festivals in the summer as it’s such a great way to play to a huge audience, many of whom may never have heard your band before so you tend to pick up a few new fans along the way (or enemies!).'
'It is always a thrill to play and still is. I still get the buzz and the butterflies but at the same time a rush of adrenaline that I seem to be addicted to now.
"I just hope we get through it without fuckin` it up,” jokes Blackwater Conspiracy frontman Phil Conalane.
"I think I can speak on behalf of the band to say that our Download show was the first time we realized we had a following and we stopped referring to ourselves as a local band,” he recalled.
“The reaction was something we could of never scripted or imagined, it was probably our top three shows of being in The One Hundred."
'I love the vibe at Download, I look forward to it every year so much so it's a real honour to be invited back for the 3rd time and having been stepped up a stage again. Everyone's there for two things, listening to metal and drinking beer, so I don't see how you can not enjoy yourself?'
'The tent we played in was over spilling and one of the really cool things about Download is it gives a chance to newer bands.
It's now two years later and the second time we will play Download so it's going to be interesting now we have an album how many people will come to see us and what the reaction will be and we are on the bigger stages now which will be crazy.'
I think we'll feel the butterflies more at Download because its.. well.. Download.
“But I think we'll just approach it as any other Stone Broken gig in which we give it all we've got and do best show we can.”
'It's no secret that this has been a tough year for me and for my bandmates in Five Finger Death Punch....THIS DOES NOT MEAN I PLAN ON LEAVING FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH.'
'Growing up in Nashville we were surrounded by country music and amazing songwriters but we were also teenagers when Nirvana and Rage Against The Machine came on the scene so that's really where our sound comes from'
The group formed by members of RATM, Public Enemy's Chuck D and Cypress Hill's B-Real will make their Download Festival début on Friday, June 9, with a sub-headlining slot.
'Download is an essential weekend in any heavy music fans calendar, regardless of who's playing,' says Josh Gurner.
“It's a truly legendary festival and it's an honour for our band to be asked back. This time we'll be wearing heavy metal spandex.”
'Now to the future, and it’s all guns blazing foot to the floor! In the coming months, we look forward to introducing you to our new Airbourne Brother, he’s our long time staunch mate Harri ‘The Riff Doctor’ Harrison
'If fans ever want to know what rock guys talk about back stage, it's not hookers and blow or new music ... its frickin' cave man diets'
'People have options at festivals. You've got to win them so they don't walk over to the next band. There's always a different energy at festival shows. I love them'
'Going in the back door is about getting fucked in the ass but we don't say that because of radio stations wouldn't play it then. We're not stupid
'In all seriousness though, we can’t wait for download this year and we’ve already tippexed ’11’ onto all of our amps.
'I had a very weird feeling when we finished it (Only Ghosts), which was that I kind of didn't care how anyone else felt about it. I was and continue to be totally satisfied with the way I expressed myself and the way the band expressed themselves on this record.'
'System of a Down definitely shaped the coming years for me and they opened the doors for me for a lot of bands from a heavier style of music.'
'We will certainly be working on a Download 2017 medley of bands featured over the weekend which is always one of our favourite things to do for the big festivals.
'We have been neglected by the UK festival circuit a lot. I suppose it is because a lot of promoters don't take us seriously and think people don't actually likes us as a band.'
'It’s very hate driven music and that plays hand in hand with the velocity, speed and energy the music gives off.'
So we really are taking a leap of faith and flying by the seat of our pants here to raise the money to make this happen. Love Zombies- “No Slow Songs” – Live at Abbey Road.
'You're so set on putting on the best possible show for people at a festival you forget to stop and breathe in and really embrace the day. That’s one of my aims for this year, to stop and “smell the roses” a bit more
If you go hard as fuck then people will love it.”
I finished the album before I even had a band.
'It's an amazing festival. I've played a lot of rock'n'roll festivals, and there's something special and kinda majestic about Download. It's got that mystique
'We’re doing this because we’ve committed our lives to this music. That’s what I felt from Fugazi and Nirvana.'
This is a cycle which repeats over three glorious days but for most it passes like a motion-blur, over too quickly but it leaves its musical bootprints on your soul until the countdown begins for the next visit to the hallowed turf of Donington Park.
Ccatch NXT Superstars *Bobby Roode, Aleister Black, Tye Dillinger, Kassius Ohno, Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain, Nikki Cross and many more as they bring the hard-hitting, innovative and action packed brand of NXT to the purpose built, full scale ring in the main festival arena.
'Right through from The Dogtooth Stage, all the way to the top, fans are guaranteed to witness an incredible weekend of music from their trusted favourites, and discover new favourite bands of the future.'
'While I was standing up there I had this picture in my mind of Guns N' Roses playing Paradise City – it felt kinda similar.'
'Not much has changed since we were here last – it's still raining.'
The Amorettes boast a sound like the bastard love-child of Courtney Love and Motley Crue but raised by a Blackie Lawless who isn't just off the wagon, he's set the wagon ablaze.
Despite her best efforts, Mother Nature's latest furious moodswing couldn't dampen or dull our enthusiasm and love for the Download Festival.
It passes like a motion-blur, over too quickly but it leaves its musical bootprints on your soul until the countdown begins for the next visit to the hallowed turf of Donington Park.
'Punk bands watch each other and are supportive of each other. Metal bands are always trying to out rock each other and hold grudges. Punk is a much friendlier style of music. '
' Can't wait for it to come out so we can get back to the music and show.'
WWE NXT will step into the world's premier rock arena and put on a series of live events on the grandest turf of them all - Donington Park.
Mainly Dry (odd shower) Wed, Thu and Fri with temps into 20's, heavy showers Sat and Dodgy Sunday
'Great solos, great vocals are fantastic but songs are what endure ultimately'
In a little over a week the camp sites will open for the influx of the early campers ready for another massive slice of rock n' roll nirvana.