DOWNLOAD 2016: Preview

There are few feelings like it.

Standing in a field full of your musical brethren, shoulder to shoulder with your best friend or other half, The sun (hopefully) bearing down on your back, a cold drink in your paw, the other arced skywards in the traditional rock horns shape.

And on the stage, any one of over 100 bands to tickle all your rock and metal fantasies.

As the opening bars crank in, a wall of noise rushes forth from the stage like a ravenous beast looking to reclaim its territory.

In the crowd, you begin to stomp your foot, swing your hips, raise your spirits and break into a face splitting smile – Download Festival welcomes us home.

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.

Today (Thursday, June 9) the majority of campers will descend on the sites around Donington Park for this year's musical marathon which pumps up the volume from tomorrow.

Rammstein, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath head up a bill stacked to the rafters with the kind of bands you'd happily drive over a kitten to see and others waiting to be discovered.

The beauty of a festival with five stages and a huge number of bands is there is always something to see and for every band you haven't heard of … well that's just a new band for you to fall in love with.

This year's Download Festival also sees the first ever tag-team hook-up with the superstars of WWE NXT. Over the three days a host of superstar wrestlers and divas will be on site for a series of live grappling events bringing together another two worlds in a titanic mash-up.

It's festival season, the gates to paradise are open and it's time to go the promised land once more.