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Download Festival 2013 - Help for a 50+ Dad

14 year old Bingaddick Junior (bless him) who some will know lives away from home in a therapeutic community has phoned his old Dad and has asked him if he would take him to this years Download Festival.

Being the Dad in question and somewhat past the half century and not having been to a rock festival since Blackbush in....well decades ago, and not wanting to be seen as past it, I am worried. So a ask you good fellow Lifers:

a) have you been recently, or are you going this year?
b) other things being equal, is it OK for a strapping 14 year old?
c) if I take him, what are the possible pitfalls?
d) how easy is it to camp there?
d) any other pearls of wisdom?

Many thanks in advance.


  • Just go along and enjoy it together, stick together and you will have a great time
  • Can't give my advice on this particular festival, but I'd say go for it bing. At worse you'll have to feign interest in one of your sons band and end up with a lighter wallet but it should be a good day out for you both. If you do go I'd recommend you do your research before hand, know who and what you want to see and the time they are on etc etc
  • You'll like it as long as you don't mind extremely loud heavy metal and don't mind being surrounded by lots of teenagers who most of which are dressed as goths and are quite sweaty.
  • good points from J Block, agree to see bands he wants as long as he agrees to see bands you want, once you know who is playing go onto Spotify and have a listen so you know what to expect, you will be amazed at how close you and your son will be after a weekend like this.
  • You have to see Slipknot, Bullet For My Valentine, 30 Seconds To Mars, Papa Roach, Enter Shikari and Jimmy Eat World.
  • Just seen the line up. Ear plugs mate..... good ones too
  • Slipknot are an incredible live band. Even if you're not into that sort of music, they are a one of a kind to watch.

    Some great acts on there to be fair - Alice In Chains stands out, as do Motorhead and Stone Sour.
  • You will need to know what drugs to take. If you need some advice, ask a policeman ;0)
  • Whatever you do, see Rammstein. The music may not be as technical as some of the other bands playing but their live show with all the pyrotechnics etc is one of a kind. Saw them last year at the o2 and it was absolutely insane. Aside from them, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, Iron Maiden and Alice in Chains (not a huge fan of the new singer, but they should play the classics) are all must-sees. Limp Bizkit should be a laugh as well.
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  • a) have you been recently, or are you going this year? Few years back
    b) other things being equal, is it OK for a strapping 14 year old? Yep, just stick together and take a good battery phone each for contact
    c) if I take him, what are the possible pitfalls? People off their faces and loud nights, hard to sleep if youre camping but there's "family" campsites which are a bit better.
    d) how easy is it to camp there? Very easy if you don't mind alot of noise at camping throughout the night. Everyones friendly in reality
    d) any other pearls of wisdom? Take alot of stuff you think you 'might' need, always come in handy.. Wet wipes being a key one.
  • Watch Europe! Some great songs you've never heard, and, of course, THAT song to finish!
  • Taking my 5 and 8 year old kids to a music festival next month in Austin TX. They've been to loads of these things, ear plugs at times and a close eye on them but they love it. Moving Sidewalks/ZZ Top, Roky Erikson/13th Floor Elevators - better to expose them to this than let the Bieber get them first :)
  • ......the other bands playing but their live show with all the pyrotechnics etc is one of a kind.....

    I though flares and fireworks were banned ?

  • Did I hit some kind of time warp or is that line-up pretty much one that could have been there in 2002?
  • edited February 2013
    Bing, have got 3 good mates who have done Download every year since the old days when it was the Monsters of Rock. Of all the festivals they do, this is their favourite by far.

    Iron Maiden are awesome live. If you can, have a listen of the live version of "Fear of the Dark". I absolutely love that song.

  • Did I hit some kind of time warp or is that line-up pretty much one that could have been there in 2002?

    The line up for the first Download in 2003 was Iron Maiden on the Saturday and Audioslave on the Sunday, supposed to be Limp Bizkit but they pulled out at the last minute.
  • Good luck bing sounds horrific
  • Do the crowd like throwing cups of piss at this festival like most of the others?
  • Do the crowd like throwing cups of piss at this festival like most of the others?

    No, I think they drink it at this one.
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  • Good luck Bing. Thought it bad enough going to see Olly Murs with our 14 year old!
  • I've been a couple of times, with 2 different perspectives. If you want a more relaxed experience, maybe look into getting a B&B. I did that & preferred it over camping.

    You'll enjoy the 2nd day a lot more, in terms of knowing who's who, & more radio friendly songs over the years. Metal gets a bad rap, but just go with an open mind, you will be very surprised! Some really clever & interesting bands there.

    It's ultimately about your boy though, & his spending a great weekend away with his pa!

    On a band recommendation note, whatever you do, do not miss Karnivool!!! Shit name, but don't let that put you off. I saw them a month back, & they are a truly excellent band! Also, Queens Of The Stone Age & Alice In Chains. Iron Maiden are a very good live band & put on a good, fun, though cheesey (in a metal cliche style-type-way) stage show.

    Good on ya Bing. Hope you & BA.JR. Have a great time!
  • PS: On a survival note. Take wellies, waterproof trousers & jackets. Absolutely tipped it down 1 year! A hat with a brim & plenty of sun tan lotion. Got burnt to a crisp 1 year too!
  • edited February 2013
    Not a huge fan of the music but i have been myself, my ex was into the heavy music. though i don't mind a bit.
    Anyway... friendly place. never too packed, so easy for camping compared to most festivals of its size and getting around in general is easy. Apart from getting close to the stages, especially for the big acts, gets hectic. Oh but parking can be a bloody nightmare so get there early.

    Everyone is friendly. never saw any agro when i went. apart from the mosh pits....just keep your arms down so not to punch anyone accidently in the face. should be fine. oh and unlike me never stand next to one thinking your safe. had just bought a pint then some kid went into me it went everywhere...mainly over me. Problem is you can't blame the kid cos he got pushed himself. He apologised but i had to make the 30 minute round trip to get another beer. Ive moved on though so it's grudges.

    Always have a spot which can be seen for a distance where you meet up if you two get separated. or just back at the tent.

    Bring spare of some stuff....water.....mirror.

    overall just relax and enjoy it. If you cant stand the music...ear plugs....or bring your own music then....mp3/tape player. annoy the metal fans by your high pitched out of tune singing of a Belinda Carlisle song.

    Have a good time.
  • Sounds as hellish as shopping the Saturday before Christmas!
  • edited February 2013
    Don't know the answers to any of your questions, but: Insist on having breakfast EVERY DAY, and no matter how necessary it feels don't have a drink before mid afternoon at the earliest.. You will feel a bit more grounded and less likely to want to hide in the tent by 8pm. I know this from bitter experience - I never saw any headliners in my youth as I had always peaked by lunchtime.
  • Download's okay. If it's wet then take wellies, dry then something to cover your mouth and nose as dust will be everywhere. Things like baby wipes and hand sanitiser are always a good idea too.

    Looking at the lineup, it'll be rock but not too heavy. Take time to chill out and sit down otherwise you'll be dead on your feet by the Saturday evening. Pick somewhere to camp that's in a relatively quiet corner if you want to get any decent sleep.

    A padlock is worth locking up your tent with when not around, in the past pikies have jumped the fences there to raid people's belongings. It won't thief-proof your tent but should act as a deterrent. If you're more so thinking a hotel/B&B then I think they used to run special daily services from Derby.
  • Thank you so much for all your comments. I think I'll go for it. Don't mind heavy metal etc at all. I will check out the "family" campsite - all I need is a tent..:-)

    Baby wipes and hand sanitiser on order!
  • Just to add, my old man took me to Monsters of Rock at Donington in '85 when I was 12 and we had a blast. Quality bonding time which helped cement our relationship as I approached growing into a fully functioning individual. Let your hair down, smile and enjoy.

    Oh yeah, prepare to lose your dignity and decency when you use the toilets :(
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