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Look back at Download 2024 with our exclusive photos from the weekend

What mud?! Here's the highlights from another terrific year down at Donington Park...

By Rolling Stone UK

Download Festival fans (Picture: Stuart Garneys for Rolling Stone UK)

There’s a fair chance you might be reading this while you’re at home recovering from Download Festival or, if you’re not so fortunate, still heading back. In the first instance, you’re probably still finding mud in every possible orifice of your body. In the second, you’re clamouring for that sweet, life-providing post-festival shower.

But while Download may have lived up to its reputation as Drownload, it’s fair to say that the ear-splitting, fire-starting sets over the weekend more than made up for the inclement weather.

Day by day, here’s the best of our photos from Download 2024…

Friday

It’s half an hour before Busted are due on the Avalanche Stage and the tent is to capacity, while a sea of hundreds are swamping the area outside it. It’s a sign of the evolving times that Busted now belong at Download Festival, but the huge reception they receive is proof that this is always where they were meant to be. If they make a return, however, we’d suggest a bigger stage to fit the sizeable demand. By then, hopefully we’ll also see that anticipated collaboration with Jordan Fish…

Over on the main stage, meanwhile, Queens of the Stone Age are absolutely nailing their Download debut.

Though they have been rock heavyweights for as long as Download has existed, Queens’ eventual rise to being headliners coincided with somewhat of a renaissance for the band. 2023 album In Times New Roman… is regarded as one of their best, and their live show has become a pummelling force of riffs and rage.

At the Download show, Homme – possibly due to his own admission of being “stoned and fucked up” – hit a new level of showmanship required from festival headliners.

Saturday

Mud be damned! Even if the Download site makes Shrek’s swamp look like the Savoy by this point, the Download crowd won’t let anything ruin their fun. On the Opus Stage, Glaswegian metallers Bleed From Within blast away the mud-malaise, before bringing out comedians Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan for an inspired cover of Metallica’s Enter Sandman that will make its way to TV later this year..

Later in the day, Billy Talent and The Offspring amp up the nostalgia and leave us feeling like we’re going through a teenage journey of self-discovery once again. Alas we’re old, wisened cynics now, but for an hour each, these two remind us of what it was like to be young. Ah, *sobs*.

On a similar note, Fall Out Boy’s headline set is the ultimate run through their career – which has defined many a music fan’s young life. Across two pyrotechnic-packed hours, the emo legends guided fans through their varied and wide-ranging discography, album by album. It provided a real-time tracking of their journey from heart-on-sleeve emo darlings to pop experimentalists with pyro coming out of their ears and a still-restless need to tread new ground.

Sunday

Talking about saving the biggest and best for last. Any festival that saves Limp Bizkit and Sum 41 clearly knows that they’re doing – and it’s more than enough to stop the majority of punters from going home early and decontaminating from the Download mud. Limp Bizkit’s set is a slew of circle pits, welcome chaos and some of the best weather of the weekend. “I hope you don’t mind but I brought the sunshine from California with us,” jokes Fred Durst.

Sum 41, meanwhile, hits us right in the feels. It’s their final ever performance at Download and frontman Deryck Whibley goes all out to ensure that they’re delivering one hell of a goodbye. That might be for festivals, but we’re reliably told that the band will return to our shores later this year.
“I know a lot of you are thinking this may be your last chance to see us play – but keep your eyes and ears peeled and there may be another chance later this year,” teases Deryck.

It’s the perfect way to end our weekend – an almighty celebration that almost makes us forget about the mud. Same time next year?