A – Abandoned Dr. Martens. Mike had a steel-toe capped pair of Dr. Martens that he ALWAYS wears to festivals and that he used to wear to work. They were pretty scuffed as some silly bugger rolled over them with a cage and they were well-worn so when the mud bath began they just weren’t effective at all. He dumped them next to the tent and we all felt a little sad as they’d served him so well. Note to self – bring a back-up pair of boots next year.
B – Bungee cord belt. What Mike wore when the button popped off his shorts and they wouldn’t stay up. Resourceful eh?
Bin bag socks. What I wore from Saturday morning onwards as my faithful Dr. Martens got soaked through after the first session of heavy rainfall.
C – Cup collecting. Paper cups can be recycled for 10p each so Mike was on the hunt for these one morning whilst we were waiting for the bands we wanted to see to come on. He had a huge stack but nothing compared to some of the other people we saw collecting them as well.
Condom. What my Mum thought she looked like in her button-up blue rain mac. I’m saying ’nuffin.
D – The ‘Dog’s Head’. This year, Download teased everyone with glimpses in to something special on social media that looked spookily like the head of the Download Dog mascot. Low and behold, it was but it simply served as a photo opportunity, shelter for a few people and its eyes glowed red in the dark. Yeah, it was pretty cool but I was expecting more after all the hype and we just used it as a meeting point along with tons of other people. We were stood next to some guys from Liverpool at one point who were shouting down the phone for at least 10 minutes ‘Jane, meet us at the Dog’s Head, can you hear us Jane? The Dog’s ‘ed, yeah The Dog’s ‘ed that’s the one…’ It sounded like a pub. I wish it had of been.
E – Expensive food and drink. Everything seemed to have jumped up in price this year. I was expecting a bit of inflation, like every year, but it was horrendous this time round. £3.50 for a bottle of water? Jog on! (what am I talking about, we paid it, begrudgingly…)
Ear plugs. I’d never worn ear plugs before but Mike used to swear by them when he was on nights so I thought I’d try them. Best night’s sleep I’ve ever had at a festival. Mind blown.
F – Flaps. There was lots of talk of opening someone’s flaps (tent flaps, you dirty thing!) and flapping in the wind etc. When you’re having Strongbow for breakfast every day, this is a barrel of laughs. Honestly!
FaceTime. How I managed to stay sane being away from Lily for a few days! I missed her SO much, I felt like I’d lost a limb!
G – Grumpy sod papped. I walked away to get something to eat on Sunday and left Mike minding our chairs for 10 minutes (we don’t usually have chairs but bought some as we were knackered). When I came back, he told me that he’d been ‘papped’ by a press photographer whilst looking grumpy, sad and alone in the rain and waiting for me to return. Ha, I wonder if it’ll pop up anywhere?
H – Heavy metal. What we were all there for! My highlights were Rammstein, Disturbed, Avatar and Korn. Although not exactly my cup of tea, I was quite impressed by Lzzy Hale as well *adds to Spotify playlists*
I – In the bin. As usual, we managed to sneak some cans in to the arena but we always lose some across the course of the weekend and they end up being chucked in the bin by the guys at the door. Or I insist on standing there next to the gates and downing as many as I can.
Successful smuggling has included a can in my bra (they can’t search there can they?), cans in Mike’s pockets (if he’s lucky enough not to be patted down), cans in the camping chairs if we take them and, a can in Mike’s bum crack. Trust me, nobody wants to go down there! Ha!
J – Junk food diet. Noodles, burgers, spring rolls, hot dogs, nachos, pizzas, chips. Yum!
K – Kerrang Signing Tent. I managed to catch a few glances of Rammstein, one of my favourite bands, from the side of the signing tent although we didn’t manage to meet them. Some friends of ours did though (jammy gits, as always!) and they managed to get a signed print for us. I’m so thankful to them, they’re absolute superstars!
It’s a little weathered but I think it adds to the character and the memory of the weekend.
L – Loyalty scheme. I’m looking forward to getting tons of money to spend on merch/food/drinks next year with Download’s new loyalty scheme. The more times you’ve been for the weekend, the more cash you get. Loving it, such a good idea.
M – Mud. Everywhere. It was definitely the muddiest Download we’ve been to so far. Walking around was pretty difficult at times and took twice as long as usual.
N – New Rock stall. I wanted ALL of the boots. They also had this beautiful bat bag from Restyle which is now at the TOP of my wishlist.
O – Oversized foam hands. On Sunday night they started giving away spare merch on the trek back to the car so I nabbed some Download foam hands to give out to family and friends (and a couple to take back for next year).
P – Poorly translated tent instructions. We bought my Mum a small tent online which came with instructions that had originally been Chinese. It was hilarious! Some words were joined together to make ‘super words’ and it was completely nonsensical…
It lasted one night in the rain, pile of poop!
Q – Queuing for the bogs. There seemed to be less toilets than usual this year so the queues were massive!
R – RIP Wannabe. Next year maybe? (RIP is like being a VIP, you can camp next to your car, the walk to the arena is shorter and you get exclusive merch).
S – Sick. I felt ‘dodgy’ on the Saturday night and I swear I hadn’t drank that much. We thought it might be baby #2 (I was pregnant last time I did a full weekend at Download and didn’t know it so it seemed fitting that it might happen again) – it isn’t (we’ve checked) – but I woke up at 3am and headed to the campsite toilets, as you do. They weren’t very well attended to this year so it was pretty whiffy and people were waiting for the loos that were still OK to visit. There wasn’t many. It was eventually my turn and as I was getting up to leave, I threw up everywhere. All over the seat, floor, you name it, I’d managed to hit it. I felt awful putting another toilet ‘out of order’ so ran away as soon as I walked out of the cabin. If you were in White Camp and you happened across this on the early hours of Sunday morning, I’m so sorry. I couldn’t help it. Yuck!
Spiked choker. I picked up a spiked choker for just £2.00 from one of the stalls and it’s surprisingly really good quality. Yay.
T – Tattoo. I finally got a new tattoo! Yes, not the best place to get a tattoo if you’re sensible but I’m not and it’s all part of the experience in my opinion. Mike got his Download Dog a few years ago and I was all set to have a heartagram (it’d been drawn up and everything) but they ran out of time unfortunately. Lucky I didn’t because (as I said above) I was pregnant with Lily anyway.
So, this year, I finally managed it and I’m really chuffed with how it looks. Yay!
U – Underage. I got ID’ed for the first time at Download this year. FYI, if you we wondering, I’m 25. I must have a baby face!
V – Viking drinking horns. We didn’t manage to snag one but everyone was going round with these instead of the usual cups this year!
W – Wellies. At 6am on Saturday morning Mum and I wondered in to The Village searching for a pair of wellies for Mike. Luckily, just one stall was open so early and they had some in his size for a decent price (I was expecting it to be way higher than £18 considering the weather). Girlfriend points right there!
X – X-rated costumes. Everywhere I went I saw that guy dressed up as a penis!
Y – Year long wait for #DL17. I’m so pleased to be home and dry and with our baby girl but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a minor case of ‘Download blues’. It sounds silly to some but it feels like our second-home and I’m excited for the line-up announcement for next year already (roll on the winter months!).
Z – Zzz. How I feel after this weekend’s antics. I could sleep for a week!