God’s A Rock Fan

Three days of bright sunshine squeezed in between a couple of wet weeks in Britian left Download Festival booker Andy Copping saying God must be a rock fan.

A record-breaking 80,000-per day, sold-out crowd, seemingly endless positive plugs from BBC Radio One, and the best site configuration he’s ever seen at Donington Park buoyed his spirits even further.

“I’m pleased because this year we achieved all we set out to achieve, despite the recession and another festival [Sonisphere] trying to take the crowd,” he told Pollstar.

It was a far cry from last year when the festival itself ran smoothly, although not the “unmitigated success” LN claimed, and the crowds were closer to nearer 50,000 per day.

“With a new site layout, 80,000 punters, 7,300 members of staff and over 100 bands I spent the entire weekend waiting for something to go wrong or someone to moan about something – and it didn’t happen,” said John Probyn, Live Nation’s chief ops officer for music in the U.K.

Configuring the site will be a perennial problem while Donington is being developed to stage the Formula One British Grand Prix in 2010, but – from the early Monsters Of Rock shows – it’s been heavy metal’s spiritual home.

The acts very loudly in the sunshine June 12-14 included Faith No More, Slipknot, Def Leppard, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Limp Bizkit, Pendulum, ZZ Top, Killswitch Engage, Dragonforce and Dream Theater.