If we delve deep into the Download Festival History, it is found that the Download Festival is a conception of the follow up to the Monsters of Rock Festivals. The venue of the Festival had been the Donington Park circuit between 1980 and 1996. The Festival is held in June usually (however in 2003, the first day of the Festival was on the last day of May) and is a 3 day event as of now. Live nation is the owner and manager of the Download Festival.
In 2016, the festival is going to be held between the Friday 10th to Sunday 12th June 2016.
The Download Festival History says that the Festival was named thus mainly because of two reasons. ‘Download’ was a dirty word in the music industry during that time while rock had been always the most rebellious genre of music. There was a controversy regarding the name of the Festival as some people even felt that the Download Festival would "destroy the music industry." It was aimed to be the Monsters of Rock for the 21st century, and internet would be playing the pivotal role in providing connectivity with the audience.
The Download Festival was initially a two day event but expanded to three days in 2005
The first Download Festival was held in 2003, on the 31st of May and 1st of June 2003. The tickets interestingly displayed a code which would later allow the people to download tracks from bands that played in the Festival that year. This idea was shunned in the subsequent years, but the festival organizers still nurture an online community and the Download Festival Forums are managed to provide lovers of the Download Festival information on the music, bands and the festival. The Fan Forum meetings had been started from 2006 and provide face to face feedback.
The board for the fans (and critics) is an integral part of the festival organization now. They have regular contributions from Festival Director John Probyn and Promoter Andy Copping.
Like the Monsters of Rock, initially, the Download Festival also had the Donington Park circuit as the infield. 2008 saw it moving to "Sunday Markets" site to the west of the circuit. However, there were quite a few problems, like, moving from the tents to the performance arena. In 2009, it was moved to a much suitable location to the south of the circuit.
The Download Festival will be returning to Donington on the 10th, 11th and 12th June 2016. Two of the three main stage headliners are System of a Down and Linkin Park. The others are Avenged Sevenfold, Rob Zombie, Korn, Pendulum, Bullet for My Valentine, Alice Cooper, Alter Bridge, Danzig, The Cult, The Gaslight Anthem, Hollywood Undead, Thin Lizzy, Buckcherry, Black Veil Brides, The Damned Things, Escape the Fate, Clutch, Mr. Big, Gwar, FM, Masters of Reality and Rise to Remain.
The Download Festival has received the following awards:
2003 – “Event of the Year” - Kerrang! Awards
2004 – “Best Event or Performance Site” - BT Digital Music Awards
2004 – “The Best Festival” - UK Festival Awards
2005 – “Best Official Website” - BT Digital Music Awards
2007 – “Best Music Community” - BT Digital Music Awards
2007 – “Top Festival” - Billboard Touring Awards
2008 – “Best Music Community” - BT Digital Music Awards
2009 – “Event of Year” - Metal Hammer Golden Gods
2009 – “Event of Year” - Classic Rock Award.