List of Festivals at Donington Park

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Since 1980, Donington Park has played host to many rock festivals. The venue, located near Castle Donington in central England has built itself a reputation as the 'spiritual home of British hard rock'. Though other festivals have taken place there, the two most notable were annual offerings of Monsters of Rock and Download Festival.

History[edit]

Monsters of Rock: 1980 to 1996[edit]

Main article: Monsters of Rock

Monsters of Rock was the first major festival event at Donington Park. It was regular, with few cancellations throughout its run. In 1988, due to poor conditions, two fans were killed after being crushed to death during Guns N' Roses set. This led to the festival's first cancellation in 1989. Cancellation happened again in 1993, and in 1997. Plans for expanding the one day festival into three days had been set out for 1997 before its cancellation.

After huge success in the 1980s, the early 1990s saw the festival face a slow decline. Difficulty to find a powerful headline act was the reason for the 1993 cancellation. In 1995, without a major act willing to play the festival was on the verge of being cancelled again. Metallica were persuaded to play, but the festival was to be called 'Escape from the Studio '95', with major contributions to the organisation by the band in exchange for their services.

Metallica Escape from the Studio '95[edit]

Taking the place of a Monsters of Rock 1995 was a Metallica organised festival as part of their 'Escape from the Studio '95' tour. The show was considered the official Monsters of Rock 1995 show by bands playing, including Metallica. If the organisers of Monsters of Rock had not been struggling to find a headliner for the festival, they would not have allowed Metallica to present the festival as its own and controlled the event so much. In 1996, Monsters of Rock would return - for the last time. Their 'Escape from the Studio '06' festival tour also covered the venue, arriving at the Download Festival though this was not a Metallica organised festival.

One Step Beyond (1992)[edit]

In July 1992 the dance organization Fantazia held a legal rave at the park. Official figures state 25,000 in attendance, though it is known by authorities that several thousand more gained entrance, making it the largest event of its kind in the UK. With a stage decorated as a castle, One Step Beyond hosted over 60 DJ's producing several live albums and an official live DVD.[1]

A Day at the Races (2001)[edit]

To promote their new album, Just Enough Education to Perform, Stereophonics staged a two-day festival called "A Day at the Races" with the first day at Donington and the second at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. The concerts were supported by Ash, Black Crowes, Proud Mary and The Crocketts with the latter venue performance being released on DVD.

Rock and Blues Festival (2001)[edit]

A two-day event was held in 2001 featuring blues rock bands for the most part. It was aimed at an older audience who would have been around during the genre's heyday which had ended at the dawn of the 1990s. The Saturday saw Hawkwind playing with Meat Loaf, Eddie and the Hot Rods and Stone while the Sunday saw UFO and Uli Jon Roth playing with Wishbone Ash, Company Of Snakes (a band featuring ex-members of Whitesnake), and Deborah Bonham (sister of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham).

Ozzfest 2002[edit]

Main article: Ozzfest

The largely America-based tour, organized by Ozzy Osbourne and wife, Sharon Osbourne, first brought the festival to the UK in 1998 but it was not until 2002 that the event was held at Donington featuring two stages on one day. The main stage was located in the traditional position inside the circuit with the second stage being located inside the exhibition hall. Ozzfest 2002 was headlined by Ozzy but did not return to Donington until 2005 when the festival cooperated with Live Nation UK to make the Download Festival a three-day event, which saw Ozzy once again headline this time with Black Sabbath.

Download Festival 2003 to present[edit]

Main article: Download Festival

After the decline of British hard rock music in the early 90s in the face of grunge rock, and with the late 90s rise of synthetic pop music further hampering the genre, Monsters of Rock had been forced to stop. Promoters were wary of booking two large rock festivals, fearing customers would be spread between Donington and the Ozzfest. When proposed Ozzfests were cancelled to continue their more lucrative US run, fans were left with nothing. By 2003 however, hard rock was growing again and Live Nation decided to resurrect the Monsters of Rock of old, under a new name - Download Festival. The festival was a runaway success, and lasted followed 1997's plans to extend Monsters of Rock to two days rather than the single day Monsters of Rock always had. The festival continues to this day.

In 2005, when the Ozzfest tour decided to perform at Donington it picked a Saturday in the middle of Download Festival. Following this, Download has always been a three-day event. See notes on Ozzfest below.

1980s[edit]

Year Date Event Days Stages Acts Attendance Recordings
1980 16 August Monsters of Rock 1 day 1 stage 8 bands 55,000[2]
1981 22 August Monsters of Rock 1 day 1 stage 6 bands 65,000[3]
  • Blackfoot - "Dry County/Hard To Handle" (Single)
1982 21 August Monsters of Rock 1 day 1 stage 6 bands 55,000[4]
1983 20 August Monsters of Rock[5] 1 day 1 stage 6 bands
1984 18 August Monsters of Rock 1 day 1 stage 7 bands 60,000[6]
1985 17 August ZZ Top: Rocking the Castle 1 day 1 stage 6 bands 80,000[7]
1986 16 August Monsters of Rock[8] 1 day 1 stage 6 bands
1987 22 August Monsters of Rock[9]
1 day 1 stage 6 bands
1988 20 August Monsters of Rock 1 day 1 stage 6 bands 107,000[10]

1990s[edit]

Year Date Event Days Stages Acts Attendance Recordings
1990 18 August Monsters of Rock 1 day 1 stage 5 bands 75,000[11]
1991 17 August Monsters of Rock 1 day 1 stage 5 bands
1992 25–26 July One Step Beyond 24 hours 1 stage 60+ DJ's 28,000[12]
22 August Monsters of Rock 1 day 1 stage 6 bands
1994 4 June Monsters of Rock 1 day 2 stages 12 bands
1995 26 August Metallica: Escape from the Studio 1 day 1 stage 9 bands
1996 17 August Monsters of Rock 1 day 2 stages 13 bands

2000's[edit]

Year Date Event Days Stages Acts Attendance Recordings
2001 23 June Rock & Blues Festival[13][14] 2 days 1 stage 6 bands
14 July A Day at the Races[15]
1 day 1 stage 5 bands
2002 25 May Ozzfest 2002 1 day 2 stages 24 bands
2003 31 May - 1 June Download Festival ft. Deconstruction Festival [16] 2 days 2 stages 57 bands
2004 5–6 June Download Festival[17] 2 days 3 stages 73 bands
2005 10–12 June Download Festival with Ozzfest[18] 3 days 3 stages 99 bands
2006 9–11 June Download Festival[19] 3 days 4 stages 106 bands
2007 8–10 June Download Festival[20] 3 days 3 stages 101 bands
2008 13–15 June Download Festival[21] 3 Days 3 stages 100 bands
2009 14–16 June Download Festival[22] 3 days 4 stages 132 bands.

2010s[edit]

Year Date Event Days Stages Acts Attendance Recordings
2010 11–13 June Download Festival 3 days 5 stages (+ AC/DC stage) 100,000[23]
2011 10–12 June Download Festival[24] 3 Days 5 stages
2012 8–10 June Download Festival[25] 3 days 5 stages
2013 14–16 June Download Festival[26] 3 days

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fantazia One Step Beyond, Donnington - Rave / Old Skool / Hardcore". Fantazia.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  2. ^ "Monsters of Rock . Castle Donington 1980". Ukrockfestivals.com. 1980-08-16. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  3. ^ "Monsters of Rock . Castle Donington 1981". Ukrockfestivals.com. 1982-08-21. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  4. ^ "Monsters of Rock . Castle Donington 1982". Ukrockfestivals.com. 1982-08-21. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  5. ^ "Monsters of Rock . Castle Donington 1983". Ukrockfestivals.com. 1983-08-20. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  6. ^ "Monsters of Rock . Castle Donington 1984". Ukrockfestivals.com. 1984-08-18. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  7. ^ "Monsters of Rock . Castle Donington 1985". Ukrockfestivals.com. 1985-08-17. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  8. ^ "Monsters of Rock . Castle Donington 1986". Ukrockfestivals.com. 1980-08-17. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  9. ^ "Monsters of Rock .Castle Donington 1987". Ukrockfestivals.com. 1987-08-22. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  10. ^ "Monsters of Rock . Castle Donington 1990". Ukrockfestivals.com. 1988-08-20. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  11. ^ "Monsters of Rock .Castle Donington 1990". Ukrockfestivals.com. 1990-08-18. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  12. ^ "Fantazia Rave Time Line - Page 1 - 1990-92". Fantazia.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  13. ^ "Rock and Blues festival 2001 review page 1". Homepage.ntlworld.com. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  14. ^ "Uli and UFO at Donington, 23/6/2001". Ufo.dave-wood.org. 2001-06-23. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  15. ^ "A Day At The Races (Donington) 01 line-up & rumours". Efestivals.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  16. ^ "History | Download Festival 2012 | Official Line Up and Tickets for 2012". 2012.downloadfestival.co.uk. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  17. ^ "History | Download Festival 2012 | Official Line Up and Tickets for 2012". 2012.downloadfestival.co.uk. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  18. ^ "History | Download Festival 2012 | Official Line Up and Tickets for 2012". 2012.downloadfestival.co.uk. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  19. ^ "History | Download Festival 2012 | Official Line Up and Tickets for 2012". 2012.downloadfestival.co.uk. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  20. ^ "History | Download Festival 2012 | Official Line Up and Tickets for 2012". 2012.downloadfestival.co.uk. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  21. ^ "History | Download Festival 2012 | Official Line Up and Tickets for 2012". 2012.downloadfestival.co.uk. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  22. ^ "History | Download Festival 2012 | Official Line Up and Tickets for 2012". 2012.downloadfestival.co.uk. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  23. ^ "History | Download Festival 2012 | Official Line Up and Tickets for 2012". 2012.downloadfestival.co.uk. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  24. ^ "History | Download Festival 2012 | Official Line Up and Tickets for 2012". 2012.downloadfestival.co.uk. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  25. ^ "Home | Download Festival 2012 | Official Line Up and Tickets for 2012". 2012.downloadfestival.co.uk. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  26. ^ Terms of Use Privacy Policy. "Download Festival 2013 | Official Download Festival Website". Downloadfestival.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 

External links[edit]