There’s something about arriving onsite that’s got a comforting, familiar feel to it – like coming home. Weirdly, for the many emotional moments across the weekend as you remember the sheer joy of watching bands and carrying on with your mates, it feels like nothing’s changed.
Michelle from Manchester agrees. “As soon as I arrived, I was like, ‘Yep, I’m at Download,’” she says. “I’ve gone into ‘Download-brain’ almost straight away. When I walked into the arena, it actually felt like any other Download, and that felt amazing. It didn’t feel strange at all. I did a little cry because I was so happy to have it back.”
Having seen how much a world without Download sucks, it’s not surprising how many people say they’re grateful to have it back, and how much they hope the scientific element of the weekend goes well, as proof that it’s possible to open festivals up without, really, having too much hassle. You have to test and play by the rules to get in? Big deal: it’s not really a faff, and a bit of effort on our side means we get festivals back, says John from Nuneaton.
“It took me five minutes to sort out all the testing stuff – I thought it would take ages but it didn’t,” he explains. “Obviously that’s gonna be shit if you’re excited and then you test positive and have to miss it, but it seems like such a simple solution to getting this back it’s like, ‘Why aren’t we running all the shows like this?’ It’s no bother at all to do the test and do what they’re asking. I feel like by doing this we’re genuinely helping out. And it’s fucking awesome to feel like you’re even more of a part of Download than normal because of it.”