The first Download Festival was created by Stuart Galbraith and co-booked by Andy Copping in 2003 in the same location.
Rather than operating as a one-day event, the Download Festival was initially a two-day event, expanding to three days in 2005.
What is the Download Festival?
The name Download festival was chosen for the festival for two reasons. Downloading was a dirty word in the music industry at the time, due to file sharing, and rock is considered a rebellious genre of music.
The Download Festival was also to be a rock monster for the 21st century and the internet would provide connectivity to its audience.
The 2003 festival tickets had a code on them, which would allow festival-goers to download tracks from bands that had performed.
Although this idea was scrapped over the following years, festival organizers nurtured an online community through the festival's download forums.
Initially a sounding board for fans (and critics) of the festival, the advice has become an integral part of the organization of the festival with regular contributions from festival director John Probyn and promoter Andy Copping.
When the Download Festival started, it took place on the Donington Park circuit grounds, just like Monsters of rock.
However, in 2008 developments in Formula 1 meant that the infield was no longer suitable as a festival site. 2008 saw a move to the Sunday Markets site west of the circuit.
Although sufficient, the number was limited and the location of the campsite meant that going from the tents to the arena was quite a difficult hike.
In 2009, the arena moved to a much more suitable location south of the circuit and has stayed there every year since. Safety of the festival was constantly provided by professional crowd management specialists Showec, although the campsite area had several contractors.
Since 2009, Rock Radio has been broadcasting locally on 87.7FM. This RSL show aired music from festival bands, interviews and news about the festival site and surrounding areas, with the signal reaching Nottingham.
Download Festival 2003
The first Download Festival was held from May 31 to June 1, 2003. The original headliners were Iron Maiden and Limp Bizkit, although the latter withdrew and was replaced by Audioslave.
Metallica attempted to step in as headliners, but was unable to do so, due to headlining the Reading and Leeds festivals that year.
Instead, after playing an exclusive show at a club in London the night before, they played an unexpected “secret slot” that afternoon on the second stage, without a soundcheck.
“Sunday belonged to Metallica,” Mick Middles wrote in Classic Rock. “At 3:15 pm, the group was sent back to the heart of the festival. Before me, a bewildered, plugged-eared baby was held up.
In a way, it seemed historic. Starting out at the St. Anger caps, Metallica plunged into a 90-minute frenzy so overwhelming that even the Hells Angels were seen cheering wholeheartedly at the end. The coup d'etat was complete. "
Chevelle was scheduled to play the Scuzz scene on Sunday but pulled out at the last minute. Instruction, playing their second set of the festival, stepped in as substitutes.
Download Festival 2004
The 2004 edition of the festival was held from June 5 to 6. Another stage was added to the festival, bringing the total to three. Seventy-two bands performed over the two days.
The 2004 event was also marked by several last minute hitches.
First, SOiL got lost on his way to Donington and missed his main stage appearance on Saturday (they then joined Drowning Pool on stage to perform "Bodies" from Drowning Pool and their own song "Halo") .
Static-X missed its location due to a bus failure. On Sunday, Slayer arrived on time, but his gear didn't, which led to a mid-afternoon slot change on the main stage to a later (and longer) slot on the second stage. .
Slayer was replaced on the main stage by Damageplan, who were to play the second stage. Their setlist ended with a performance by Damageplan founders Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell's most recognizable Pantera song, “Walk”.
The biggest news came from headliners in Metallica, when Lars Ulrich was rushed to hospital.
Taking the stage an hour and a half late, James Hetfield explained the situation with Ulrich and the show then started with the drummer from Slayer Dave Lombardo playing on "Battery" and "The Four Horsemen".
Joey Jordison from Slipknot played the rest of the set aside from Fade to Black which was played by Metallica drums technician Flemming Larsen.
Download Festival 2005
Download 2005 took place again at Donington Park, June 10-12, 2005. This festival was different from previous years as Saturday was officially dubbed Ozzfest 2005, as well as an "Indie day" on the first day of the festival.
Billy Idol performed on the Snickers stage on Friday night, his first concert in UK after a long hiatus, performing songs such as White Wedding, Rebel Yell and a cover of Van Halen's hymn, Jump.
Feeder frontman Grant Nicholas was so relieved that the band won over the crowd (there was concern that they would be poorly received by traditional festival attendees), he decided to smash his Fender Jazzmaster green guitar after the performance of "Go down".
He later said he regretted it, but also said he kept the neck and tremeloes, and that he could use what was left to make a new guitar.
In a July 2010 interview with Kerrang !, it was suggested to Nicholas that he destroyed the guitar because he was frustrated trying to win over the crowd as their music was different from Download's demographics, but said in answer to this that he "wanted to rock the most and roll the thing after he finally won over the crowd".
In the same interview, Nicholas said they were "guinea pigs" at the festival as part of the organizers' experiment to make it an alternative festival, but said it was a point in the band's career that he is always proud. 
Lemmy also took the stage, along with former MC5 members and Gilby Clarke, to play Back in the USA.
Initially, Bert McCracken of The Used and Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance were asked to perform their cover of Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie, but the former friends turned down the offer to play the cover as they had fallen out recently. .
Download Festival 2006
Alice in Chains at Download Festival 2006
The Download Festival 2006 took place in Donington Park, England, June 9-11.
The headlining acts (Tool, Metallica, and Guns N 'Roses) have sales of around 200-250 million albums between them, more than the entire 2006 V Festival lineup.
2006 was the first time that the festival was reproduced in the Republic of Ireland, under the name Download Festival Ireland. 2006 was also by far the hottest year Download has ever seen. 
During the festival, Korn singer Jonathan Davis was rushed to hospital.
Similar to the 2004 Metallica ensemble, Munky, Fieldy, and David Silveria showed up and explained to fans why Davis couldn't do it and performed with the guest vocalists. Corey Taylor from Slipknot, Dez Fafara of DevilDriver, 10-year-old Jesse Hasek, Benji Webbe of Skindred, Mr. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold and Matt Heafyde Trivium.
The lyrics to the song "Blind" were displayed on Matt Heafy's screen. Metallica performed the Master of Puppets album in its entirety in honor of its twentieth anniversary.
Guns N 'Roses also performed tracks from the upcoming album Chinese Democraty.
The main stage was located in the center of the arena with crowd control moving around it, and was the largest of the three stages, the security barriers used at this stage were T-shaped in order to avoid crushing the crowd in the middle.
The stage was outdoors and named in honor of Kerrang's 25th birthday! magazine.
The Snickers Stage was located in a tent behind the main stage and was the second largest stage of the festival. Access to the stage was through a one-way system that attempted to distribute people around the site, rather than trying to all move through a rather tight space.
Soilwork was scheduled to play on Sunday, but was replaced by DevilDriver (playing their second set of the festival). 
Gibson / Myspace Stage The Myspace stage was the smallest of the three and under a smaller tent. It was placed in front of the front of the main stage.
Download Festival 2007
The Download Festival 2007 took place from June 8-10, 2007.
The three bands that made headlines at the 2007 festival were My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park and Iron Maiden.
Jonathan Davis of Korn said the reason the group was returning this year was because of his illness absence last year.
He said on the official Download Festival website: “I can't wait to come to the Download Festival this year. I was heartbroken to retire the last time. So this time I'm very happy to be back and we promise to rock the place!
I will definitely make up for it for missing the last one. You can expect an amazing Korn show! "
The Download Festival 2007 was Dimmu Borgir's very first appearance at a festival in England. The hardcore superstar pulled out of her place on the Tuborg stage on Sunday because her tour bus broke down in Germany. The Download Festival 2007 featured an Indian group Parikrama. They became the first Indian group to travel to Donington.
Download 2007 also featured the first group to officially perform on the Thursday of the festival. Scumface performed on the Tuborg stage during the boardie barbecue. 
Lamb of God's Walk With Me in Hell DVD features the band's full performance at the festival. 
Download Festival 2008
The Download Festival needs an overhaul.
When makeup enthusiasts, Kiss, were heralded as the Friday night headliner, bassist Gene Simmons said:
"I can't wait to humiliate these little boys in little bands that think they matter, we're going to tear them apart ..." which clearly upset most of the bands on the lineup, as well as their ardent fans who thought the legends of the 70s had passed.
An aerial acrobatic performance with threads galore and a gargantuan glam-rock setlist proved the skeptics wrong, and that the Old Guard still has juice.
Download Festival 2009
At present, the Download Festival is established as the limitless music festival for 120,000 metalhead wanting to shake his head maniacally, the devil's horns raised in one hand and a bottle of Jägermeister in the other.
After the success of Kiss, the Download Festival hosted a Sunday lineup with a classic rock presence.
Yet it was the first appearance of Slipknot the day before that demonstrated they had the tools to send a crowd of nearly a hundred thousand into pure chaos, exuding theatricality, menace and riffs galore.
No wonder they were asked to return for a fourth appearance in 2019, raging the mosh-pit ten years later.
Download Festival 2016
For what was to be their last tour, Ozzy Osbourne and co. assured that it was a most memorable occasion invoking heavy rains to accompany their heavy metal plan.
The masses who braved the mud and the floods that followed were treated to a setlist paying homage to the Sabbath classics, at the festival created for the music they themselves created.
A fitting conclusion to the legacy of Black Sabbath, blessing Download Festival with their last appearance at the UK festival.
Download Festival 2018
Avenged Sevenfold, Ozzy Osbourne (the man obviously can't tear himself away from his Donington followers) and an (almost) fully reformed Guns 'N' Roses headlined the Download; one of the sunniest occasions in the festival's illustrious history thanks to the blissful heat wave that hit the country.
Slash in skin-tight leather pants and Axl Rose was surprisingly punctual, arriving on stage on time - rumors he had ordered offsite traffic shut down at 10:45 p.m. so he could make a quick exit. Rock'n'roll excesses persist ...
A sequel to classics such as' Welcome To The Jungle ',' Sweet Child O 'Mine' and 'Paradise City', Guns' N 'Roses quenched the thirst of the dehydrated masses for a memorable mosh. The bar is high for the future.
Download festival 2021
Following the cancellation of the Download Festival 2020, the Download Festival 2021 is announced. Discover the program below.
Eric CANTO Photographer: Concert photos, portraits, album covers.