Download Festival Hatebreed

The festival heroes that made Download 2018 amazing

13th June 2018 Off By

Festival heroes make your weekend what it is. They could be fellow fans, security, staff, police, artists, traders, anything. You might not know their name, but you know they’ve gone above-and-beyond to make your festival extra special or to help you out when things go wrong.

We asked Download Festival fans for their stories of 2018’s festival heroes, and they responded en-masse with countless touching stories from across the weekend.

Kirsty and Peter both gave tributes to security team members that spent the weekend making people smile.

Kirsty Haynes: “The high five guy 0651 in Metal Meadow, Christian Martin. He was so happy, made everyone smile on the walk over. All the security I encountered in camps were awesome, but high five guy was extra awesome! 😂”

Peter Hendry: “Don’t know his name but there was a security lad who hi-fived everybody who passed him. My son thought he was great and really put a smile on your face before you went into the arena. Even when we were leaving my son jumped out of the car to give him a double hi-five. He then came over to the car to hi-five the rest of us. What a guy!”

Marilyn Manson Download Festival
Marilyn Manson performs on the Main Stage, besides the Campervan field

Linda offered this moving tribute to the campervan site security, who went above and beyond when her father was unfortunately taken ill.

Linda Plumb:My Download heroes are the security on the campervan site. I had a call at 10:20 am Monday morning to say I needed to get to LRI [Leicester Royal Infirmary] as my dad was seriously ill. Security escorted us to the gate, I made it to LRI, my dad passed away about 30 minutes later, if it wasn’t for the security staff I would have been stuck in the queue and not been able to say goodbye to my dad.  I cannot thank them enough. 🤘❤️”

Raven’s festival was saved by ‘security #484’ after an anxiety attack left her wanting to go home.

Raven Malachi Harlow:  “I came with my guide doggo on Sunday, arrived just after midday. I was sent from the drop off, past the east box office which I didn’t even see, up to the main gate. I asked this particular security member, a Scottish woman with red shoulder length hair #484, where I needed to be as I was starting to have an anxiety attack… She walked with me to the west box office, it took us half an hour to get there to be told to go back to east. We did that. To be told we had to go back to the disabled camp to get my wristbands and PA info. At this point, I’d been there for two hours and just wanted to go home. I was hyperventilating and all but left the site. 484 kept me calm, petted my dog to help her relax too and stayed with us every second until we were through the arena gate. That woman is a saviour and if it wasn’t for her I would have just left because I couldn’t cope. Thank you 484! Also a shout-out to the first security man at bag check in who gave my dog his bottle of water, that was so sweet and such a kind gesture. Download will always have a special place in my heart.”

Download Festival quiet campsite on Thursday evening
Campers moving into Quiet Camping on Thursday evening

Marcy wanted to thank Dawn and perhaps multiple Jakes that helped her and her boyfriend pitch their tent in quiet camping.

Marcy Lloyd: “To the group in quiet camp including Dawn and Jake and possibly even another Jake, thank you for helping me and my boyfriend pitch our tent. 😂 We’ve never been more grateful ever haha we were pure struggling!” 😢😂 legends x”

Sean, Rachael, and Toni-Ericka had many thanks for those who worked on Download’s accessibility and accompanied them throughout the weekend. This year, Download offered disabled viewing platforms on every single stage, and British Sign Language interpreters for the first time ever.

Rachael Chappell: “The people translating into sign language, never noticed them before, but they deserve a lot of thanks. Especially since I first noticed during the Avatar set, the lady I spoke to said the lyrics get weirder during the day! 😀”

Rise Against Download Festival
Rise Against’s Zippo Stage performance was signed in BSL

Toni-Ericka Kirkland: “My best friend Abbie Jones! She was my pa, I’m agoraphobic and I’ve always wanted to go to download, I’ve never even been to a gig before, I went for the full 5 days, had disabled access but we camped in red, I honestly couldn’t have done it without her! I also have mobility issues and she’s been my absolute angel, made me feel so safe and secure, I’ve done things I never thought I could do, achieved things I never even dreamed of, and it’s all because she pushed me to do them and believed in me and quite literally held my hand, I love her to the moon and back and I am so so grateful to her! She put her own fun on hold for me at times and missed bands she wanted to see because of me! At times she had to pick me up because I couldn’t stand, she reassured me that I was fine, and she physically made space around me when I needed it In crowds, she has given me one of the best experiences of my life!”

Sean Kneeshaw: “The volunteer drivers on the shuttle busses”

Sarah-Jane wanted to thank the security guys and medics who looked after her when she became unwell during Guns N’ Roses set.

Sarah-Jane Fryatt: “Two security guards who recognised I couldn’t breathe at the Guns N Roses set and pulled me out – and the medics for looking after me when I collapsed in the medical tent!”

Guns N' Roses
Like the other main stage headliners, GnR’s set closed with a firework display

Peter and Ian also wanted to pay tribute to absolutely everyone who puts Download together.

Ian Bradford: “Everyone that puts [together] and makes Download happen every year. Plus to all my friends that come with me and share so many memories together. Download is my home!”

Peter Hendry: “I’ve been to a few festivals and I really think the staff at Download, well most of them really get into the spirit of the festival!”

TheFestivals Editor ● The Tab Contributor ● University of Manchester Politics Postgrad ● Bangor University School of Computer Science graduate ● One of 1500+ Chester FC owners

sam@thefestivals.uk