All Tomorrow’s Parties 8-10 May

(Yes we know ATP has been and gone but this article was originally in the magazine and we thought you might like to see it. So just chill, alright?)

Me and my friends have been going to ATP since we were seventeen.  As each festival goes by we turn into prissier and prissier little bitches, griping about how much we hate all the douchebags there, when really, we are all the douchebags there. Because there’s no VIP section, all the bands just walk around so you get some pretty sweet run-ins. A friend was doing an impression of Daniel Johnston in the toilets once -“Oh hai, I’m Daniel Johnston, meh meh” - and then Mr. Johnston emerged from the cubicle next to him.

There is a Pizza Hut on site with a 24 hour buffet.  We were in there, rowdy on carbs, and started mouthing off about Patti Smith. Then one of us noticed a woman who looked kind of like Patti Smith, so he ironically gave her the middle finger. It was Patti Smith.

The venue is by the sea, so you can squeeze ear splitting noise, ice cream and getting your feet wet into one hour.  There’s also an old mens’ pub on site and they have rock karaoke on Saturday nights.  Forever into the annals of ATP legend goes ‘Brian Maiden’ - the greatest performer of anthemic rock I have ever seen in my whole entire life ever.  Oh and there are these Milk and Cider Parties.  As in, when fucked people sing a song about milk and cider and wear big paper bags on their heads and pour milk and cider over each other.

OH MY GOD IT’S SO GOOD.  Wait, what am I saying?  You might come. Don’t, it’s shit.

Elizabeth Sankey

Download 12-14 May

Heavy metal is the coolest thing around right now by about a trillion miles. As a metal fan, I feel sorry for other genres of music. It must suck being a folk singer or a dubstep fan in 2009. Everyone wants an original 80’s denim jacket with an Angel Witch patch.
Download has a different vibe to somewhere like Reading. Everyone there has ‘the metal’ in common so it’s way friendlier than you’d expect. Shout ‘Slayer!’ at any random individual and you’ll see what I mean.

The pits at Download are mind-blowing. Bands like Municipal Waste simply wave their hands nonchalantly from the stage and instantly two massive concentric circle pits are raging. And these two crazed pits are neatly within a larger one (which is going anti-clockwise). The HUGE wall of death they commanded last year was a thing of violent beauty. They should ask for an inverted cross or something next time.

Another cool thing is that everyone pisses in water bottles rather than the toilet. You then leave the cap off the bottle and throw it at the busiest part of the crowd, preferably with children around. This is a really fun game everyone likes to do at Download. A friend tried to do the water bottle thing but missed it completely and urinated all over himself in spectacular fashion as we watched Kiss. He didn’t flinch and stayed to watch the next hour of the set.

I seriously love Download. This year, they’ve got riot-pleasing regulars like Slipknot, Korn and Pendulum and some ironic-but-also-killer old school acts like Whitesnake, Journey and Motley Crue. They should change the name back to  Donnington Monsters of Rock, though. It’s way more epic.

Marek Steven