Name: Alex Payne
From: Maidstone, Kent
Festival: Download, Donnington
A storm was brewing in Donnington by late afternoon on the Sunday, and at 4pm the heavens opened. Some retreated to tents, others whipped out emergency macs and others stood their ground. We, however, decided to take cover at a nearby triangular billboard – albeit, still getting soaked. Our idea needed adapting badly, and fortunately for us this poster had unrealised shelter-potential. After some serious pulling by myself and another rain-ready visionary, we had formed a line, picking up our sections and rotating our fellow holders as arms began to strain. You’d think we’d done the unthinkable, a poster-holding league of relative strangers. If only. All was going dandy until a fellow festival-goer chose to whip out his penis and urinate, generously splashing my good friend nearby. Urination aside, a scouser spent most of our detainment screaming wildly at his phone, and of course uttering the infamous words ‘calm down, calm down’ as he discussed a near-fight from the previous day. After only an hour and a half under a poster…my life is now complete.
Best Act: Slash. Not only was he on top form, executing his awesome guitar skills with great precision; he was also partnered with the equally excellent Myles Kennedy. The Alter Bridge front-man handled the Guns N’ Roses material with an ability to rival even Axl Rose himself.
Worst Act: With regret, Billy Idol. Maybe it was the rain, but his set was a little limp – too many ballads are hardly likely to help an already wet and miserable bunch cheer up.