With over bands spread over many stages for three days, the country’s main rock festival ploughs on.
From humble beginnings back in 1980 when it was a one-day affair headlined by Rainbow, it has now become a huge global brand.
Friday was filled with the great and the good with American legends Kiss taking top honours. Below them we had full on performances from the likes of A Day To Remember, Welsh wonder boys Skindred who always but on top shows thanks to years of hard roadwork.
It was also nice to see Wayward Sons fronted by Toby Jepson, one time singer with Little Angels who reformed briefly back in 2012 and took the second stage to pieces. He’s now also a radio presenter on Planet Rock as well as fronting Wayward Sons, who naturally did themselves proud.
Saturday was Iron Maiden day. This British institution have displayed class and distintion since conception making their debut Donington appearance back in 1988 and have since returned many times.
Supporting them are many, with Monster Truck catching my eye first, and hopefully not for the last as they did well. Taking a trip to the Second Stage we viewed Ice Nine Kills. Having never seen or heard before, they were quite good. All smartly dressed with the odd face mask they plugged new product, Welcome to Horrorwood well.
Back on the Main Stage we had Black Label Society fronted by Zak Wild who quietly got on with business and drew large crowds. The masses at the Dogtooth Stage gave Will Haven a good cheer too though sadly we only caught the tail end, so to speak. Daughtry, a six some hailing from over the pond kept us warm with strong songs and nice stage craft. New album Dearly Beloved should sell well.
Sadly I didn’t see main stagers Shinedown as The Avalanche Stage drew us to Creeper. Another six piece to draw big crowds, with tunes that were poppy yet hard.
Second Stage headliners Megadeth kicked off their onslaught with Hanger 18 as Dave Mustaine, dressed in stand out white shirt and neatly trimmed beard, lead his troops through their lengthy set which predictably produced big gatherings. Sweating Bullets pleased the many and Dave seemed genuinely grateful for the applause.
With the weather still holding and slightly later then expected though looking as fit as ever, Iron Maiden bounced on stage, Bruce Dickinson complete with trendy top knot hair do. With guitarist Janick Gers bounding around and Eddie making his first appearance of the night, the band knocked out a few tunes from new album Senjutsu with first single The Writing on The Wall getting the biggest cheer.
Following a quick set change the band returned with the back catalogue getting a strong airing. Blood Brothers, Fear Of The Dark plus the ever popular Iron Maiden, all of which they delivered with their usual passion seemed to please one and all. We had lights, flames and a first class show from a first class band.
Returning with The Trooper, The Clansman, and Run To The Hills, it was Aces High, the opening song that started the recent Legacy Of The Beast tour, that completed the day. And with Iron Maiden bidding us good night, we all await the next encounter.