Much like Glastonbury Festival and its connection with energetic ley lines, Donnington Park has a long generational history of hosting ear-deafening rock shows. At this point, it’s pretty much become a cider-soaked pilgrimage for Kerrang!-reading rock fans.
Back in the 80s, those muddied grasses up near Castle Donnington, in Leicestershire, hosted AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Metallica, as part of the Monsters of Rock festival. Most famously, they’ve consecutively hosted Download – arguably the UK’s biggest rock festival – for nearly 20 years.
While COVID-19 put a stop to the festival’s 2020 edition, they returned last weekend, hosting 10,000 punters as part of a pilot festival aimed to test whether festivals can safely operate during the coronavirus pandemic.
VICE photographer Christopher Bethell headed to the festival, photographing everything from the first (legal) mosh-pits in over a year, to the goth couples of Download, who you can see below, enjoying freedom.