All The Things We Overheard at Download Festival This Year

“Who the fuck’s that guy? He looks like they built the festival around him”
Daisy Jones
London, GB
Chris Bethell
photos by Chris Bethell
Moshers at Skindred at Download Festival 2022
Photo: Chris Bethell

If you were wondering where all the moshers, goths and metalheads were this weekend, they were probably at Download Festival, in Donington Park in Leicestershire, watching bands like Megadeth and KISS and Funeral For A Friend and Korn and Creeper and Biffy Clyro.

Essentially, any band that makes you want to do weird shit – like uncontrollably roar and barrel into people like a moving particle – was probably on the line-up. It is, after all, the biggest rock \m/ event of the year in the UK. So everyone (110,000 people, apparently) came out in full force to worship at the altar.

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At VICE, we like to do this exercise where we go to festivals and clubs and listen in on peoples’ conversations, completely without context. This is because it’s the best way to gauge the general vibe of a place – whether it’s listening in on weird 4AM drug chat at Glastonbury, trailing uni students at Inferno’s or eavesdropping on whatever people are chatting about nightclub toilets. And, seeing as Download is essentially five days of people consuming warm Carling and being melted with metal riffs, the convos were getting odd, especially by the Sunday night.

With that in mind, here’s everything we overheard at Download in 2022:

“Who the fuck’s that guy? He looks like they built the festival around him.”

“There are urinals! I was watching men piss there earlier!”

“You look like you passed out in your own cheeky Vimeo puke” – Man to another man with a purple-dyed beard.

Kiss fans at Download Festival 2022

Photo: Chris Bethell

“I’m fat! Let’s party!”

Person A: “I’m gonna go back to my friends now”
Person B: “No! Stay with me! I’ve got £300!”

“The other chuckle brother - the one that’s not dead – he’s doing a secret set at the village tonight.”

“Watch out dickheads! It’s pirate time!”

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“Someone’s set up a toilet tent next to our tent.”

“There’ll be a queue for that in the morning.”

“I’m horny for the people drinking beer out of a horn.”

“Touch my butt! Touch my butt! Touch my butt!” – man crowd-surfing.

“Your throne awaits!” – man holding portaloo door open.

Mosher at Download Festival 2022

Photo: Chris Bethell

“Please, can you tell me what an NFT is?”

“‘I was made for loving you?’ I thought that was a Jamiroquai song.”

“Sweet dreams, Dad!”

“You asshole! I hate cold egg!”

“Oooh that’s a very jägery jagerbomb.”

“I actually think Malevolence would do pretty well at Eurovision.”

“Salmonella? Who is she?”

“I’m not gay, but please can I motorboat you on video?”

“I’d be more scared of a man carrying one gun and a pair of scissors than a man carrying two guns.”

“I fink you freaky and I hate you.”

“I’ll give you a fiver if you kiss the skinny Shrek.”

“I’m as pissed as my nan’s mattress.”

@daisythejones / @christopherbethell