Metal gigs can be some of the happiest. Have you ever felt the true joy in having some guy sweep an arm forward to politely usher you into a circle pit then immediately bodyslam you while a singer screams as though they’ve just stood on an upturned plug? Good, then you’ll have a sense of the merriment of Download Festival, metal/heavy rock's annual thrashabout in a Leicester motorsport circuit.
Last year, we sent Oobah (yeah, the shed guy) to find the last sincere festival experience in Donington Park. And, tbh, he did. This time round, photographer Chris Bethell took in the sights of punters beaming in the sunshine while everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Babymetal to The Pink Slip and Avenged Sevenfold played. It was like a typical great gig, amplified to fit 100,000 people including your ex, that guy from your maths class who always had headphones in and guys who've been saving up all their best, black comedy slogan tees for the big weekend. Researchers have already found that a small sample of people say metal is good for their mental health, while those who got into metal in the 80s reported being happier than most of us sods in 2015. So consider these photos a visual manifestation of that. Scroll down for more.
You can find Chris on Instagram.