Download Festival is, by many, considered to be the new "Monsters of Rock". It takes place annually at the beginning of the summer in Donington Park - the spiritual home of rock and metal in the UK, renown for its past performances by bands such as Iron Maiden.
The inaugural Download Festival took place in May/June 2003 and has been growing since that date. The festival has, since the beginning, been plagued with last minute chops-changes and surprises - ranging from Slayer playing a crammed second stage to Metallica popping out of nowhere in 2003 for a surprise set and playing their only ever set without Lars in 2004.
In 2005, the festival expanded to be a three day event - focussing on indie and softer-rock on the Friday.