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Download Festival 2022Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany
24th June 2022
Download Festival 2022 with Metallica, Sabaton, Five Finger Death Punch, Enter Shikari, Behemoth, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Holding Absence and Ghost Kid

Download Festival, Germany Kick-off! On Friday, more than 65,000 fans attended the first Download Festival at the Hockenheimring, Germany. It’s just a great experience to be at this race track. On two stages we could see awesome performances of bands like GHOST KID, FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES, HOLDING ABSENCE, BEHEMOTH, ENTER SHIKARI, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, SABATON and last but not least METALLICA.

GHOSTKID was the first band on stage and frontman Sebastian “Shushi” Biesler delivered a good performance. You might know him as the former singer from the band ELECTRIC CALLBOY. /

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The mood in the audience became a bit more boisterous when FRANK CARTER AND THE RATTLESNAKES entered the stage. The British Punk rockers, who are also part of the line-up of this year’s DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL in Donington Park, are known for their wild live shows. Frontman Frank Carter and guitarist Dean Richardson like to jump into the audience and let their fans celebrate them properly. F /

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Next to conquer the stage were the guys from HOLDING ABSENCE. The sound of the Welsh band can be described as melodic metal-core. Since their formation in 2016, the band has already gained some stage experience. Unfortunately, a headlining tour through Europe planned for 2020 had to be cancelled due to the Corona pandemic. Therefore, the guys were even more pleased to be part of DOWNLOAD GERMANY. /

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With BEHEMOTH it got a bit darker on the area of the Hockenheimring. With a lot of Pyro, the high priests of extreme metal heated up the audience properly. The famous Polish band can now look back on over 30 years of band history and also announced their new (the 12th!) Studio album for this year. /

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Those who prefer it more colourful ENTER SHIKARI was the right decision. With a confetti rain and streamers, the ENTER SHIKARI offered the contrast program to BEHEMOTH. The four guys mix synthesizer and electro sounds with typical Hardcore elements, Dubstep and screaming vocals. The result is a mix, which they call Trancecore themselves. On stage the four had visibly fun. Unfortunately there were technical problems, because the sound was not well tuned in parts. But this did not dampen the mood. After the announcement of the frontman Rou Reynolds that there are only two rules today: First - at the festival everyone loves each other, even if there is a war going on in Europe right now and second - everyone should dance as they want. The Downloaders celebrated a big party together with the band. /

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Meanwhile an opulent stage set for SABATON was built on the neighbouring stage. The songs of the Swedish heavy metal band often deal with military themes that are also related to both world wars. For this reason, the band is often criticised for glorifying war, although they always emphasise that they do not glorify war, but only want to tell stories. Their fans got a great stage show - with tanks, gas masks, camouflage clothing, sandbags and a lot of pyro. Against the backdrop of world events, the guys just address the sad reality. /

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When FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH entered the stage, the highlight of the day was already reached for some fans in the audience, although METALLICA was still to come. The guys from Las Vegas are currently touring Europe and made a stop at DOWNLOAD GERMANY. For one girl the gig was supposed to be the highlight of her festival, when singer Moody invited her on stage and she was allowed to sing together with him. With a lot of power in their music and elements of heavy metal, groove metal and hard rock, the guys are one of the top-class metal bands in the world. /

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Then it was finally time and METALLICA entered the stage. We don’t need to introduce these metal legends. The band belongs to the most successful metal bands in the world and many festival visitors came just because of their favourite band. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any pictures of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, nor METALLICA. Honestly, we have to say that METALLICA’s performance at DOWNLOAD was not one of the best in the bands over 40-year history. The sound was unfortunately still not optimal and the setlist was rather unusual. /

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All in all, there have been some difficulties at the first DOWNLOAD GERMANY, which was also broadcast live on Magnet TV. The atmosphere on the festival area was sad to say rather restrained. One had the impression that most of the visitors were there exclusively for METALLICA and perceived the world-class line-up rather as supports of their favourite band. A real, exuberant festival atmosphere was therefore unfortunately very rare, which was also a pity for the other artists. Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun and hope for an improvement next time, with a just as great line-up as this year. And if you wonder why there are no pics of FFDP and METALLIC… there were no pictures allowed.

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All pictures by Mathias Utz

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