With a mix of sun and rain beating down on the crowds, spirits were not dampened with a huge variety of entertainment across the site including a Friday night Zombie Ball, comedy, fairground rides and exclusive acoustic performances in the backstage press area from Skunk Anansie, Frank Turner, Bowling For Soup, Madina Lake and The King Blues.
Download 2011 heralded an emotional return for The Darkness, who stormed the Main Stage on Friday, following their reunion earlier in the year. Lead singer Justin Hawkins proclaimed it 'the best night of his life' and confetti cannons sprayed the audience at the end of the set. Saturday headliners System Of A Down drew in a massive crowd to witness their only UK show since reuniting after a five year hiatus, with a mass sing along to 'Chop Suey' half way through their 26 song set.
Avenged Sevenfold paid tribute to their 'brother upstairs' during their Saturday Main Stage performance, with it being their first festival appearance since the tragic passing of drummer The Rev. The festival spirit continued as Black Stone Cherry on Friday covered Adele's 'Rolling In The Deep', Skindred included cover versions of Tinie Tempah and Metallica songs in their Saturday performance, Skunk Anansie singer Skin ' adorned by giant black feathered wings, 'walked' on the crowd during their Main Stage set, whilst flawlessly singing their biggest song 'Weak', Radio 1's Huw Stephens (broadcasting live from site on Sunday 1-4pm) was kitted out to join shock-rockers Gwar on stage, and a Frankenstein monster joined Alice Cooper on stage for his Second Stage headlining set.