Download Festival Was Brutal

Words and photos by James Adams

Metal has always been about more than ‘cool.’

And if you needed a reminder of that, Download Festival in Sydney over the weekend was the place for it. Thousands of fans were lined up at the gates for over an hour, keen to get first pick of the merch and to snag a sweet spot in front of the main stages—a phenomenon you’ll never see this at any other festival happening in Australia.

Everyone was dressed exclusively in black: band shirts, patched up jackets, black jeans, and zero fucks. There was no fashion parade, no influencers, no selfies, no cocktails; just one-thousand-percent commitment to the bands whose names were emblazoned on black tees as far as the eye could see. They were there to scream, sweat, and chant for the music they love, and if that’s not ‘cool,’ then I don’t know what is.

Horns up.


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