© James Palmer/Retna Ltd./Corbis
Rhythm is out in force at this year's Download festival, and with Def Leppard, The Darkness, Korn, Alter Bridge and more just on day one, it's a good job. We'll be getting interviews and video content throughout the weekend. So stick right here to follow us hour-by-hour as we catch the biggest rock show of the year.
11:00: We're on site and ready for a day of rawwwwk!
13:00: Into the main arena to catch CKY before dashing off to the second stage where D.R.U.G.S are giving Donington an early morning (in rock star terms this is the crack of dawn, remember) workout. Drummer Aaron Stern is controlling things from the back with some hard-hitting rock beats spliced together with a hint of hip-hop playing as the band run through much of their debut album. Ones to watch for sure.
14:15: En route to the press area we hear Puddle Of Mudd receive an un-nervingly warm reception as they blast through AC/DC's 'TNT' and their own 'She Hates Me'. Donington loves a bit of nu metal, doesn't it? Who'd have thought that a few years back?
14:30: We've collared CC from make-up coated rockers Black Veil Brides and he's giving us a few stick tricks. Thankfully he's got his full slap on as well. Keep an eye on our YouTube page for that one.
15:10: Back out in the main arena and Duff Mckagan's Loaded are closing their set with GNR classic 'It's So Easy'. Nice.
15:45: Black Stone Cherry are laying waste to the main stage with their hugely enthusiastic, boogie-filled southern rock. New single 'White Thrash Millionaire' sounds absolutely huge, and drummer Jon-Fred Young (who you can see more from right now at our YouTube channel) is one hell of a captivating spectacle throughout – all flailing arms and caveman hair. They even have the balls to put 'Rain Wizard' into the set. Thankfully it doesn't cause a downpour.
16:15: We're back into the press area waiting to be escorted to the Leppard's den for a chat with Rick Allen.
17:00: Just back from talking to Rick we're straight into an interview with Korn's Ray Luzier followed by Pendulum drum'n'bass master KJ Sawka. We can hear Brian Downey and Thin Lizzy playing an awesome greatest hits set in the background.
18:30: Interview duties done for the day it's back out to the arena as Scott Phillips is providing the powerhouse beats for a hugely popular Alter Bridge set. 'Metalingus' in particular shows Scott's impressive chops.
19:30: The Darkness are back. After bizarrely starting with an instrumental they're soon into their groove and the hits start rolling. 'Black Shuck', 'Growing On Me' and 'Friday Night' are absolute festival anthems. They also pull the first power ballad ('Love Is Only A Feeling') of Download 2011 out of the bag as well. But, judging that Def Leppard are up next we're guessing it won't be the last.
20:00: Actually, before the Leppard we've got Korn tearing the second stage apart. Ray Luzier is on top form, owning his huge set-up from start to finish.
20:40: Here comes the rain…
21:10: And here come Def Leppard!
21:20: Rick Allen is fuelling a singalong greatest hits set (what else would you expect from Def Lep?) 'Rocket', 'Animal', 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' and more. Fantastic. We don't even care that it's raining anymore.
23:00: A blinder of a set from Leppard. Now it's time to get warm, get dry and most importantly, get ready for tomorrow!