Festival Preview: Download Festival – The Boardie Takeover

Download Festival – The Boardie Takeover – June 8th

Are you heading to the spiritual home of rock this year? Are you going for the full monty, five nights camping in the splendid District 9 and praying for the rain gods to give it a miss this year? Well you may not be aware but there’s going to be some fantastic live music on in The Doghouse. The Boardie Takeover allows bands that aren’t playing the arena to tear it up for the pleasure of the happy early birds staying under canvas. It’s become a bit of an institution at Donington Park and this year the line up is pretty damn sensational. Here’s the lowdown on who’s playing:

Kicking things off are modern metal heroes Defences who will be bringing melody, swirling harmonics and pounding rhythms to the village centrepiece. Already a favourite on the metal underground scene they’ll be the band taking point and playing live first at Download in 2022. So get pitched early and grab a beer because these guys are unmissable.

Next up on the schedule are Sertraline who bring a level of technical precision to the Takeover. Expect a mix of accessibility fused with intricately woven patterns from the guitar. Sertraline have had a few line up changes since first being booked to play way back in 2022. But they’ll be bringing their A game with them and an early opportunity to catch the new personnel live.

Taking things in a more mellow direction are Veridian who provide big soundscapes hung on a framework of alt rock writing. The six piece from Reading have only been going since 2016 so with the pandemic killing near two years they’re progressing at a rapid rate. Offering a kind of gateway to the prog world this will be the time to chill a little.

If you like a bit of ballsy rock and roll then Fury will have you dancing in the isles (if the Doghouse had isles).  With twin vocals and a seriously killer rhythm section this will be the time to just lose it totally.  Fans of metal icons such as Metallica and Motorhead will love Fury. They’re the natural progression to those icons playing no nonsense music loud and proud.

To do metalcore these days and stand out you need to have an edge, a thing, anything….. that is different. Stepping up to the plate are Borders who play it tight as a drum and add in some nice little pseudo-rap vibes. Think Hacktivist but really pissed off and you get the message. Borders are nice guys but noisy scamps on stage. Prepare to be blown away.

If the previous five acts haven’t already got you fist pumping then Seething Akira will certainly finish the job. Chucking all kinds of sounds into the blender they’ve managed to come up with something utterly unique that has a certain Linkin Park feel to it. Hopefully by the time these guys are playing you’ll be several beers in and have your dancing shoes on. You’re going to need them.

Wrapping things up you’ll find Red Method will wring out the last little drops of any energy you might have left in you. Fast and furious metalcore is the name of the game with a little twist of synth that gives the music an extra dimension. Formed from the ashes of the much loved Meta-Stasis and The Defiled anyone with memories of these acts will have an inkling of what to expect.

This year’s Takeover will take place on Wednesday June 8th  (times to be confirmed) in the Doghouse.

So if you needed any more good reasons to arrive early and get pitched pronto here are seven of the very best.


Preview by Gary Trueman

Sertraline photo by Jacob McAllister