Donington Park screamed into life at the weekend as 90,000 rock and metal fans flooded on to the near-sacred fields of north west Leicestershire for the 10th Download Festival.
Headliners Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein – supported by the likes of Alice in Chains, Mastodon, Korn and Queens of the Stone Age – made 2013's head-banging bash a highly-memorable outing for those who made it to rock music's spiritual home.
Among the faithful was Andie Bainger, who was having her hen party at Donington before marrying her fiance, Douglas Trainer, in Lake Como, in Italy, in September. "I'm here for Rammstein: industrial metal all the way," said Andie, from Hertfordshire.
"And I'm here because it rocks and I'm among my own people and among my best friends."
Friend Naomi Weight originally arranged for Andie just to see Berlin's cult metallers on the Sunday, but it soon escalated and the hens signed up for the whole weekend.
"Who would go anywhere else," said the bride-to-be, "when I can be here with 90,000 of my closest friends?"
With many of the festival-goers embracing fancy dress, the five-strong hen party added that the craziest sight they had seen was of a man staggering around dressed as a Nazi zombie.
"He was awesome," said Naomi, "but his poor girlfriend had to carry around his arm."
Among Donington's perennially healthy local turnout were relatives Shane, Steve and David Buckley, who had travelled from Leicester Forest East and Beaumont Leys to be there.
"Alice in Chains were absolutely brilliant," said Steve. "Slipknot were amazing, so were Korn."
"Black Stone Cherry, they were the band of the weekend," said David.
Shane, from Beaumont Leys, said: "We came last year as well, but compared to last year the music's been amazing. The one thing is the ridiculously priced beer. I've just paid £4.50 for a pint."
A spokeswoman for festival organiser Live Nation said Download 2013 had been a typically relaxed and good-natured event, although during Friday night's splintering headline set from Slipknot, crowd surges forced the band to stop their set twice.
Among the festival's international contingent were Lotta, Linda and Anna, from Hederfors, a town near Gothenburg, in Sweden. Lotta, a fire breather, said: "There are so many people. Although the English boys all seem pretty polite. Every time they squeeze past you, they're saying 'sorry'."See the links below for more video/pictures and words from Download: • PICTURES: Download 2013 - bands and fans on Saturday • PICTURES: Download 2013 - more bands and fans on Saturday • PICTURES: Download 2013 - bands and fans on Friday • INTERVIEW:Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson ready to bring the noise • REVIEW: Download day one • PICTURES: Download 2013 - fans arrive at Donington Park • ALMOST READY TO ROCK: Campers rock 'n' roll up for the Download festival• PREVIEW: The top acts to see at Download Festival