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A platoon of crack all-weather Area 51 performance artist commandos battled bravely against the elements to set up a monstrous reunion with an escapee who has been on the run with Iron Maiden all year!

Sixty five leading performers doggedly ploughed on with heavy thunder and lightning -on stage and off!- to leave 85,000-plus rock fans screaming for more at one of the wettest festivals in UK music history.

The site at Donington Park was transformed into a muddy quagmire of discarded paper cups, plastic bottles and a squelchy river of sludge as rainfall of biblical proportions threatened to ruin the Download Festival 2016.

Undeterred, the Area 51 squad worked through three grueling days and nights to help keep festival-goers entertained with the usual diet of high-octane brilliance and edgy antics. During daylight hours, walkabout stilt performers provided welcome photo-ops for punters while the celebrated touring show, Igor Rasputin's Caravan Of Lost Souls rolled around the arena area and pitched its tent to whoops and applause of thousands of mud-coated revelers.

Evelyn Frantii and Klas Tacer provided a suitably Teutonic element to the caravan's cast of freaks and weirdos while German metal band Rammstein were one of the headline acts. Others included Ozzy Osbourne's Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden.

Maiden, who are in the middle of their Book Of Skulls World Tour, were accompanied by their giant Mayan mascot Eddie, who originally escaped from Area 51's compound in central England during the winter months before locating and teaming up with Bruce Dickinson and co. He has since viisted inummerable countries around the globe.

Eddie proved to be one of THE highlights of a downpour-heavy Download and gave him the opportunity of a fond and thrilling reunion with his former Area 51 colleagues.

51 artists performed on all three nights of the event inside the "Doghouse", sharing the stage and limelight with the Circus of Horrors.

Images courtesy of Steve Maydwell and Adam at Boon Images.


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