The Darkness Kick Off Britain’s Download Festival

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June 11, 2011 | 9:35am EST

The Darkness sealed their comeback by kicking off Britain’s Download Festival on Friday, marking their first U.K. festival appearance since 2004.
The British rockers, who reformed earlier this year, played a 13-song set on the main stage at the annual rock event in Donington Park, England.

Frontman Justin Hawkins thanked fans for the warm reception, after previously admitting he was “terrified” about performing at Download – where revellers often boo and throw bottles at acts they don’t like.

Midway through their set, Hawkins announced, “Tonight is already the best night of my life, thank you.”

Headliners Def Leppard later commended Hawkins and his bandmates for their successful set, with singer Joe Elliott telling the crowd, “We want to thank The Darkness, who are back together again. Good for them.”

Other acts featured in the 2011 Download Festival line-up include System Of A Down, Linkin Park and Taylor Momsen’s band, The Pretty Reckless.