A baby at a heavy metal festival?

Your reaction to the idea may be similar to some of the backlash that metal-loving mom Lauren McAuley apparently faced when she brought her 10-month-old baby to England's rock and metal-filled Download Festival 2023 earlier this month (June 8–11).

While the baby, named Lemmy after the late Motorhead leader Lemmy Kilmister, appeared to wear hearing protection, the British tabloid the Daily Mail still reported that McAuley received criticism for her decision in several comments.

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Watch a video down near the bottom of this post.

McAuley, who's attended Download in the past — even while pregnant — had her share of critics. "I feel like some people just don't realize how packed and dangerous Download can be, especially for young children," one commenter reportedly remarked.

"It is not a safe environment for a small child," another commenter reportedly said. "There are too many drunken/drugged-up idiots around to risk a child's life." Undeterred, McAuley suggested that she didn't have an issue, and she said that she'd even bring the baby to the fest again.

Download Festival
Download in 2021 (Katja Ogrin, Getty Images)

Bring Me the Horizon, Metallica and Slipknot headlined separate days at Download Festival 2023. Undoubtedly a loud event, Metallica drew noise complaints from 15 miles away.

Mother Defends Bringing Baby to Fest

But according to the Mail and the New York Post, McAuley clapped back at commenters who questioned her decision to bring the baby to Download. "People are just really miserable," the mother said. "You know, you're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't."

She continued, "I personally really like spending time with my kid so I don't have a problem with taking her [to Download Festival] … Some parents like leaving their kids and getting a break, but not everybody has that option. I could have, but I didn't want to."

McAuley added, "There were lots of negative comments from people saying the festival is not 'child-friendly' but Download Festival has literally created a child-friendly area this year called Mini Moshers where they had baby changing facilities. … I mean, there's still lots that Download Festival can do to make it a more child-friendly place, but the picture that I put up was actually of Lemmy at a child event where they had music in a tent for the kids."

She further asserted, "Lemmy had ear defenders on for the music and copious amounts of sunscreen. I got a really good pram fan so we had no problem at all. I honestly never had one issue."

Some joined McAuley's side and defended her. "I don't understand why there is so much judgement," one commenter proffered. "There was literally stuff put on for kids, and they had a designated campsite which was closed off and had security!"

What do you think? Would you bring a baby to a metal festival? Do you agree with McAuley?

Under the video, see Loudwire's 2023 fest guide. Get the Loudwire newsletter and Loudwire app.

Watch: Mother Lauren McAuley Brings Her Baby to Download Festival 2023

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