Festival season is fast approaching and soon it’ll be time to pull those tents out of the garage from where they lay to rest last year and clean off those wellies you’re not quite sure you need but will certainly bring along anyway. One of the biggest and most prestigious festivals the UK has to offer, Download Festival is a must go for every alternative music fan and this year’s line-up, again, proves no different. Main stage headliners, German metal sensations Rammstein and classic legends in the form of Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden create an unmissable end to every night of the festival. This year is the first time the festival welcomes some of the WWE NXT wrestlers who will be performing for the first time at select times across the weekend, just in case you need some to see some guys beat the hell out of each other before going to see Rammstein.
Some of the biggest names in rock music fill out the main stage line-up and the Friday kicks off with Royal Republic having the significant slot of opening up the entire festival. Sadly, after the death of Motorhead’s legendary lead singer Lemmy, the band pulled out of their slot at the festival however, Download tends to have special tricks up their sleeve for paying tribute to bands or artists who cannot play the festival after previously being announced so their name on the poster has now been replaced on with a picture of Lemmy’s hat and two lightning bolts, so what could be happening on mainstage around mid-afternoon is anyone’s guess. But we know it is going to be something special. In 2006, Korn’s very own Johnathan Davis fell ill and was rushed to hospital, so vocalists from other bands playing that day including Trivium’s Matt Heafy, Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman and fan-proclaimed king of Download Festival, Corey Taylor and Avenged Sevenfold’s M.Shadows all stepped in in his place in what has ever since been a landmark special moment for the festival. Hopefully with Korn playing this year, their set will all go to plan. The Friday also hosts current pop-punk kings All Time Low, so if German metal isn’t your forte then pop-punk is always on the table as they headline the second stage for what is sure to be an interesting set.
The Saturday at Download has always been a mixed bag of, mostly newer acts, across a load of genres, with so called “classic” bands mostly arriving on the Sunday. So it’s no surprise Beartooth have been given the chance to prove their worth on the mainstage, the Ohio metalcore crew stomped out at killer set at the festivals Pepsi Max stage last year, and with new music in the wings are now been given the change to melt the faces of the early risers. Megadeth, Skindred, Neck Deep, Sixx:AM and Architects all round out a solid Saturday with Black Sabbath headlining the main stage for what will be their very last time at the festival during their final ever tour entitled “The End” which is going to be a must see for any rock fan. But if that’s not enough to keep you entertained then NOFX, Pennywise and Municipal Waste are all headlining across the other three stages giving you plenty of choice on who to end your night with. If none of that tickles your fancy then you can always go back to your tent and rest for a glorious Sunday line-up.
Iron Maiden headline the Sunday night as part of their “The Book OF Souls Tour” so expect to see the most Iron Maiden shirts you’ve ever seen in your life descend on the historical grounds of Donnington Park. Disturbed mark their return from hiatus with their first appearance at the festival in five years alongside Nightwish, Shinedown and Halestorm who have all been vacant from the festival over the past few years and this will be their first appearances since 2012 but most importantly are all part of what is shaping up to be a pretty special Sunday night. For the ‘heavier the better’ enthusiasts, Attila, Gojira, Periphery, Amon Amarth and Napalm Death all make appearances across the four stages ready for you to mosh your way to the end of the festival. For those who don’t want to get their leg broken in a circle pit on the last day (which is probably the best day for that to happen) then Jane’s Addiction, Whiskey Myres, The Temperance Movement and Don Broco are there to guide you fittingly to the finish line.
Download Festival takes place on Friday 10th June until Sunday 12th June, but if you want to arrive early and bask in the sun, or cower in your tent from the rain, who knows which, then 5 night tickets are still available for purchase from the official Download Festival website. There are still a number of acts ready to be announced so keep your eyes peeled for future updates