DOWNLOAD 2018: The Big Review!


Would it even be a Download weekend if there wasn’t at least the threat of rain? It’s grey but holding off as we head into the arena for a day of pure rock and metal shenanigans. The first notable difference is the somewhat extreme, and numerous bag checks. We’d been warned via the site and social media that only A4 sized backpacks and smaller would be allowed into the arena, but didn’t realise that there would also be multiple check-points between the car-park and actually getting in to see the bands. Not to worry though, the checks are pretty quick and efficient, and soon we are cresting that hill for the first amazing sight of the arena.

I’d also like to do a quick shout-out at this point to Download’s ever evolving experience enhancements. Big plastic tracks have been installed around the second stage area making both walking in general and getting to the Accessibility platform via scooter or wheelchair easier than ever, and they have employed professional BSL music performance interpreters for the Main and Zippo Encore stages, giving even more fans access to this incredible event. They have also increased accessibility shuttles from the campsites, provided a wheelchair charging station and increased their accessible portaloos by 50% on last year. This continual thought and attention to feedback is impressive, and Download is one of the few festivals out there who seem to be really improving access year on year, in all kinds of different ways. Bravo.

So, the Arena. If you’re a rock or metal fan and you haven’t been to Download before, all I can say is, it’s like coming home. All the beautiful freaks are right here with their astral hair, their pleather and fishnets, jackets covered in patches and piercings in every available inch of spare skin, tattoos blooming from black tshirts and ripped jeans. Oh and at this point in the day, approximately half of them are jammed in a never-ending queue to buy merch. Bah. Tips for next year DL – employ at least twice as many staff for this please, it was obnoxious.

Extortionately priced t-shirts in hand, we stride down the hill to catch up with the mighty Dragonforce who have gathered a massive crowd for ‘Cry Thunder’, prophetically as the rain begins to spit. Thankfully that’s where the correlation ends, but it is still pretty ridiculous when they yell “We are Dragonforce… we come from right here in sunny England…”. Frontman Marc Hudson also lets us know that they “…are filming every single song of this set… so the rest of the world sees how fucking crazy the UK is” which obviously sparks a frenzy for the next song, only to fall foul of technical difficulties. If sod wrote a law, the page would be titled ‘Dragonforce’ today. Laughing “It’s so great when your mic cuts out in front of thousands of people…” they deal with it gracefully and end on a high with ‘Through the Fire and Flames’. Oh and no, I’m still not over Herman Li’s majestic hair swishing. Werk.

Yorkshire band Marmozets fronted by enigmatic Becca Macintyre are straddling the line of hipster rock, almost too current-cool for Download but they certainly know what they’re doing. Yelling out “Last year I was camping with you lot” Becca hops around in bright pink trousers whilst a Darth Maul in the crowd is going absolutely mental with his inflatable lightsaber.

Over on the Zippo Encore stage, self-professed king of the party Andrew WK has amassed an army of bemused onlookers, if not actual fans. Yes he’s kitschy, yes he rocks up in pre-dirtied white jeans and yes he pulls faces like a more demonic Jim Carrey, but well, he’s our weirdo. The rock community is strangely proud of him. Fan fave ‘She is Beautiful’ is silly and fun and I really rate a dude who can build anticipation with the line “…and now it is time… for me to play a guitar shaped like a slice of pizza”. No really, damn I love that pizza guitar. As if he wasn’t margarita-cheesy enough he calls “It’s not Andrew UK… it’s Andrew DOUBLE UK, double the power!” and then proceeds to do an actual 100-1 countdown for anthem ‘Party Hard’. It is frankly ridiculous that everyone likes this terrible track so very much. I of course am bouncing around with them.

Now for something completely different, in the form of Danish metalheads Volbeat. Now Volbeat are no strangers to DL but they never seem to be hyped up either, someone you know but wouldn’t flock to. Not so today my friends, Volbeat are here to slay. The enormous crowd that has surrounded the main stage is singing along to ‘Lola Montez’ and frontman Michael Poulson’s Elvis-esque lilt is refreshingly different to your standard screamer vs. power vocal camps. As if to highlight the difference in fact, Barney of Napalm Death fame (who have a set later on) is brought in for a quick collab on ‘Evelyn’ with his distinctly unintelligible shrieking, but oh we do love a bit of Barney don’t we. ‘Still Counting’ goes down a storm for their last song and honestly, I think they are arguably the band of the day for me.

On the zippo stage, Hell is for Heroes have about 30 people down the front watching them, which is kinda sad actually as they were by no means awful at all, and their cover of The Cure’s ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ was decent. However, I think they definitely fell foul of their timeslot – everyone seems to be getting their food and booze situation sorted before tonight’s headliners.

That’s something we should really mention actually, the food. It’s been getting steadily better every year at DL but this year was off-the-charts excellent. An incredible variety but also quality, gone of the days of rat-burgers and CMOT-Dibbler style saugages-inna-bun. Truth be told, you can still buy a box of suspect noodles if you want the real Doningtons-past experience but why would you? We instead grabbed ourselves a stack of butter-milk chicken in a brioche bun and a side of poutine. Effing decadent.

In the Avalanche tent Bad Religion are shutting it down, rocking on to an intro of ‘My Sharona’ and looking decidedly less punk than they used to. No worries though, they sound exactly as good as they ever have with the likes of ‘Recipe for Hate’ and Tony Hawk Pro Skater hit ‘You’. Yelling “Everyone gearing up for a big weekend huh? I got some bad news… we can’t stay for the whole weekend… there was a backstage clause, Axl kicked us out…” the band head into the excellent ‘Anesthesia’. ‘Infected’ is the sound of the 90’s and the packed out crowd is straight up loving it.

As we head back out to the main arena for Avenged Sevenfold, as huge crowd has already gathered and though we are donning toastier clothing for the chilly night, we’re still damn thankful for the minimal rain today. To read what we thought of A7X’s headline show, click the link below!

Read our full Avenged Sevenfold review HERE


Weather report: still holding, patches of sun spotted but we’re keeping quiet because we don’t want to jinx it. Still packed a poncho.

Monster Truck are providing the heavy rock sounds as we head into the afternoon, already drunk people are taking enormous risks with their phones on the high-flying sky-swing (do it for the ‘gram y’all) and lunchtime calls for another foray into the plethora of nourishment offerings. Seriously, vegan sushi, paella, duck fat roasted potatoes, a bowl of crumble and ice cream, wings, burritos, tapas, full roast chicken dinner? You want it, they have it. Oh and the now famous Motley Brew are serving up an array of hot beverages in real mugs, and they even have seats. You can take your Coachella VIP champagne and caviar and shove it up yer arse, we’re British. We like a CUPPA and a GOOD SIT DOWN.

One very notable thing on walking/squeezing around the arena today – it is RAMMED. Day sales for G’n’R must have been good this year because it is truly packed. Local lads The Struts give it big on the main stage shouting “You know we used to live in Derby just down the road… and we used to come to this festival and stand where you’re standing now… it’s incredible to be up on this stage” to a roar from the crowd. We love a hometown hero, but I’m less convinced on their actual show. I mean, they’re not bad as such, just a bit wet compared to everything else I’ve seen this weekend. The Temperance Movement however, muster all the southern soul a grey afternoon needs to get with the programme, and indeed they seem to bring out the sun a little. ‘Trouble’ and ‘Midnight Black’ are phenomenal and it’s more than a little hard to believe boho frontman Phil Campbell, with his maracas and tambourine, swaying in a lace shirt – is actually Glaswegian.

Thunder step on stage to AC/DC track, er, Thunderstruck. Well, why wouldn’t you. ‘Wonder Days’ and ‘River of Pain’ are pretty epic, it’s so great to see a band who are just absolute pro’s at what they do. Joking “Hands up who wasn’t even born in the 90’s” makes for disturbing viewing (thanks for that, Thunder, so kind) but they are absolutely killing it so I’ll let them off.

Over at Zippo Encore, there is no longer any visible section of floor. This is the busiest I’ve ever witnessed this arena without it being a headliner for sure. It seems like Babymetal’s fan base is a lot larger than anticipated and to be honest, sheer fascination seems to be driving a large portion of people in rather than actual fandom. Podium platforms for dance showcase the three firecracker leads who are sporting gold and black Xena-warrior-princess style outfits. Yeah it’s super kawaii nonsense but the music is actually decent and hit ‘Chocolate’ is both ridiculous and annoyingly catchy. I sort of love them.

Onto something we can pretty much all agree on. Kentucky kings Black Stone Cherry are Download’s biggest love story. A band championed by fans ever since their first showing here back in 2008, a decade of repeat requests for their billing, and it’s no wonder why. They are honestly flawless, vocalist Chris Robertson is arguably one of the best rock and roll singers going, he soars through ‘Blind Man’ in the now blazing sunshine, and everyone around us is singing their hearts out alongside him. Thankfully this time ‘Rain Wizard’ doesn’t coincide with a hideous downpour, as it did a few years ago, and ‘Me and Mary Jane’ has the entire crowd bouncing. A cover of Hendrix’s ‘Foxy Lady’ is made for this Wayne’s World worshipping crowd – yes, we did dance like Garth, yes it was magical. ‘Like I Roll’ and ‘Blame it on the Boom Boom’ see crowd-surfers flailing towards the front and ‘Lonely Train’ is just, incredible. Closing up with ‘Family Tree’ from the new album, this has been yet another epic showing from BSC and we hope to see them back again soon.

With a huge chunk of time before Guns’n’Roses we lope off in search of sustenance, beer and portaloos as the evening draws in. It’s been an incredible day here at Donington and we are suitably amped up for the closest we’ve ever been to a full G’N’R lineup…

Read our full Guns’N’Roses review HERE


WOAH. It is HOT today. Not England hot, like equatorial hot. Everyone either has the sheen of well slathered sunblock or is already burnt to a crisp and the whole place after three days of booze and no showers, smells like an armpit. A rowdy afternoon starts with the likes of Turbonegro and Kreator on the Zippo Encore stage and Hatebreed are throwing down on the main stage, yelling “This is for Dimebag, Lemmy, Chris Cornell, Chester (Bennington)… I wanna see every fist in the sky” for ‘Perseverance’. It is at this moment that a small bi-plane flies overhead with a banner reading “Jesus loves every 1 of U” and the fists become horns. Hard to tell whether it’s a joke or we’re actually the subject of some local zealot’s fear, but either way everyone is laughing and trying to take poor phone photos of it.

In This Moment bring the strange and unusual next, with everything from priestess costumes, skulls and pentagrams to choral music and interpretive dance. I don’t really know what to make of them if I’m honest. They sound like metal-Bjork. Is it a good thing? I mean I do like the toilet-paper costume, but their mini cover of Metallica’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ is a little upsetting. I did laugh at the Game of Thrones Cersei-style ‘Shame’ poster situation, but there is a nice sentiment behind it all; “…this is what I was told when I was just a girl, that I would amount to absolute shit, that I would become nothing at all… this last song is about rising above other people’s perceptions” – for ‘Whore’, accompanied by huge white balloons being batted around the crowd.

Black Veil Brides sport pyrotechnics and screaming, standard. It’s decent but they are eclipsed by next up: Shinedown. Super appropriately it is scorching hot right now and they are smashing their way through some straight up great rock and roll. Motivational as ever, frontman Brent Smith invites everyone to shake hands with a stranger next to them, and hit ‘State of my Head’ goes down a storm. “Take a look at the history you’re making this afternoon… ladies and gentlemen you look absolutely spectacular today” yells Smith, and I must sincerely disagree, we look fried, tired, sweaty and smashed. But I do appreciate the love.

Over in Avalanche, happy pop punk legends A are playing to a packed out tent, which is suspiciously full of pale people avoiding the sun-monster. Riffing on their age “hands up if you’re over the age of 30… hands up if you’ve got 2 properties… you know when bands re-form and they’re like 20 years older and you’re like why are they bothering? We just really fucking enjoy this” the band speaks to a place in all of us, who are genuinely here for the same reason – even if we’re sort of proper grown ups now. Oh and they start an over-30’s circle pit, cause it’s funny to go home to your office job with two black eyes, right?

Now, was anyone else truly alarmed by the sight of Marilyn Manson in daylight? I was. I thought he was going to spontaneously combust, burst aflame, incinerated by the power of sunlight. I mean he’s so pale as to be almost translucent – at one point he turned sideways and I swear I could see a passing plane through his face. However, it’s an absolute treat to have the master of the macabre here at Donington and he does not disappoint, rolling in with ‘Irresponsible Hate Anthem’ backed by a giant inverted monochrome crossed American flag.

Sporting a knuckle-duster mic and a long black trench, it takes all of about two minutes before he looks as though he’s sweating his ass off and has to ditch the look, pogo-ing down the runway he calls “Thank you for coming out in daylight… it’s like the opposite of our lives… do you like daytime? I don’t… we’re kind of stuck here together with daytime… let’s deal with it” perhaps displaying a little animosity towards the scheduling. It’s true, his show and music both lend themselves to a dark and brooding atmosphere, it’s a little hard to get caught up in the bloodlust when the big tattooed bloke standing next to you is eating a 99 with a flake.

‘Disposable Teens’ is obviously solid gold but it’s more than a little amusing that due to there being no option to control the lighting, we get to see people rush on an off stage during the show to dress Manson in various different outfits. More amusing still is that it is genuinely too hot for any of it and he keeps having to peel it all off himself within minutes. He’s clearly frustrated about it too “It’s very difficult, but together we can accomplish it… like having sex with the lights on”.

‘mOBSCENE’ comes with a vampiric Manson backdrop and during ‘Kill4Me’ he drags a crowd-surfing mega-fan on stage with him. She’s head to-toe Manson-merch and is sporting an “I’d Kill 4 you” flag, obviously ecstatic to hug him as he slaps her ass and sends her on her way, before togging up in an enormous Howl-like (of Moving Castle fame) black feathered trench-coat. Think, demonic Big Bird.

Talking to us as he emerges from a corner of the stage “I was just having a moment with my personal physician, with my eyesight and the sun…” it’s not clear whether that’s a joke or he’s ahem, getting medicated, but it seems extremely apt that we head into ‘The Dope Show’. ‘Sweet Dreams’ is breathy and brilliant, there’s some writhing around a smoking podium which looks rather uncomfortable, and a little bit of using drum sticks to hit a bass guitar. It’s a bit off, and I can’t put my finger on why. Dani Filth joins the action for ‘The Beautiful People’ and unfortunately he finishes up a little slow with ‘Cry Little Sister’. I’ll be honest – Download have definitely seen him better, and I hope next time we can at least give him the night.

Closing up the Avalanche for the weekend are Sweden’s mischievous mayhem peddlars – The Hives. We’ve seen them in white suits, we’ve seen them in black suits, and today – they’ve sown them together for half and half suits. Aesthetic on point. Yelling “Did you miss us? It’s good to see again isn’t it? Did you miss this face?” it’s clear they are here for fun, and they have lost absolutely none of their famous energy and life. ‘Die, Alright’ is awesome and ‘Hate To Say I Told you So’ brings back a wave of college memories, of afternoons in dingy pubs and cover bands. “We have come to the part of the show where we expect way more applause than we are getting…” garners a massive roar from the absolutely packed tent, and “…this is reparations for all the shit we stole from you in Viking times… we’re giving it back in the form of musical treasure!” makes everyone laugh. They are an unstoppable force, jumping from amps and swinging mic stands around their heads with wild abandon, they just look like they’re having the absolute best time, and so are we.

As the sun begins to set we head back to find a spot in the main arena, cover up our burnt bods and grab a beer before our final headliner – Ozzy Osbourne. It has been yet again an incredible weekend and if you’ve never experienced Download before, I can scarcely describe it to you without gushing. It’s a well-oiled machine and you don’t get this kind of bang for your buck anywhere else, I have witnessed a host of the best in rock and metal, in a field with my friends. Does it get better than that?

Read our full Ozzy Osbourne review HERE

© Image courtesy of Download Festival: Kyle McLoughlin

Bowling for Soup, Bad Religion and more for Download Festival 2014

The Summer Festival Guide 2014 is excited to reveal the next additions to the Download Festival lineup including Bowling for Soup, Black Label Society, Opeth, Bad Religion and more!Bowling for Soup

Leading the armada are pop-punk legends Bowling for Soup, who have chosen to celebrate their 20th birthday at Donington, wisely putting faith in Europe’s biggest Rock Festival to bring the party.

Lead singer Jaret Reddick said: We are really stoked to be coming back to Download this year…first and foremost, our little band turns 20 this June, so what better way to celebrate! Music, beer and Portaloos! Also, it's a great opportunity to show our amazing UK fans that, although we don't have plans to tour any time soon, they will still get to see our pretty faces once in a while. Can. Not. Wait!

Celebratory Birthday circle pit, anyone…?

Elsewhere on site, two of this year’s most massively anticipated spring album releases will be followed with huge live performances; Black Label Society, led by notorious shredder Zakk Wylde, and Swedish prog-metal mad scientists Opeth will both bring never-before-seen sets to Download 2014, making the crowds at Donington amongst the first to experience the new material in the flesh.

Bad Religion @ Download Festival

Forming the L.A. regiment of today’s new Download battalion are Celtic-punk seven piece Flogging Molly and Download Festival virgins Bad Religion – making their Donington debut 35 years after they first started their melodic punk crusade against tyranny and hypocrisy.

Lead singer Greg Graffin was keen to acknowledge the UK, and in particular Donington’s place in music history: Our UK fans are among the most dedicated and appreciative audiences the world over. We consider every trip to the UK a special treat, and the tradition of Donington will make this appearance all the more special. Bad Religion is steeped in tradition, so we greatly look forward to it!

Also joining them will be PHA and the Illegals, the latest project from Pantera and Down Frontman, Phil Anselmo.

Powerman 5000 are another act who will receive their Download Festival baptism in 2014, with lead frontman Spider One joining big bro Rob Zombie at the coalface of Donington’s grizzly industrial underworld.

There will be less pond-crossing and more M1-gridlock-negotiating for the return of home grown Metalcore 5-piece Bury Tomorrow this June, in a set that will feature the likes of massive new single, Watcher and more great tracks yet to be revealed from impending album Runes, which lands on May 26th.

Vocalist Dani Winter-Bates commented: We're absolutely stoked to be invited back to play Download Festival. It was one of the staple points of last year for Bury Tomorrow! So we can't wait to get back to Donington and smash it!

The BossHoss, who have been purging pop songs of their innocence and churning out badass Country Trash Punk Rock for the past decade will also appear at Download 2014. Sascha Vollmer aka Hoss Power from The BossHoss said: We had a blast playing at Download in 2011 and the energy there totally blew our minds! We can always rely on a kick-ass party at our UK shows, so we're more than ready to come back and have another good old riot with you crazy bunch of rock and roll maniacs!

More? Ok, well listen up – today’s announcement also confirms another handful of awesome appearances from classic North American metal caballeros Skid Row, Tesla and Danger Danger as well as Jill Janus’ thrash-influenced Huntress, filthy blues-rockers The Graveltones and newcomers Anti-Mortem.

Huntress-in-chief, Jill Janus said: Huntress is honoured to play Download Festival again! We had a killer show last year, and will bring the fury to UK music fanatics once more. 
Spread it, shred it, behead it!

Larado Romano of Anti-Mortem said of the announcement: Anti-Mortem is extremely excited and beyond ready to play Download this year, it will be the biggest festival we've played to date and our first as a group in the U.K. Watch out UK, we'll be kicking ass Oklahoma style and our rage is American made!

On his latest recruits, Download promoter Andy Copping said: This is shaping up to be the most diverse Download yet – a real tableau of the past, present and future of rock and metal. You can see that in our headliners; Aerosmith, Linkin Park andAvenged Sevenfold, and in today’s announcement where we combine such renowned acts as Bowling for Soup and Opeth withnewer acts like Bury Tomorrow.

24 new acts added to Sziget Festival

Main Stage

Among the newly announced names we can find performers at the afternoon and early night slots of the Main Stage. Ska-P had their most memorable gig at Sziget in 2005 when the Spanish band rocked the stage in Bush-masks and on stilts; however they have called off their 10-year long music revolution for an unknown time. Fortunately, this was their only announcement that was untrue. They are back.

Singer Deborah ’Skin’ Dyer of Skunk Anansie stepped on the shoulders of her fans at her last concert in 2011 at Sziget. This might happen this year as well!

Dizzee Rascal

King and main figure of the grime movement, British rapper, Dizzee Rascal is the guest of this year’s festival. He is over four incredibly successful albums – certified gold and platinum without exception – and a memorable performance at the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games.

The Editors is a very popular and characteristic icon of the post-punk movement of the 2000s. They will prove this on the Main Stage at an early afternoon slot!

British singer, Brit Awards nominee, Alex Clare has many popular and cool songs merging the most popular music trends of today. He uses electronic genres, like dubstep and new wave drum’n’bass, mixing it with suggestive guitar sounds and a hint of soul.

Enter Shikari plays hardcore music, mixing electronic, metal and rock. They have conquered the world with their album last year and now they are ready for Sziget!

A38 Stage

One of the most beloved venues of Sziget is following the trend of the previous years: the huge tent will be the home of diverse and exciting productions, proved by the upcoming names as well.

For a start, here is the exceptional talent from North-London, Michael Kiwanuka, a refined and sentimental singer-songwriter who plays his guitar with a sense of folk and jazz. His first album hit the charts in many countries and has become gold.

True inspiration for punk-rock bands, Bad Religion, reached the peak of their career with their 16th album ’True North’ in 2012: it was listed in the top 20 of the American Billboard 200. Now the crowd of Sziget can congratulate them!

Melodramatic, downtempo and chilled pop songs are the identifiers of the music of Woodkid, a French musician, who is arriving to Sziget with his new album, to be released this year.

Peter Bjorn & John are vivid and colorful icons of the indie world. Their “whistling” song is such a success that it is reaching 36 million views on the largest video sharing service. They are nicely merging mainstream popular sounds with some underground melodies. 

A real 21st century London-girl, who makes her dreams come true by her talent, Katy B, is the new face of British dubstep. She recently received an NME award and now she brings her special style to Sziget.

Netsky is the exporter of Belgium’s most wanted, premium category drum’n’bass productions. After his singles he introduced himself on the Belgian charts and his second album was in the top 20 in the United Kingdom. The 24-year-old guy from Edegem is coming to Budapest with his live show.

Tame Impala plays psychedelic rock with hypnotic and melodic tunes. The Australian band has not only impressed the younger generation with their album in 2012 but the critics as well. Their second album ‘Lonerism’ has been awarded Best Album of the Year by Rolling Stone Australia, NME and Filter.

It is high time that Orlando Higginbottom, known as Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, after several gigs at the biggest European and Northern-American festivals, plays at Sziget. His live set will definitely be a visual adventure with a range of weird instruments.

Everything Everything plays a nice and easy guitar pop that is sometimes inspired by a melancholic and solid atmosphere. We can see them at A38 this year.

Wax Tailor is opening his magical world of rare musical treasures to Sziget. Be aware that you might become an addict!

Isabelle Geffroy is a beloved French chanson singer. Her band, Zaz, winner at Victoires de la muisque – the most important music gala in France – in 2011, and performer of probably the most well-known French song ‘Je Veux’ , plays now at Sziget. She also received a European Border Breakers Award, representing that that her talent and popularity is without borders.

Cata.Pirata and Crypto.Jori plus three musicians from Amsterdam have formed SKIP&DIE, a very extravagant and brave production. Their big multicultural project merges everything that means ‘world citizen’. They are using traditional African, Arabic and Indian instruments mixed with contemporary Western hip-hop and modern electronics. They are inviting the fans to dance in Zulu, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Afrikaans and Xhosa languages.


New names have also arrived for the line-up of the mega-tent, the Arena as well. This is the venue where the early afternoon hours are taken by the so called “European Slots”, presenting live bands from the old continent, but later on it hosts huge parties with great performers.

Empire of the Sun has been to Sziget two years ago, making a party at a completely full venue. They play romantic electro-pop and probably even the world-known Cirque du Soleil group could not beat them when it comes to stage production.

For years now it’s hard to find a more exciting, louder and successful drum’n’bass act in the United Kingdom than Chase & Status Live. The well-known electro-musician and producer duo of Will Kennard and Saul Milton are coming this year to party up the Sziget crowd.

A revolutionary and innovative techno musician, Chris Liebing, has remixed many popular songs and also wrote his own ones that we will hear now in the Arena. His style has been mastered with the development of electronic music, but he has never stopped playing his massive techno basics.

DJ and producer, Sebastian Ingrosso, is one of the main figures of today’s Scandinavian electronic music scene together with Axwell and Steve Angello, forming the popular house-group, the Swedish House Mafia. His dynamic and energetic house music is played in the biggest international parties and e-music events, bringing out the most of his ten thousand fans.

Two bands will definitely play in the European Slots of the Arena. First of all, Afterhours, one of the most well-known Italian rock bands. They play passionate tunes and rock ballades, based on nice guitar.

Also playing in a European Slot is Left Boy, a very talented Austrian singer-producer in his twenties. His sexy lyrics are played on a massive electro and dubstep base. Last year he had several sold-out gigs in Europe and he just came out with his new EP.


28 Acts added to Sonisphere 2011 Lineup

SONISPHERE FESTIVAL KNEBWORTH has revealed another 28 names for its 2011 line up.

BAD RELIGION come to KNEBWORTH for a rare major outdoor UK festival appearance. The punk rock revivalists have been a huge inspiration to countless bands with their catchy, politically charged songs, not to mention guitarist Brett Gurewitz giving birth to the hugely prolific Epitaph record label. With over 5 million albums sold worldwide, BAD RELIGION are one of the most successful independent punk bands around, and it’s not hard to see why. With songs such as “21st Century Digital Boy”, “Punk Rock Song”, “American Jesus” and “Los Angeles Is Burning” to treat audiences with, their set at SONISPHERE is not to be missed.
The legendary duo of MAX and IGGOR bring their CAVALERA CONSPIRACY to SONISPHERE’s APOLLO ARENA stage to dish out a healthy dose of high-speed, aggressively powerful and intense metal in the way that they know best. Formed after a decade long silence between Max and Iggor, the two brothers who created the legendry trailblazing heavy metal band Sepultura as teenagers together, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY is a punishing reminder of just what a magical chemistry these two have. Max promises a show mixed with favourites both old and new at their only UK festival appearance this summer:
“I’m fucking super excited to be part of the Sonisphere Festival in the UK with Cavalera Conspiracy.  We have a new album out, Blunt Force Trauma, and me and Iggor are on fire.  We are gonna play stuff from the first CD, Inflikted, new stuff, some Sepultura and Nailbomb classics, so it should be a storm of metal coming to Sonisphere UK. I can’t wait!”

One of the hottest bands on the UK metal scene right now, Reading thrashers SYLOSIS return to SONISPHERE to open the APOLLO ARENA STAGEHaving recently sold out venues up and down the country on the Metal Hammer Razor Tour, the band look forward to stepping up and showing the world why they deserve the honour of kicking off proceedings on SONISPHERE 2011’s second day:

“We are beyond thrilled to be back at Sonisphere again this year.”
 States frontman JOSH MIDDLETON“To be on the main stage is an absolute dream come true for all of us and will be our biggest show to date. Knowing that we will be the first band on that stage after Metallica the night before kind of blows my mind. It’s an honour to play on the same stage as so many influential bands.”

On the SATURN ARENA stage, America’s loudest lounge singer RICHARD CHEESE will perform swingin’ Vegas versions of rock, rap, and metal hits, “swankifying” contemporary songs into traditional pop vocal standards, in a way that can only be described as genius. Having sold more than 175,000 CDs since 2000, CHEESE is one of the most successful covers artists out there and a listen to albums like “Lounge Against The Machine”, “Tuxicity”, “I’d Like A Virgin”, “Aperitif For Destruction” and “The Sunny Side Of The Moon”, leaves you in no doubt as to why. The perfect mix of music, martini, and madcap, SONISPHERE is in for a treat as RICHARD and his band,LOUNGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, dish out their own take on popular chart toppers.
Over on BOHEMIA, another eight fantastic acts will join the already impressive line up. Northern Irish rockers THE ANSWER, who release their  ‘412 DAYS OF ROCK‘n’ROLL’ DVD next month – which includes an hour long rockumentary of their time on the road with AC/DC – look forward to showcasing some new songs especially for the KNEBWORTH crowd. Says frontman CORMAC NEESON:
“It’s a great feeling to be asked to play at Sonisphere where we will be rubbing shoulders with the elite of the rock and metal world. This will be our first real opportunity to road test some of our brand new songs. The Answer are looking forward to getting up there and shaking our rock n roll asses with the best of them. Bring it on!!!” 

Joining them will be Canadian hardcore heroes CANCER BATS, York metal-mob GLAMOUR OF THE KILL, bluegrass mentalists HAYSEED DIXIE, sludge metallers KYLESA, dance-punk rockers MY PASSION, alt-rockersPULLED APART BY HORSES, and Britain’s gloomiest goth-metallers PARADISE LOST, all of whom are very much looking forward to what is undoubtedly the hottest weekend in the UK rock calendar:
“We’re all majorly looking forward to being part of Sonisphere 2011.” Says GOTK’s Chris Gomerson “Just by looking at the line-up you can tell Sonisphere is going from strength to strength bringing more and more great bands into the UK music scene. It’s a good time to be a British band when we have festivals like this on our home turf!”

His sentiments are echoed by MY PASSION’s LAURENCE RENÉ, who reckons, “Sonisphere is a festival made for My Passion to perform. Not only is it on our doorstep being Hertfordshire men but we are also ready to follow the footsteps of our new label mates Rammstein who played one of the most phenomenal shows my senses have ever witnessed in 2010. This one will be a huge homecoming for us with our new line up, & we are ready to entertain and exhilarate Sonisphere and then join the party for the rest of the weekend. Slipknot and Biffy are hugely influential and just a taste of the diversity!”
“It’s really great to be added to the Sonisphere bill.” Agrees PARADISE LOST frontman NICK HOLMES. “It’s a top line up this year and I intended to go along anyway, only now I don’t have to blag my way in ;) Look forward to seeing you all there for a monster weekend of metal!”

“Bad things happen when Hayseed Dixie plays Sonisphere” warns frontman BARLEY SCOTCH ”Our bodies are Rock & Roll temples, and we will sacrifice them on the altar of Sonisphere.”
The RED BULL BEDROOM JAM stage returns to SONISPHERE again this year, and has another six acts to add to this year’s line up. Sheffield noisemakers ROLO TOMASSI will perform on the Friday, followed by electronica duo TEK-ONE - who return after performing in BOHEMIA last year – and Djent metallers TESSERACT on the Saturday, who reckon “Sonisphere is without a doubt one of the coolest festivals on the planet, and this year’s lineup looks incredible. We feel privileged to be representing the new sound emerging on the scene and be playing the same festival alongside the legends.”

The RBBJ stage line up is completed by alt-rockers ARCANE ROOTS, and Preston Pop-Punks ME VS HERO who perform on the Sunday, fresh from their upcoming tour with Skindred. Vocalist Sam Thomson says:
“Knebworth is like our second home and Sonisphere a mecca for all things rock and punk. We are honoured to be back and playing with many of our favourite bands and friends such as Four Year Strong, All Time Low, and You Me At Six”.

Since its inception, the JAGERMEISTER stage has showcased some of the coolest bands on the scene, both up and coming future stars and cult faves and this year is no exception if these ten additions are anything to go by. 
After winning the SONISPHERE sponsored “Global Metal” award at last year’s Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards, DEMONIC RESURRECTION make their UK debut at KNEBWORTH on Sunday, which the Mumbai five piece are more than a little excited about:

“We are at a loss for words to describe how we feel confirming to play Sonisphere, just the thought of watching the Big 4 let alone be playing the same festival as them is enough to give us goosebumps. Not to mention the insane lineup of bands like Opeth (who we’ve opened for in India), Arch Enemy, Periphery and many others who we can’t wait to see. DR fans can expect a blistering performance from us, it is our first gig in the UK and we intend to make it a memorable one.”

Also appearing on the JAGERMEISTER stage across the weekend will be Essex rockers HOUNDS who perform on the Friday, with the Saturday boasting appearances from hotly tipped blues-rock future superstars SAINT JUDE, rock’n’rollers THE VIRGIN MARYS, plus UK rockers THE CRAVE and JETTBLACK, who both look forward to the weekend:
“We were lucky enough to play Sonisphere in its very first year here in the UK in 2009” says THE CRAVE’s frontman/guitarist RYAN BURNETT“It was a great atmosphere and a great show from what we can remember, but it was the Jager stage, so we don’t remember that much. We look forward to not remembering much from this year’s great performance too. Be there to remind us.”
JETTBLACK bassist TOM WRIGHT enthuses “To be playing one of the biggest metal festivals is one thing, but to be on the same bill as four of the biggest metal bands of all time is fucking amazing!”
On the Sunday, in addition to DEMONIC RESURRECTION, Manchester power trio AMPLIFIER, Welsh thrashers ANTERIOR, and FLETCHER will perform alongside the mighty ORANGE GOBLIN. Frontman BEN WARD (who was recently spotted guesting with Kyuss Lives at their recent London Shows) reckons:
“Orange Goblin are delighted and honoured to be a part of Sonisphere 2011. This festival marks the first ever ‘Big 4’ shows on British soil so the weekend will go down in the annuls of metal history! Although, now Orange Goblin are playing I guess it should be re-named the Big 5!!!”

SONISPHERE KNEBWORTH takes place 8th – 10th July 2011 at KNEBWORTH HOUSE. For tickets and more info go to <> 

Line Up So Far

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