Ozzy Osbourne at DOWNLOAD 2018: Reviewed!

It’s possibly the sunniest day of Download’s entire history and we’re collectively scorched after spending our Sunday rocking out to a wealth of amazing bands and artists. The swirling masse of black clothing is now contrasted by a beautiful tinge of red sunburn and vampiric-sorts are cowering under their parasols awaiting The Prince of Darkness himself… Ozzy Osbourne.

O Fortuna rings out heralding Ozzy’s return, both to Download – having performed last with Black Sabbath in 2016, and been a previous host of festivals at Donington with his own Ozzfest before – for this metal Brummie, it’s pretty much home. Two giant rectangular screens flank a cross-shaped one in the centre of the stage, which begin to scroll through a timeline of Ozzy-through-the-ages, including a school mugshot which elicits an ‘ahhh’ from the crowd. Like some kind of surreal supermarket of the damned, Ozzy’s unmistakable disembodied call comes across the tannoy “I can’t fuckin hear you… louder…”. Anyone who’s ever seen him before knows that this is pretty much all he’s going to say, for the next two and a half hours, no matter how much you yell back. He probably genuinely can’t hear us.

Anyway, finally legging it out in a black leather trench coat – and I do mean legging it, this is actually a pretty spritely Ozzy we’re getting tonight, and at 69 years old it’s no mean feat. Starting off with a site-wide howl we’re treated to ‘Bark at the Moon’ replete with moon and wolf visuals and Ozzy very literally throwing his head back for a howl. I was genuinely concerned he was going to tip over backwards at one point but was immediately distracted by guitarist Zakk Wylde’s indominable shredding on his signature swirl Les Paul. The man can honestly do no wrong.

As a crowd-surfing inflatable T-Rex bobs along the front row, Ozzy ditches his jacket revealing a sparkly bat top – it seems old tropes never die, and 1980 release ‘Mr Crowley’ harks back to a time where bat-munching was just, so on trend. Black Sabbath track ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ has the whole arena singing along but it’s not easy to forget the magic of seeing Iommi himself rocking this a mere two years ago. Truth be told, it doesn’t have the same gravitas.

‘No More Tears’ and ‘Road to Nowhere’ are both heavy hitters but it’s once again the Black Sabbath tracks that really get the stamp of approval with this crowd. The stage screens are aflame and air raid sirens wail in the night; ‘War Pigs’ is a wall of voices chiming in on a veritable metal anthem. If you don’t know the lyrics you’re basically desecrating Donington’s unholy ground, to be honest.

Ten minutes worth of Tommy Clufetos’ rumbling drum solo has everyone cheering, and gives Ozzy a bit of a break before heading into ‘I Don’t Want to Change the World’ and ‘Shot In The Dark’ which is accompanied by the most magnificent 80’s Tron-esque visuals. With a chant of “one more song” arena-wide, ‘Crazy Train’ is as massive as it ever was and Ozzy is doing a frankly stellar job considering he’s just shy of 70 and basically pickled with his history of drugs and alcohol. After a brief interlude, he’s back on for ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’ to the dismay of many (it is crap though isn’t it…) and as per the technology age we view a blanket of phone-lights in place of cigarette lighters thrust into the air. Anyway, it’s all quickly made up for with a rousing performance of ‘Paranoid’ to cap off the night in style.

Say what you will about Ozzy’s singing – he’s pretty much always sounded like that, I will always be appreciative of getting to witness one of heavy metal’s greats in the flesh, because there’s nothing in the world quite like live music, and this is history in the making.

© Image courtesy of Download Festival: Matt Eachus

© Image courtesy of Download Festival: Matt Eachus

Download 2016 – FULL REVIEW!

You can’t deny it, something out there really has it in for Download Festival. It’s the same story every year – burnt for the first two days camping and then incessantly soaked for the rest, it’s like… metal is the music of the devil… or something…

Campers have been steadily pouring in since Wednesday, setting up epic tent-collectives with all manner of décor (bra-bunting is a particular favourite of mine) and it’s set to be a belter of a weekend, even though we’re probably all going home with trench foot and hypothermia. The Village, the hub of the camping area, is home to weird and wonderful acts such as The Wall of Death, The Inflatable Church, The Circus of Horrors, Zorbing and the fire-wielding Area 51. Oh and hilariously British pursuits like Bogan Bingo, a quiz and five-a-side football, if that’s more your speed. Head over there at night for after-hours bands, DJ’s and even catch a movie in the Cinema or laugh your arse off in The Side Splitter comedy tent.

It’s clear Download’s commitment to becoming a bit more of a well-rounded festival is working, the out of hours entertainment, things to do and see and the much improved food options mean a nicer festival experience for all, without taking the emphasis off the music at all. With the now extensive shopping and food outlets you’d better have cash on you this weekend, as despite last years’ ‘breakthrough’ technology claiming to take all the hassle out of on-site payments (which of course did not go to plan) Download have well and truly ditched the idea of RFID tags and have gone over to… er… all normal methods that you can do in the real world.

 

FRIDAY

Friday sees a dry start and Alien Ant Farm are failing to get anyone interested in anything other than Smooth Criminal, and Babymetal (half an hour late) draw a massive crowd for their J-Pop inspired metal, which is frankly just about the oddest thing ever. They’ve stuck to their goth-loli look and eardrum piercingly high vocals for Gimme Chocolate but actually the new album tracks seem a bit more developed and musically interesting rather than gimmicky. We do wish Herman Lee could have popped up for Road of Resistance, but the two girls down the front who have made a massive effort to dress like the band seem to be loving it, alongside some very big bearded men who appear to know ALL the words.

On the Encore stage, Christian rock band Skillet are killinit (see what I did there?) but the Lemmy/Motorhead tribute video on the main stage is in all honestly a bit lame. We all know Lemmy partied hard, but is it really necessary for people to recount exactly what variety of drug he offered them? Only Brian May appears to talk about him in a painfully honest way, saying “I miss him very badly”. Apart from a stage naming and a tshirt on the merch stand, it’s weirdly unspoken for the most part… maybe it’s all a bit soon for most of the bands.

Grabbing possibly the most English food available for lunch (Duck fat roast potatoes with gravy, followed by apple crumble…) we hit up the absolutely packed Maverick stage for Geordie rockers The Wildhearts who have everyone jumping to I Wanna Go Where The People Go. Over on the main stage we’re treated to a dose of Jonathon Davis’ chicken dance (hold mic, flap arms) as Korn blast out the likes of Coming Undone and Freak On A Leash. The rain is absolutely hammering down now and it kinda fits the grungy nu-metal feel, the arena is full of swamp-people whipping their hair everywhere. Amidst the seriousness of purpose that Korn portray, it’s hard not to giggle at the Lebowski-esque rug that has been laid down to stop Davis stacking it in front of everyone.

Finally it’s on to the main event, and the bedraggled but excited masses have gathered for the ever sinister yet playful German powerhouse that is Rammstein. Running through scores of hits like Sonne, Du Hast, Ich Will and Feuer frei there’s nothing missing from this incredible set. The expected but always insane pyrotechnics just keep coming, with fire breathing face-cages, firework body suits and a giant pair of angel wings, there’s just nothing these guys won’t do for a show.

Check out our full Rammstein review HERE

SATURDAY

Entering the arena today it’s obvious some effort has been made in the way of soaking up the sludge, using a ton of hay and woodchips, there’s a much boggier/safer quality to the underfoot feel, but it probably won’t last.

Over in The Kennels area, a queue is already forming for new addition WWE NXT stage, live wrestling shows hosted by Triple H, whilst self-proclaimed Swedish circus freaks Avatar are bringing some life to the main stage. Wearing what I can only describe as resplendent outfits inspired by the Vatican Guard and yelling “Bang your heads English men!” they put on a rowdy first set of the day, and gain a few more followers with their tight riffs and synchronized hairwhipping.

Beartooth’s punky tones soar across the arena to a decent sized crowd for In Between and Black Peaks are totally smashing the Maverick stage. Turbowolf take the baton next yelling “For the next half an hour, this is our home” before tumbling headlong into the likes of Rabbit’s Foot and Solid Gold.

Danko Jones starts out with classic Play The Blues which actually gets kind of a cold reception from the crowd, but soon he’s telling us “…everybody at Download gets to call me… delicious” and saying “I am a whore for that sound you make with your hands” everything starts to get lively. A fan in the front row passes up a flag requesting Sex Change Shake but Danko goes on to play Cadillac instead citing “…it’s the same three chord structure anyway… so this is like, Shake Change Sex”. There is something ridiculously fun about Danko Jones, in an overwhelmingly cheesy way. They are so uncool they’re cool. They’re the Fonz of rock.

Lawmower Deth however, are exactly the kind of godawful rubbish we should (and do) love, this time with an added Brucey Bonus of being joined by… and I can’t believe I’m writing this… Kim Wilde for Kids in America. It could not be more bonkers and everyone LOVED it.

Rival Sons bluesy cali rock has the arena up and dancing with their beers, soaring vocals and a stellar set – we loved closer Keep On Swinging. On the Encore stage Juliette and the Licks hit hard with Hot Kiss and Credence Clearwater Revival cover Proud Mary, J-Lew is just as enigmatic on stage as on screen. Megadeth are joined on stage by Nikki Sixx for Anarchy in the UK before Nikki steps out with his own band Sixx: AM for a completely different sound. It’s a strong set and a hell of a lot of people have come out to watch. Despite the sea of hair and black tshirts this weekend, it’s clear the pop-punk kids have been hiding in plain sight as the hoarde heads towards the Maverick stage for rowdy Welsh band Neck Deep, but they aren’t even going to win Taffy of the day with Skindred tearing it up over on the Encore stage. Despite the now constant rain, Skindred have drawn a huge crowd for their completely-weird-but-totally-works reggae-metal and the whole crowd is getting down and dirty for Doom Riff and Pressure. With an unsolicited play of Bieber’s ‘Sorry’ mixed into Trouble, they’ve singlehandedly outlined exactly which people we should push in the mud later, but not to worry as there’s an epic and extremely wet swirling of tshirts for Warning. We love a bit of a Newport Helicopter we do.

The rain is now unashamedly heavy and regardless of the plastic ponchos, raincoats and really fucking annoying golf umbrellas, pretty much everyone is soaked through. The crowd is built right up the main stage hill and the anticipation is palpable. Fan or not, there’s no denying that seeing Black Sabbath on their last ever tour (no really, it will be the last this time… right?) is pretty special and important. Though it’s clear throughout the set that Ozzy’s voice isn’t the best (was it ever?) the songs are heavy and hit the nerve of nostalgia so hard. Snowblind, War Pigs, Iron Man and Paranoid are obvious highlights, but no less great because of it. With the downpour drastically thinning the crowd, the views are spectacular and it’s the kind of closing show you hope for – full of hits, none of the new stuff. They will be missed.

Check out our full Black Sabbath review HERE

SUNDAY

With the early morning news that GHOST have cancelled their set today and nightmarish state of the main arena (seriously, it’s the kind of goop bodies arise from in the Walking Dead) today’s bands have to compete with the drowned-rat temperament of all those who’ve camped. Luckily there’s crepes for breakfast, a champagne tent and… hold up, what? I’m down with crumble but there’s no place for Moët in Metal. Come on.

Looking about as country as you can get, Whiskey Myers ease us in gently with Early Morning Shakes on the Encore stage before Amon Amarth give us growly Viking battle tunes from their dragon longship style stage set-up and giant fire canons. It’s even more awesome than it sounds, honestly. Whiplash back to bluesy rock with an inexplicably American sound for Glasgow vocalist Phil Campbell and The Temperance Movement. It’s an unrelentingly great set with a few tracks from the new album but finishing up with Ain’t No Telling from their first, we’re glad to see them back at Download.

On the Maverick stage, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are, well, doing what they do. There’s a huge mosh pit and lots of people seem to be enjoying themselves, but lots of other people seem to be screwing their noses up and walking away. So we head on over to the main stage for the eponymous Halestorm who have grabbed a massive crowd and are belting out Amen, I Am The Fire and I Miss The Misery. There’s no doubting Lzzy Hale’s vocal prowess but there’s something very Nickelback about them, massively produced and clean, it’s hard to put your finger on it.

Shinedown have that crowd-participation approach that we Brits love to hate, like panto – they want us to jump, so at first we do it sarcastically… then again to reinforce the joke… before you know it everyone is pogoing like a complete tosspot to a band they don’t even really like. Either we’re a very very susceptible nation, or Shinedown are actually doing a good job. I’ve no idea at this point. Delain on the Encore stage have drawn all the raven haired goth girls for a good old headbang but there’s a bit of power missing behind it all. On the Maverick stage Electric Wizard are heavy in a way that makes your stomach drop but it's Gojira who really make our skin crawl, in the best kind of way.

Disturbed are actually forcing joy out of otherwise non-fans today with the likes of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence – a stalwart of their tour repertoire. In an epic hit-to-hit continuous play we get; U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For with Lzzy Hale, The Who’s Baba O’Riley with Blaze Bayley and RATM’s Killing In The Name with Benjamin Burnley of Breaking Benjamin. Where else are you gonna see that kind of mash up? Let’s be honest though, we’re all waiting for Down With The Sickness, and Disturbed give it to us with a cry of “I think it’s apparent the entire United Kingdom has been infected with sickness…”

Nightwish are plagued from the off with the heaviest downpour of the weekend but that’s never done anything to quiet this truly epic band before. Lords of the symphonic circuit, Nightwish have been the subject of more drama than any other band, public shamings and bootings aside – they seem to have bounced back each time. In Floor Jansen they’ve found a vocalist capable of traversing Tarja Turunen’s operatic realm and the rock sound they’ve been moving steadily towards over the last few albums, and she hits the stage dressed like a Valkyrie, which I guess, is the point really. With giant bursts of fire from stage canons, Nightwish (and the now extraordinarily drenched fans) power through some of the strongest numbers of the entire weekend. Nemo’s the one everyone has been waiting for, and though it will never quite be the same without Tarja, it packs a punch and remains a fan favourite. It seems Download loves Nightwish, no matter who’s fronting. Especially that dude vogue-ing the shit out of it at the back.

Headlining the Maverick stage Saxon get more than they bargained for – the tent is bursting at its seams with the soggy and groggy, warming themselves up for Maiden with the Yorkshire boys. 747 (Strangers in the Night) is melodic-shreddingly amazing, And The Bands Played On is the perfect description of what Saxon seem to intend to do… forever… and Wheels of Steel has every single person singing along. Biff’s voice and determination is as strong as ever.

As is typical of Sunday headliners at Download, there is very little crossover of other stages, and Iron Maiden also joining us a little later than intended means the arena is absolutely COVERED in bodies. Thankfully the rain has stopped just in time for the screens to switch over to Eddie TV and Bruce Dickinson to emerge from centre stage for If Eternity Should Fail. Through a Book Of Souls heavy set we are well and truly smacked with the fact that Bruce’s throat cancer surgery has done nothing to dull his vocals or his enthusiasm, he races the stage with the same wild abandon he has always had. In the wake of Black Sabbath’s ending, it’s sort of comforting to know that Maiden have no plans to quit any time soon. Hell, they just got a new plane.

Old favorites The Trooper, Hallowed Be Thy Name and Fear Of The Dark are every bit as heart-stoppingly brilliant as we’ve come to expect, the stage sets and animatronics just can’t be rivaled. With an epic encore of The Number Of The Beast, Blood Brothers and Wasted Years, Maiden came, saw, conquered. With a long speech regarding this weekend’s tragic events in Orlando, an incredible set and more energy than any one of us can muster after three days in a field – Bruce may as well have done an actual mic drop.

Read our full Iron Maiden review HERE

So what to make of Download 2016? As always controversy over headliners is rife for this sort of festival. With a genre so diverse, with arguably warring factions – there’s always going to be something you love, and something you hate. That’s kind of the point right? If you loved the whole lineup everything would clash. If you hated the whole lineup, you wouldn’t buy a ticket. This year, Download seemed to have secured bands from a whole heap of genres without one heavily dominating the others and let’s be honest – seeing Rammstein, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden on the same bill is really pretty incredible when you think about it. But who the hell is going to top this? Roll on DL2017’s announcements and the ensuing forum arguments we will inevitably be part of…

All photographs © A. Hyams, please do not use without permission.

Black Sabbath – Download 2016 Review

Well what can you say about the finality of one of the most prolific bands in history’s last ever show at their spiritual home of Donington Park? The band have played here time and time again, Monsters of Rock, Ozzfest, Download – Donington in all it’s incarnations. Black Sabbath are sewn into the fabric here and the arena is awash with black shirts in all shapes and sizes, from a tour history spanning decades and generations. Families making sure their kids get to experience this once in their lifetime, the younger crowd who may not be die-hard Sabbath lovers but are here nevertheless, and those original fans with a tear for the end of an era. Everyone feels the gravity of tonight’s performance, and that’s a pretty big weight to put on any band’s shoulders.

As the sky darkens ominously and the purple Black Sabbath logo lights up the big screens, there is a hush of anticipation for the Birmingham band, one city over from where they were formed – this always feels like a homecoming. With visuals depicting the birth of Satan from an Aliens-esque egg the band alight the stage to an almighty roar and thousands upon thousands of hands thrust into the air in horns.

Starting off with namesake Black Sabbath (we really enjoy it when artists sing about themselves… well, maybe not Craig David…) it’s clear that Ozzy’s voice is ahem, off. The difference between this show and their last Donington stint is pretty noticeable and there’s a lot of chatter in the crowd to that effect. It also seems like they’ve purposefully slowed down their already trademark slow heavy metal, to accommodate Ozzy’s vocals, but hey, we’ve been listening to upbeat bands all day… that must be it… right?

Yelling his standard “I can’t fuckin’ hear you” there’s a little nostalgic twinge as someone nearby retorts an unheard “That’s cause you’re fuckin’ deaf”, I think I’ve heard that every single time I’ve seen Ozzy live and this will be the last time. Fairies Wear Boots is a fan favourite and everyone is singing along but the wind and rain have notched up and the 4 speaker stacks in the middle of the arena just aren’t good enough to travel it up the hill. Every year the same argument – it’s fine for the earlier bands when the crowd is split, but for the headliners it leaves at least half the arena with shockingly poor audio.

Into The Void and Snowblind are fantastic, with Iommi shredding the hell out of his guitar in his nonplussed style, and despite the constant rain (maybe there was a market for changing the name to Rainblind…), the swishing of ponchos and smack of wet hair on cheeks says that everyone is having a headbangingly excellent time. Sabbath anthem War Pigs however is absolutely epic, due to the thousands strong crowd singing every bit of it at the maximum capacity of their lungs.

We get a traditional gratuitous drum solo and then everything we wanted to hear; N.I.B, Hand of Doom, the heart-stoppingly good Iron Man (complete with flaming pyrotechnics on the stage and sound tent) and Children Of The Grave.

With an encore of Sabbath’s biggest hit Paranoid, and a tear-jerking ‘The End’ plastered on the big screens, it’s time to say goodbye to arguably the most important band in heavy metal, the forefathers of everything you see here. Though it might not have been the best we’ve ever seen Black Sabbath, there is an overwhelming sense of importance, that we were there, the very last time the godfathers of heavy metal played the most iconic location in heavy metal. It almost makes you want to get a commemorative tattoo. Or, you could go snatch up a ticket for their final UK tour dates EVER. Whimper. Sniff. Sabbath – we will miss you, always.

Photo Credit (Ozzy): Ben Gibson

Photo Credit (Stage): Jen O'Neill

All photos courtesy of Download Festival

Download Festival announces even more bands for 2016

Download Festival, the world’s premier rock and metal event, adds another 14 acts to an already huge bill, including All Time Low, The Temperance Movement, The Wildhearts, and Napalm Death. Download Festival takes place on 10-12 June 2016 in Donington Park. Tickets are on sale now.

Joining headliners Rammstein, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden for three days of unmissable rock are All Time Low. With over 1.1 million sales and more than 100 million Youtube views, the US pop-punk rockers are riding high after the last album, Future Hearts topped the UK charts at the end of 2015.

Returning to their Midlands roots are British grindcore pioneers Napalm Death. Since forming in 1981, Napalm Death have gone on to influence a legion of hardcore fans and musicians alike, they’ll be joined by Geordie punk rockers The Wildhearts whose original member Ginger will be returning to the line up after various solo projects.

Californian skate punk legends, Pennywise, will play Download Festival for the first time in over 10 years, headlining the third stage on Saturday. Their speedy and infectiously catchy punk anthems will ensure everyone knows why they are still one of the most relevant forces in punk today.

Bringing some powerful blues-rock to the festival’s Lemmy Stage, will be critically acclaimed The Temperance Movement, whose recent UK tour was lauded as one of the highlights of rock already this year. Currently one of the rock community’s most revered underground bands Glassjaw, will be making their debut Download appearance in June. The post-punk innovators have recently debuted six brand new songs and will be bringing their unmissable east coast underground sound to Download.

Texan hard-rockers Scorpion Child will be joining the line-up to showcase their 1970s Krautrock and Psychedelia inspired metal sound as will Scandinavian garage-rock band Royal Republic. Making their Download debuts are trans-Atlantic blues, rock and soul quartet Buck & Evans. Joining them and tipping their hat to the likes of Mastodon and Avenged Sevenfold are Scattering Ashes and psych-rockers Weirds who will be bringing their trademark energetic and eclectic show to Download.

Metalcore supergroup, Devil You Know, brings together John Sankey, Francesco Artusato, Howard Jones and Logan Mader to create a blinding sound. Their latest album Stay of Execution was released at the end of last year, ready to be executed to the Download crowd this summer.

UK’s own The Raven Age will be joining the line up fresh off the back of supporting Download’s own headliners Iron Maiden on their 2016 world tour as will The Shrine who’ll be bringing their LA skater vibes to Donington.

Download Festival is the home of rock music and takes place on the sacred grounds of Donington Park, which have been associated with rock since the eighties. The festival attracts icons of rock and metal to its main stage, plus some of the best and hottest new acts in the world. AC/DC, KISS, Metallica, Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, Rage Against The Machine, Slipknot, Linkin Park and many more have all headlined its main stage.

Korn, Motorhead, Megadeath and more added to Download 2016 lineup

Download Festival announce an incredible six acts added to the line up for next years’ festival; Korn, Motörhead, Deftones, Megadeth, Nightwish and Disturbed join the already announced UK show exclusive headliners; Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Rammstein, as Download Festival returns for its 14th year to Donington park on 10,11 and 12 June 2016.
 
True pioneers of the whole Nu-Metal era, Korn will play Friday 10 June at Download Festival. Jonathan Davis, Munky, Head, Fieldy and Ray will bring that signature rumble to the spiritual home of rock. Their highly anticipated 12th studio album is due for release this year, ahead of what is a welcomed return to Donington. After a tumultuous few years, and fresh from the release of Bad Magic, the mighty Motörhead, the ultimate British rock ‘n’ roll institution, will play Download Festival on Friday 10 June. The pure embodiment of a rock – front man Ian Fraser 'Lemmy' Kilmister will bring swagger and attitude, and we’re certain of a few things – there will be No Sleep Till’ Donington, they are Motörhead, and they play rock'n'roll like no other.

Alternative rock mainstays, Deftones join an already mind-blowing Saturday line up. With the highly anticipated release of their eighth studio album, Deftones will bring a live show of epic proportions to the hallowed grounds of Donington next year. The Sacramento quintet have evolved since their inception, but inarguably they maintain the essential soundtrack to all hardcore fans.  Deftones are Chino Moreno, Stephen Carpenter, Frank Delgado, Abe Cunningham and Sergio Vega.  Metal veterans, Megadeth, release their 15th album Dystopia early next year, which will no doubt excite the fans ahead of their Saturday performance at Download Festival.

On Sunday 11 June, symphonic operatic metallers, Nightwish, come with heavy guitars, intense instrumentals and edgy duet vocals from Floor Jansen and Marco Hietala. Their hypnotising take on metal melodrama will no doubt lure the crowds to Donington next year. Returning from their hiatus, Disturbed released the epic Immortalized in August this year, a long awaited album of epic proportions proving that their live show next year will be nothing short of unmissable. Now resurrected – their dark metal craft and distinctive sound claimed the number 1 album spot in the US. Disturbed are: David Draiman, John Moyer, Dan Donegan, and Mike Wengren.

Saturday headliner announced for Download Festival 2016

The legendary Black Sabbath – Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler – will be returning to headline Download Festival 2016 on Saturday 11 June

Nearly five decades on from their beginnings in Birmingham, the band – who have been widely proclaimed as ‘The Greatest Metal Band of All Time’ – will be coming back to the spiritual home of rock at Donington Park as part of their FINAL ever tour entitled “The End”, which will see their biggest and most mesmerising production to date.

 
 
Ozzy Osbourne commented:

'Download is my absolute favourite summer festival.  It’s always like coming home.   See you all there!'

With IRON MAIDEN already announced to headline Sunday 12 June, Download Festival still has details of one more headliner to announce. Watch this space

Black Sabbath will rock British Summer Time Hyde Park 2014

The legendary Ozzy Osbourne and his band mates Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi will be headlining the same stage that fellow rock legends The Rolling Stones presided over for two historic gigs last year. 

Not content with just playing the park, British Summer Time becomes Black Sabbath Time! Announcing their show with an impressive takeover of the Royal Park, the band will blaze onto the Great Oak Stage in Hyde Park for their first ever performance at the venue later this year.

Hailing from Birmingham in the late '60s, Black Sabbath are the undisputed founders of British heavy rock. They have always undoubtedly been one of the best live bands in the world. In 2013, the band returned in the most triumphant style with a global number one album, sell out tours and a prestigious Classic Rock Living Legends award. From their first visit to London to record their debut album to selling out the O2 last year, the band have one ambition left, to melt the faces off the Hyde Park crowd.

As Ozzy says: "The first time I came to London I didn't have a pot to piss in and I spent the advance I got for the first album on a new pair of shoes and some Brut aftershave. Returning almost 50 years on, we are doing a bit better for ourselves so I may even splash out on some new aftershave before taking to the stage at Hyde Park, the most beautiful park in London that has opened its gates to so many legends in the past. We are beyond honoured to be allowed to put on a show and hope that the Royals will enjoy it!"

Support for the show will come from Soundgarden and special guests Faith No More.

Emerging from the alternative scene of Seattle in the early 90’s,Soundgarden are widely regarded as one of the originators of grunge, alongside Nirvana and Pearl Jam. They have since gone on to sell 22 Million records worldwide and received 2 Grammy Awards, for ‘Spoonman’ and ‘Black Hole Sun’, both taken from their album ‘Superunknown’. Following their split in 1997, they reformed in 2010 and they released their last album ‘King Animal’in 2012 to critical acclaim. Get ready to welcome Soundgarden back to the stage at London’s Hyde Park!

Faith No More have earned a huge cult following since releasing their debut album ‘We Care A Lot’ in 1985. Instrumental in the alternative metal genre, Metallica, Nirvana and Guns ‘N’ Roses have all cited them as influencing their sound. A fearsome reputation as a live act, they have released five albums, winning 3 Grammy Awards, and 5 MTV Awards, until they dissolved the band in 1998. In 2009, following an eleven year hiatus, Faith No More reformed, touring Europe and USA, playing their own dates, alongside numerous festivals, reminding fans and critics alike what an amazing live act they are. It’s time to bring Faith No More back to London, to storm the stage at BST Hyde Park.

Other artists to entertain throughout the afternoon include: Motorhead,Soulfly, Wolfmother Gallows, Hell, Kobra and the Lotus, Bo Ningen, Rise To Remain and Broken Hands… to name a few.

Black Sabbath headline 4th July and join the already announced Neil Youngand McBusted nights (12th and 6th July respectively). Other artists to be announced…

Line Up on July 4th: 

Great Oak Stage
Black Sabbath
Soundgarden
Faith No More
Motorhead
Soulfly

The Barclaycard Theatre
Wolfmother
Hell
Kobra and The Lotus
Broken Hands
The Bots

Village Hall
Gallows
Bo Ningen
The Gravel Tones
Hang The Bastard
A Plastic Rose

Summer Stage
Rise To Remain
Blitz Kids
The Struts
The First

Queens of the Stone Age and more announced for Download Festival 2013

Organisers are pleased to announce that Queens of the Stone Age are confirmed to make their Download Festival debut, marking the band’s first UK date to be announced for 2013. 30 Seconds to Mars are back for the third time to treat audiences to hits such as ‘Kings and Queens’, ‘This Is War’, ‘Closer To The Edge’ and ‘The Kill (Bury Me)’, and Gaslight Anthem, who played in 2011 and recently sold out Brixton Academy establishing themselves as one of the foremost contemporary rock bands, are also confirmed.

Returning to thrash out for the fourth time at Download Festival are Motorhead. In 2010 Lemmy and the gang were joined on stage by Slash creating a mosh of thousands to punk-fused metal classics ‘Stay Clean’, ‘Killed By Death’, ‘Overkill’ and ‘Ace of Spades’. Finnish rockers HIM are also  confirmed playing hits spanning their 20 year career. The band have just released celebratory compilation Two Decades of Love Metal which includes all of their greatest hits and brand new track ‘Strange World’. Seattle alt-rockers Alice in Chains will be performing for the second time in Donington Park, while US rockers A Day To Remember will make their third appearance.

Weekend tickets with camping are on sale now at www.downloadfestival.co.uk. Download RIP ticket packages can be purchased via www.livenationexperience.co.uk or by phoning 0207 009 3484.

Tickets for Download Festival Weekend Arena and 5 nightcamping can now be purchased using a new Deposit Ticket Scheme, which allows eligible customers to pay for tickets over three installments. DTS is available to customers who purchase tickets before Monday 31 December 2012. For further information visitwww.downloadfestival.co.uk.

Download celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with a sell out event headlined by The Prodigy, Metallica and Black Sabbath.

Download Festival 2012 tickets on sale tomorrow 9am

Biffy ClyroWith a spectacular line up including headliners The Prodigy (Friday 8 June), Metallica (Saturday 9 June) and Black Sabbath (Sunday 10 June), plus an array of exciting acts such as Slash, Biffy Clyro, Steel Panther, Soundgarden, Lamb of God and You Me At Six, this year’s event at Donington Park is set to blow the top right off the roof!

Download promoter Andy Copping says “This year’s Download is going from strength to strength and the line up is shaping up nicely. We’ve had a phenomenal reaction to weekend tickets, and have decided to go on sale with day tickets early. Happy days!”

A further 60 + acts will be announced between now and June, and organisers continue to hit a home run by confirming American metalcore band KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, the multi-million selling SHINEDOWN, last year’s biggest rock newcomers BLACK VEIL BRIDES, DIY punk masters NOFX, epic progressive metallers OPETH and symphonic Scandinavians NIGHTWISH for thisyear’s Download.

Weekend with camping tickets are also available to purchase along with limited RIP packages – go to www.downloadfestival.co.uk for all ticket options.

This year’s Download will also see the debut of the RIP METAL HOTEL, the first of its kind indoor ‘pop up’ hotel located on the festival site, a mere hop skip and a jump to the main arena. Each room will have two beds, thermostatic climate control, an en-suite wet room with toilet, basin and shower, storage space, a flat screen TV, and secure card entry. Not only that, all rooms will be serviced with with quality linen, towels and toiletries by dedicated Metal Hotel personnel, as well as offering continental breakfast, providing a truly luxury experience to coincide with the festival’s 10th anniversary celebrations. Rooms will be available from the Download website.

 

The Prodigy confirmed to headline Download Festival 2012

After notching up over 25 million record sales and selling out venues across the world, the masters of synth punk, The Prodigy are back doing what they do best and bringing their mind-blowing set to Donington for 2012. Expect plenty of classics from their incredible catalogue alongside some new tracks fresh from the studio. This will be the third time the band has played Download and the first time they’ll play the main stage. The Prodigy will join headliners Metallica (Saturday 9 June) and Black Sabbath (Sunday 10 June) for one of the biggest Download Festivals EVER.

Andy Copping, VP of Promotions at Live Nation said, “We’re very excited to welcome The Prodigy back to Donington, it’s great to have them here for the third time and this time headlining the main stage. The crowdsalways go mental when The Prodigy are in town. The band never fail to impress, and it’s going to be one hell of a weekend.”

Weekend tickets for Download 2012 go on general sale 9am Friday 18th November 2011 from www.downloadfestival.co.uk – subject to availability.  Weekend ticket prices for Download 2012 will remain the same as the prices for Download 2011 until midday Monday 30th January 2012 when all ticket types will go off sale. All tickets will go back on sale at 5pm Monday 30th January 2012 withWeekend tickets increased to 2012 prices. Festival organisers encourage fans to take advantage of this offer while it lasts.