DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL IS BACK WITH PACKED LINE UP FOR 2022

Download Festival, the world’s premier rock event, is coming back with a bang in 2022. The first major festival of the summer will be headlined by the mighty KISS, Iron Maiden and Biffy Clyro, with other huge acts on the bill including A Day To Remember, Deftones, KORN, The Distillers, Funeral For A Friend and many more. As the first full-capacity Download Festival since 2019 and following last year’s phenomenal Download Pilot, which paved the way for the return of live events, it’s pulling out all the stops for 2022 with a gargantuan line-up of the world’s most exciting bands in rock, pop punk, hardcore, metal and much more. 

Announced today are 14 new acts joining the packed bill, including the likes of Skindred, YONAKA, Will Haven, Kid Brunswick, Bimini and Dana Dentata. The three-day festival takes place on 10-12 June 2022 at the spiritual home of rock in Donington Park, LeicestershireTickets are now on sale via www.downloadfestival.co.uk/tickets.

Iron Maiden, hailed as one of the greatest live acts of all time, will return to Donington to headline Download Festival on Saturday night, in what will be one of only two UK festival shows in 2022, while the legendary KISS will storm the stage on Friday night to perform their only UK show of the summer. After their fantastic headline set in 2017, Scottish rock titans Biffy Clyro will also be making their highly anticipated return to headline the festival on Sunday night, showing off tracks from ‘A Celebration of Ending’, which topped the UK charts in 2020, and their most recent studio album, the critically acclaimed ‘The Myth of Happily Ever After’. 

Joining the already confirmed likes of The Distillers, The Pretty Reckless, Ayron Jones, Lacuna Coil, Loathe, Malevolence, Normandie, Static Dress and more, it is announced today that Download live favourites Skindred will be back to tear things up after an epic performance at the Download Pilot in 2021, having been described by many as their highlight of the entire weekend. The Welsh reggae metal band will be bringing back their iconic ‘Newport Helicopter’ and are guaranteed to have the crowd going wild once more.

Skindred frontman Benji Webbe says: “Playing the Download pilot after being locked down for a year and a half was an amazing experience so being invited back to our favourite festival and spiritual home to play alongside the likes of KISS and Maiden is a dream come true. Plus we have some amazing rockin’ new tunes which we cannot wait for you all to hear.”

Brighton rock band YONAKA also made a splash at last year’s Download Pilot, and that was just the beginning, as they’ll be causing chaos once again this year. Frontwoman Theresa Jarvis says, “Aghhhh Download! Some of us have been going since we were 14 so it’s an absolute pleasure to be performing there again. The energy is always amazing and such an exciting lineup of music.”

Drag sensation Bimini rose to fame on Ru Paul’s Drag Race and released their punk non-binary anthem God Save This Queen last year. That was only the first step on their musical journey, because Bimini will be gracing the crowds of Download with their presence in 2022 for the very first time.

Also added to the bill are Canadian rap-rock-horrorcore artist Dana Dentata, self-described grunge lord Kid Brunswick, industrial rock band SKYND, Oregon stoner rock band Red Fang, legendary Californian noise metallers Will Haven, Swedish melodic death metal band Orbit Culture, Australian five-piece Banks Arcade, Colorado retro revisionists The Velveteers, UK heavy music newcomers Heriot, LA rockers Dirty Honey and Scottish swashbucklers Alestorm.

Highlights across the weekend include the previously announced Spiritbox, one of the hottest bands in the world at the moment, who have been upgraded to the Avalanche Stage due to huge demand. Post-hardcore break-out stars As Everything Unfolds have also upgraded and are now set to bring their invigorating take on the genre to the Avalanche stage on Friday 10 June.

Download is THE place to see the brightest rising stars. Other ones to watch at Download 2022 include the hell-raising Wargasm, nu-metal pop provocateur Cassyette, Liverpool nu-metallers Death Blooms, pop punk trio Meet Me @ The Altar, as well as Holding Absence, Those Damn Crows and Venom Prison all flying the flag for rip-roaring rock from South Wales.

With more than 100 acts already confirmed to return to Donington in 2022 for the first major festival of the season, Download Festival could not be more ready to reunite with its incredible community for the first time since 2019. For further information, please visitdownloadfestival.co.uk


ANNOUNCED TODAY

Alestorm
Banks Arcade
Bimini
Dana Dentata
Dirty Honey
Heriot
Kid Brunswick
Orbit Culture
Red Fang
Skindred
SKYND
The Velveteers
Will Haven
YONAKA

Download festival announces major site improvements for 2020

Download Festival, the world’s premier rock event has announced major site improvement plans for the 2020 festival which takes place on 12 – 14 June 2020 at the spiritual home of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire. Tickets are on sale now at  downloadfestival.co.uk/tickets.

Download Festival prides itself on listening to its loyal fanbase. The Village has moved even closer to The Arena and will be located on the hardstanding tarmac lake and will be home to the largest ever festival merch superstore for weekend campers. The festival has become even more sustainable on site with 100% Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil biofuel to be used that will reduce carbon emissions by a dramatic 60%, and vegan options have increased. Alongside new locations for all campsiteswalking distances have decreased, and with the new Castle Donington Bypass, there is the addition of an East Car Park. Download Festival’s legacy will also be encapsulated with a time capsule burial on site over Download weekend.

Melvin Benn, Festival Republic MD says;
“Download is a festival like no other, the audience is as essential as a headliner and we’re excited to bring these site changes to the 2020 festival for better customer experience. The new location of The Village is incredibly exciting as we have made use of the hardstanding tarmac lake. What’s equally exciting is the merch superstore that will be located here, with plenty of options to commemorate the weekend. The new Castle Donington Bypass has allowed us to introduce a third carpark for those coming from the North, and all these site changes have reduced walking times across the site.

The legacy of Download deserves to be celebrated so we will be burying a time capsule on site during Download weekend. Artists will add to it, and I would love for Downloaders to be involved by suggesting items to include and becoming a part of history. Here’s to a great 2020.”

Download Festival have reduced walking distances for festival attendees by moving campsites, car parks, the transport hub and The Village. When campers were looking at almost an hour walk to campsites from The Arena, the new campsite locations mean that Downloaders can reach their tents in the furthest campsites from The Arena in just 25 minutes. As The Village is now a central hub between campsites, this can be reached from the majority of campsites in 10 minutes or less.

The newly located general campsites will also see a fan rebrand, and Downloaders can suggest what each of the six campsites should be called right here (https://form.jotform.com/FRMarketing/campsite-name-suggestions-DL2020). Entries must be submitted by Monday 9th March, and winning names will be announced via socials on Friday 13th MarchGreenpeace’s Eco Campsite also returns for its third year, with 100% of tents taken away in the previous two years.

Download Festival have reacted to public feedback, relocating The Village after the severe weather conditions of last year, to the hardstanding Tarmac Lake. Home of The Dog House, Hair Of The Dog bar, food stands, and the incredible Mind The Dog Mindfulness programming that will return in 2020, plus just minutes away from the Access Campsite, access customers can go from their camp to The Village without leaving solid ground.

The Village will also be home to a new massive 900 square meter merch superstore for the first time, and in The Arena, the serving areas of merchandise stalls have increased by 13 meters, plus additional staff on hand to aid in providing size choices whilst waiting. The lines were too long last year, and this should help speed up the process. New for 2020, the Guest Area will also have its own merch stand.

Download takes climate change seriously and as part of our Green Nation charter we are using 100% renewable Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) biofuel to power the event this year. HVO is a form of renewable diesel that has been produced from vegetable fats and oils and offers a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In the recent The Show Must Go On (https://www.vision2025.org.uk/) report, 76% of an event on site carbon emission is power, and this act will reduce Download’s carbon emissions by 60%.

In 2019, the Liftshare carpark sold out with 157 cars taking part, with combined travel saving 16.29 tonnes of CO2e, and £20,000 was raised for local schools to install solar panels through car park donations which is up on £15,800 in 2018. The Recycling and composting rates rose from 46% in 2018 to 59% in 2019 with zero waste going to landfill, bars will once again be operating with reusable cups, and Co-op’s reverse vending machines return for a third year. All water bottles sold at the bars and traders stands will be made from renewable plant-based bottles, and all water refill points in The Arena have been completely redesigned with high flow meaning that a litre bottle can be refilled in just 3 seconds, compared to last year which could have taken up to 12 seconds. That’s four times faster!

The food we eat is responsible for almost a third of our global carbon footprint.  We’ve increased vegan food offerings by 40% to give over 30 vegan vendors to choose from on site and a total of over 40 vegetarian stalls to tuck into. Gluten free traders have also increased to a total of 30 stalls across the site, an increase of 42% from 2019.

For 2020, Download Festival has introduced a new East Car Park, which alongside the West Car Park, will be dedicated to weekend campers with easy access to campsites either side of the site. The East Car Park will also be easily accessible by those travelling from the North of England via the newly created Castle Donington bypass. The South Car Park will be dedicated to day ticket holders and improved conditions within the car parks aim to better handle weather conditions. The increase in car parks also means Downloaders no longer have to walk for miles with their weekend belongings, as if parked in the East Car Park, they can reach the nearest campsite in just two minutes.

Inspired by Iron Maiden performing their Legacy of the Beast Tour, Download will be celebrating the festivals legacy with a time capsule burial on the hallowed grounds of Donington. Download will be calling on its line up of legends across the weekend to contribute to the time capsule and make their mark on the Download Festival legacy, Downloaders will also be able to suggest what can be included and have the chance to add their own bit of history. May 2078 will see the resurfacing date, marking 75 years since the very first Download Festival!

Inside the arena itself, The Dogtooth Stage has a reputation to host some of the best talent around, with the tent overflowing from overwhelming popularity within recent years and to reflect this, organisers will be increasing capacity from 2890 to 4050.

Festival Republic have worked with Attitude is Everything since 2001. Download Festival signed up to the Attitude is Everything Charter of Best Practice in 2017 and currently holds the Gold Award within the charter. The Accessible Campsite remains on the same hardstanding location. The Accessible Campervan space has moved to a flatter more accessible location and the space for campervans has increased by 42% to over 100 spaces for 2020.

For further information, please visit Download Festival’s WebsiteFacebook and Twitter

 

#DL2020

More acts added for DOWNLOAD 2020!

Download Festival, the world’s premier rock event, has announced further acts including ALTER BRIDGE, BOWLING FOR SOUP, FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES, MASTODON, THE DISTILLERS, SEPULTURA, MOTIONLESS IN WHITE and FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND, to join headliners IRON MAIDEN (Legacy of the Beast Tour)KISS and SYSTEM OF A DOWN this summer. NXT UK is returning to deliver more knockout entertainment over the weekend, and Kerrang! Radio will host FINDING FRESH BLOOD for another year – searching for the best emerging acts in the world of rock to perform on The Avalanche Stage.

Download takes place on 12 – 14 June 2020 at the spiritual home of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire. Tickets are on sale now at downloadfestival.co.uk/tickets.

The Main Stage just got even better with a host of new names which are sure to stir the crowd into a frenzy. US heavyweights ALTER BRIDGE will return to Download with their breed of blistering and technical rock completed with incredible showmanship courtesy of Miles Kennedy.

Mark Tremonti from Alter Bridge said:
“We are very proud and honoured to be a part of the 2020 lineup.  Download has always been the highlight of our touring schedule over the years, thanks for another opportunity to perform for some of the best rock fans in the world!”

The brilliantly chaotic FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES will wreak havoc at Download, with pit-starter anthems such as ‘Juggernaut’, ‘Crowbar’ and ‘I Hate You’. MOTIONLESS IN WHITE are staggeringly heavy, with a good dosage of theatrics that will no doubt fuel a memorable performance. Also performing rare Australia’s ferocious THY ART IS MURDER, rising Florida metalcorers WAGE WAR, and melodic Brit metallers THE RAVEN AGE.

Chris Motionless from Motionless In White said:
“Playing Download is an accomplishment that bands of every level still write home about. It is THE festival to be a part of, and I’m so proud to announce that we will be making an appearance again for the first one of the new decade. See you in a few months!”

Looking towards The Zippo Stage, Atlanta’s finest MASTODON have garnered a reputation as a formidable live force, and their performance at 2020 is sure to be enormous. Fronted by the infamous Brody Dalle, THE DISTILLERS are a household name in modern punk and make their anticipated return to Donington. THE DARKNESS are also set to bring a healthy dose of classic rock and roll bombast., Italian goth icons LACUNA COIL, melodic rockers AMARANTHE, bondage-punks HATARI and rock n roll revivalists THE GLORIOUS SONS. They’ll be joined by Mississippi rock stalwarts 3 DOORS DOWN.

Justin Hawkins of The Darkness said:
 “UK festival appearances are like children – so precious and impossible to pick a favourite. This year though, my number 1 child is our Download slot! I have a pair of pyjama bottoms designed to look like jeans with tickets for Monsters of Rock 1991 hanging out of the pocket, and that tells you everything you need to know about my excitement levels.”

Following their disbanding in 2016, Download are beyond excited to reveal that Welsh post-hardcore and crowd favourite FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND will make their euphoric return to the festival by headlining The Avalanche Stage. Joining them are Texan troopers BOWLING FOR SOUP who are sure-fire to get Donington singing along to their tongue-in-cheek pop punk anthems.

Ryan Richards from Funeral For A Friend said “As a band, and as individuals – we’ve made some incredible memories at the hallowed grounds of Donington through the years, so it’s going to be nice to come back and make a few more together. Those trademark black fringes are a bit greyer/balder these days, but we’ll still be able to show these young ‘uns a thing or two!”

Jaret Reddick from Bowling For Soup said:
“Download Festival is always something special for Bowling For Soup. So many of the stories we share with other bands and family members back home come from our time spent playing or hanging out at this festival. Very much looking forward to making more memories this summer…and of course bringing something special to our show, that only BFS can get away with!”

Elsewhere on the Avalanche Stage are Philadelphia’s THE MENZINGERS who will draw a monstrous crowd with their honest melodic punk, Woking’s brutal EMPLOYED TO SERVE, anonymous collective SLEEP TOKEN, garage punk outfit PRESS CLUB, Welsh post-hardcore band HOLDING ABSENCE, Liverpool prog-metallers LOATHE, mysterious emo rapper SULLII, London ska-punks THE SKINTS, alt-pop-rock Mancs THE HARA, Northern Californian pop-rockers CEMETERY SUN, and Brighton indie punks GENDER ROLES. They’ll be joined by punk trio MILK TEETH.

Headlining The Dog Tooth Stage are genre defining heavy music titans SEPULTURA who are set to be a crowd pleaser with huge songs such as Roots Bloody Root and Refuse / Resist.

Derrick Green from Sepultura said;
“We are ecstatic about our return to Download Festival. It’s an honour and pleasure to be a part of a festival with such a rich music history. We look forward to rocking out with you all!!”

Also on The Dog Tooth stage are Sydney metalcore innovators NORTHLANE, alongside bruising Leeds hardcore collective HIGHER POWER. If that wasn’t enough, further Dogtooth Stage additions are London progressive rock band HAKEN, virtuosic Texan quartet POLYPHIA, Sacramento noise metallers WILL HAVEN, the hotly tipped KILL THE LIGHTS (featuring members from Bullet For My ValentineStill RemainsThrow The FightGlamour Of The Kill and Threat Signal), self-proclaimed ‘Satanic doo wop’ trio TWIN TEMPLE, Texan hardcore outfit FIRE FROM THE GODS, Bristol post-punks HEAVY LUNGS, NYC rockers TEMPT, Peterborough melodic hardcore act MODERN ERROR, brutal Holy Roar signees London five-piece RENOUNCED, mesmerising alt rock artist JJ WILDE, and Brummie metalcore pack SHVPES.

Download Festival are pleased to announce the return of WWE NXT UK to this year’s festival. The first round of Superstars to be announced are title-holders WWE NXT UK Champion WALTER, NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray, and NXT UK Tag Team Champions Gallus. The first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate, and his Tag Team partner Trent Seven, will no doubt bring a stunner of a show. Also set to perform is Finn Bálor’s protégé Jordan Devlin, the highflyer Mark Andrews, and his Tag Team partner Flash Morgan Webster. Toni Storm is also confirmed, alongside powerhouse Piper Niven – both of whom will bring the energy to Donington Park. NXT UK has made a massive impact at Download in previous years, full of tense moments and adrenaline-soaked performances, it’s the ultimate spectacle for fans of loud music and even louder sport.

In addition, Kerrang! Radio will once more host Finding Fresh Blood, the search to bring the hottest emerging talent to Donington. 2019 was its inaugural year and grime-punks PENGSHUi triumphantly opened the Avalanche Stage. UK acts can now upload their tracks online to be in with the chance of playing this year’s festival on the same stage. To apply, and for more information please visit their website. The chance to apply closes on 1st March at 23:59, and winners will be announced in April.

Kerrang! Radio’s Alex Baker said:
“Playing at The Download Festival is a benchmark moment in any bands career, it is the most important festival in the country for alternative music and a performance on any of the hallowed stages can catapult your career as a musician to new heights. I only like working with people who share my unyielding spirit for supporting new artists, and the absolute dedication that Andy and the team from Download have in this field is truly inspiring. When Pengshui walked out on the Avalanche Stage last year, the atmosphere on the stage, in the crowd AND in the wings was absolutely electric – it is a moment that will never be forgotten.”

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.

DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL Announces Second Run Of Bands For 2020

Download Festival has announced more bands to join headliners IRON MAIDEN (Legacy of the Beast Tour), KISS and SYSTEM OF A DOWN next year. The world’s premier rock event takes place 12 – 14 June 2020 at the spiritual home of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire. Tickets are on sale now at downloadfestival.co.uk/tickets.

Headed to Download are Denmark’s VOLBEAT with their hybrid of rock ‘n’ roll, riffs and rockabilly, making for an explosive and certainly unpredictable live show. Their seventh studio album Rewind, Replay, Rebound dropped in August 2019 and landed at #7 in the UK album charts.

Volbeat said;
We are very excited to return to Donington Park once again to rock with all of our friends in the UK alongside so many great bands. See you in June!“Defining the Metalcore genre with anthems such as ‘My Curse’ and ‘The End of Heartache’, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE have had three consecutive Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top 200, landed several Grammy nominations, and have had half a billion streams.Jesse Leach from Killswitch Engage said;
We are honoured and excited to play the mighty Download festival once again! We are ready to kick out our new songs and play the old anthems as well! Download crowds are always incredible and we are eager to bring the mother f*****g ruckus!

Leaders in Japanese kawaii metal, BABYMETAL will land at Donington following the success of their latest album Metal Galaxy. Formed in 2010, the band fuse metal with J-Pop and are a global name in heavy music, renowned for their flawless and unique performances.

SU-METAL said:
“The crowd at Download Festival always welcomes us with a lot of energy so I can’t wait to perform there again! We hope to bring even more power and energy so please look forward to our performance!”

MOAMETAL said:
“To have the opportunity of performing at one of our favorite places is incredibly exciting for us. Can’t wait to see everyone there!”

THE PRETTY RECKLESS are a bruising blend of ferocious rock’n roll and blues, with huge singles such as ‘You Make Me Wanna Die’ and ‘Heaven Knows’ in their discography, and their explosive shows have earned them legions of new fans all over the world. AIRBOURNE’s first album Runnin’ Wild was one of the most talked-about and best-reviewed debuts in recent rock history, and their classic rock inspired hits are expected to create a thunder at Download.

Joe O’Keeffe from Airbourne said;
“Do you wanna rock? Then let’s f****n’ rock!”

Named one of the best-selling rock bands of the 21st Century SKILLET will bring their stadium sized anthems backed by multi-platinum selling albums to Donington next year. BARONESS have embodied a DIY ethic since the beginning. With five innovative and highly creative albums under their collective belts that swerve genre barriers, they consistently keep fans on their toes and are expected to do the same at Download next year.

LIT are considered one of the preeminent bands to have come out of the post-grunge era of the late 90’s, defining an entire generation of power punk with hits like ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ and ‘Miserable’. Since their warmly-welcomed return in 2011, British alt rock titans BUSH have shown no signs of rest as they have since released two albums and appeared on the John Wick: Chapter 3 soundtrack with a heavier new sound inspired by System Of A Down.

The Duke of Spook WEDNESDAY 13 has been added to the line up following the release of eighth album Necrophaze. Expect the unexpected from the original horror punk enigma who is infamous for theatrics. Also performing are BRITISH LION, the side project of Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris that’s stamped with his unique style.

With a cult-like and fanatical fanbase as well as being referred to as “the heaviest band in the universe”, ELECTRIC WIZARD will perform at Donington with their uncompromising style of ‘70s inspired doom and detuned guitars. They’ll be joined by PERIPHERY who are at the forefront of the djent movement with their blisteringly technical and heavy prog.

Since their inception in 1984, OBITUARY are a fundamental act in the development in death metal and have made one hell of a dent with ten colossal albums and ear shattering riffs under their name.  Joining them, are death metallers DYING FETUS who will be heading back to Donington in 2020.

Toronto punks PUP have cemented themselves as one of the most energetic and exciting live bands in recent years, and with their noisy, biting and a recklessly fun ode to nihilism, they’re not to be missed. The self-dubbed ‘family band’ TINY MOVING PARTS formed in high school and have worked tirelessly to create the band’s trademark blend of math rock, punk pop, and emo – they have been added to the already monster line up,

Most known for ‘Youth of the Nation’, ‘Southtown’, ‘Boom’, and the triple platinum record Satellite, San Diego’s P.O.D. join the line up with their infectious hybrid of punk, heavy metal, reggae, rap and Latin music.

Making their debut last year with bold album Ain’t Always Easy on Spinefarm Records, STONE BROKEN’s energetic live shows have fuelled their desire to take on the world and are ready to take on Download.

Returning to Download are the retro-inspired blues of quartet BLUES PILLS and their vintage style.  Fronted by hard rock veteran Toby Jepson (G.U.N., Little Angels), WAYWARD SONS dropped their second album The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be last month and are a much welcome addition to the line up.

Self-proclaimed Kings of Stonerpunk, BOKASSA make their Download Festival debut from Norway following a summer opening for Metallica on their European Wordwired tour. With a sound as bold as their name WARGASM may only have two singles under their belt, but the captivating duo are sure to make their Download debut one to remember.

Also added are BLACKOUT PROBLEMS, BLEED FROM WITHIN, CELLAR DOOR MOON CROW, CHELSEA GRIN, DEAD LABEL, DEAD POSEY, LOTUS EATER, MARIANAS TRENCH, POWERWOLF, PUPPY, THEORY, THE LAST INTERNATIONALE, THE WILDHEARTS, and UNCURED.

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.

Download 2019 – Slipknot REVIEWED!

Ok. Confession time. I’m not a Slipknot fan. I am standing in a field full of Slipknot fans eagerly awaiting this much anticipated show. Flanked by overall-clad bodies, every face a grotesque mask (some quite obviously homemade), a through-the-ages tour of Slipknot’s style back catalogue, the excitement is palpable. Of course, this UK debut of the bands’ new masks is just a part of it, but the forums and news stories have been filled with ire towards the new choices – with many describing them as boring or thoroughly non-theatrical compared to previous iterations.

Indeed as the giant stage banner drops and the majesty of the stage set up is revealed – all industrial turbines and Mad Max-esque landscaping – frontman Corey Taylor appears in a black trenchcoat in place of a jumpsuit, and gives off a distinctly corpse dragged-from-the-river vibes in his bloated mask. Instantly I am reminded of the terrible ‘dream machine’ mask from the ultimate cheese-fest Bond movie ‘Die Another Day’, which levels on funny rather than creepy for me.

Sporting a more traditional Slipknot look, the rest of the band hit the stage in black boiler suits and their own new masks for an undeniably powerful opening trio of ‘People = Shit’, ‘(Sic)’ and ‘Get This’ with Corey yelling “This is where you fucking scream for me”. New release ‘Unsainted’ is a strong introduction to what we can expect from Slipknot going forward, as Corey screams “…are you happy to see Slipknot back in your beautiful fucking land? It’s amazing to be back HOME” to an almighty roar back from the Download crowd.

I’ll admit, they bring a great show – the pyrotechnics, the crazy percussion podium made of steel industrial hazard drums, the mysterious extra member who still hasn’t been revealed… and it’s clear the crowd are absolutely loving Slipknot’s return to Donington. Growling “…bunch of crazy motherfuckers over here. You feel good?” we head into a brutal assault of ‘Psychosocial’ and ‘The Devil in I’ while Corey muses “…this is the kind of Download I wanna see right”.

‘Duality’ comes with a side of the clown smashing up some of the stage set with a bat, and we’re treated to “something fucking special” which turns out to be a bit of a mishmash of ‘555 to the 666’ and ‘If Rain is What You Want’ at possibly the only time this weekend it isn’t actually raining. It’s kind of a shame to be honest, if there’s any band that the rain would have benefited in terms of atmosphere – it’s Slipknot. Regardless, the entire crowd is singing along in a rowdy chorus before going headlong into ‘Spit it Out’ for an arena-wide bounce… on the floor… before the song breaks and everyone goes absolutely berserk.

Corey leads out with a heartfelt speech on Download/the fans being family and making the statement “We are not their kind”, before heading into closer ‘Surfacing’, and a quick message to ‘take care of each other’ as they exit the stage. There may be thousands of raised horns in the arena, there may be a mass chant of ‘one more song’ but it’s clear as the house lights come up that the band are done for the night. Despite a bit of initial disappointment in the crowd, as the black video screens change to display ‘SLIPKNOT LIVE 2020’ a guttural roar of appreciation begins to ripple. Slipknot are coming back, and the sweaty hordes are abated as they head out into the night.

Photograph © Matt Higgs – Courtesy of Download Festival. Do not use without permission.
Photograph © Matt Higgs – Courtesy of Download Festival. Do not use without permission.

Download 2019 – Rob Zombie REVIEWED

Forced once again to choose between the Zippo Encore and the Main stage for tonight’s grand entertainments – we have opted for Rob Zombie, master of the macabre and fringed outfits. Immediately upon turning the corner to the Zippo Encore stage it is clear that mistakes have been made. When Rob last played Download in 2017 the area was pretty jam packed but this year the arena is so ridiculously full th­­­­­­­at some people are actually almost standing in the shops at the back to watch. As much as I applaud Download for the booking – why oh why can’t we just have him on the main stage? He’s got the back catalogue, the energy and the showmanship to fill the main arena, never mind the sardine-can Zippo.

Anyway, aside from the spacing rant, Rob Zombie was an absolute highlight of the weekend, as expected. Rocking up with his signature screen boxes/dance podiums and immediately storming through ‘Meet The Creeper’ and ‘Superbeast’, Rob is resplendent leaping from box to box in as much fringed clothing as I’ve ever seen on a person. His style is sort of… the creature from the Black Lagoon, meets deep South in the 70’s, and I’m here for it. Anyone who can pull off such spritely moves in tight ass flares gets my respect to be honest.

Down the rabbithole we go with Rob for the iconic ‘Living Dead Girl’, as he yells “Good evening everybody, welcome to the Zombie show! Download, you ready to fuckin go?”. People are shrieking the lyrics all around us and throwing down some good old fashioned cyber goth moves for good measure. If you were gonna put a soundtrack to Vampire porn, this would be it – and Rob Zombie would have probably directed it to be honest.

Calling out “Everyone down here in the front, in your muddy shoes… jump jump” he rolls into the epic White Zombie track ‘More Human than Human’ and the crowd goes absolutely berserk. There’s nothing like a festival arena full of sweaty writhing bodies just dancing with wild abandon, it’s not something us Brits are usually especially practiced at but we’ll give it a damn good go, even in the rain and mud. Rob quips “Well we travel all around the world, and I must tell you… you win the award for the muddiest place on earth. I’m sure its cosy in those tents after the show… I’m sure when you’re sitting in those tents freezing you go… do I really wanna see these bands that fucking bad? And you guys just say fuck it, let’s get high and do this shit” as a set up to ‘In The Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High’.

Manson clip backdrops herald Beatles cover ‘Helter Skelter’ and Rob turns stage side to ask “Can we keep playing? Do we have time?” eliciting a roar from a crowd who simply aren’t ready to end the night there. Rob muses “I was thinking the other day about Stone Henge. I believe I’ve solved the mystery. It’s one big landing pad for ufo’s” and calls us all to wave at an aeroplane passing overhead during ‘Well, Everybody’s Fucking in a U.F.O.’ whilst his guitarist rocks a flashing rainbow grille to grin at the crowd.

White Zombie (and Guitar Hero) classic ‘Thunder Kiss ‘65’ is punctuated with a little Ramones ‘Blitzkreig Bop’ for the “…punk rockers in tonight” and Rob heads down to the pit to meet his front row fans. Finishing up with the gut-busting ‘Dragula’ to strobing images from Rob’s ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ is unreal, there’s something undeniably visceral and sort of tribal about a Rob Zombie show. It makes you want to move, be part of the throng, takes you right into that horror movie realm. Honestly we could have gone another ten rounds with Rob Zombie and it still wouldn’t have been enough – so my message to you Download Festival: please book him for the main stage so we can headbang without the fear of breaking our faces on the person in front of us next time. Rob Zombie is undeniably rock royalty and deserves the throne.

 © Matt Eachus 2019 - Photo courtesy of Download Festival
© Matt Eachus 2019 – Photo courtesy of Download Festival

Download Festival: last minute larry guide!

DOWNLOAD 2019! Are you a last minute larry? Have you just drunkenly spent your wages on a weekend ticket because your mates are going, but have no idea what you need? Ok, so – you’re probably screwed in all honesty. The weather is tracking to be vile (cue Drownload jokes) and if you haven’t sorted out a tent and sleeping bag you need to leg it to a camping shop immediately. For everyone else, here’s your last minute mini checklist for the DL2019 weekend!

  1. Rain poncho – yeah these come in clear, or funky colours… but everyone wants to swish about like a Dementor in the rain right?
  2. Absurd leggings – Sure, you’ll never have occasion to wear these ever again but they’re comfy, and they afford you ample lunge-ability for appropriate headbanging stance. Oh and Whitesnake are playing so you’ll be paying tribute to a better time, when hair and dreams were bigger.
  3. Wellies – Don’t pretend you’re too cool for wellies if it’s raining. Your mates aren’t going to be sympathetic to your self-induced trench foot.
  4. Inflatable guitar – hear me out. It’s a multi-use item in my opinion. Obviously you’ll look rad/tragic rocking out with it, but it can double as a waterproof/comfortable arena seat that folds back up to pocket size. Can also be used to smash the bonce of any friends who dare to snooze.
  5. Battle jacket – Ok, not essential buuuut… how else are you meant to proclaim your love for Nickelback? Extra points for covering it past festival wristbands, instead of keeping them on your wrist, you filthy bastard.
  6. Beanie hat – Categorically the best way to retain heat at night. Cover in studs if you’re precious.
  7. Bandana – Stylish, tames greasy day three hair, can be used over the face when entering offensive portaloos.
  8. Tissue packs – Small enough for the pocket and in a handy water resistant pouch for when you spill your beer all over yourself trying to throw horns at Slayer.
  9. Power bank – We all used to make it work without mobile phones back in the day, just meet back at the Dog right? But you’ll probably want to use your phone camera to capture some memories of your pal Dave mud surfing naked soooo, keep that battery charged for those magical moments.
  10. Sun cream – Yep. The forecast sucks. It doesn’t matter. For some inexplicable reason, Download is THE festival where you can get simultaneously burnt and soaked. I don’t know how or why. It’s just how it is.
  11. Foldable drinks sac – Download is going green, which means a ban on water bottles/single use plastics. These lil babies are about a quid from Sports Direct and will roll up in your pocket while you’re not using it. Also good for your ‘walking whisky’ between the campsite and the arena.

So, grab your stash, prepare yourself for mud and madness… see you at Donington!

 

Halestorm, Clutch, Stone Temple Pilots, Behmoth and more added to Download 2019 lineup

Download Festival, the world’s premier rock event, has announced a further 43 acts including
Halestorm, FEVER 333, Beartooth, Skid Row, Brothers Osbourne, Stone Temple Pilots, Clutch and
more, joining headliners Slipknot, Tool and Def Leppard for the annual rock extravaganza. The
three-day festival takes place on 14-16 June 2019 at the spiritual home of rock in Donington
Park, Leicestershire. Kerrang! Radio have also launched a talent search for a chance to open the
Avalanche Stage at the festival, head to Kerrang! Radio for more info. Tickets are on sale now at
downloadfestival.co.uk/tickets.

Arena rockers Halestorm will make their grand return to Download delivering break-neck riffs and
lung-busting vocals courtesy of the incredible Lzzy Hale. Stone Temple Pilots, responsible for
megahits ‘Plush’, ‘Interstate Love Song’ and ‘Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart’ will make their
first Download appearance with new vocalist Jeff Gutt. Festival favourites and hard rocking
institution Clutch will make their sixth appearance, as well as classic grunge rock revivalists Aaron
Buchanan & the Cult Classics led by the former Heaven’s Basement frontman.

Beartooth have ascended to star status with their groove-driven singalongs and the release of
their third album ‘Disgusting’. FEVER 333 have gained a reputation for their hyperactive, political
‘demonstrations’ which will not be forgotten in a hurry. Palaye Royale are name on everyone’s lips
as the unanimous kings of ‘fashion-art’ rock, the exuberant trio have garnered a legion of fans
and ready to make a statement. Brighton’s Black Peaks will thrill fans, having previously impressed
with their mastery of melody and raw power that have seen them become one of the UK’s
brightest metal prospects. Japanese veterans Coldrain will whip up the crowd with their
punchy, bouncy metalcore.

Legendary ‘Youth Gone Wild’ classic rockers Skid Row are on course for a hit-filled set. Supergroup
Deadland Ritual, featuring former members of Black Sabbath, Guns N’ Roses, Billy Idol and
Apocalyptica, are set for a seismic performance. Country rock dynamos Brothers Osbourne will
add some killer licks to the proceedings, plus the heavy metal Last in Line, featuring members of
the original line up of Dio, and Wolf Jaw will also be on hand to deliver some dirty rock n’ roll.

Fans of all things black and death metal will be thrilled with the additions of pioneers Behemoth
and At The Gates, both famed for their respective first-of-their-kind mastery of the genres. They’ll
be in good company with UK upstarts Conjurer whose amalgamation of sludge, hardcore and
black metal have labelled them as massive ones-to-watch. Also added are the ominous Swedish
outfit Batushka and Ne Obliviscaris who’ll usher in a new era in extreme music to Donington.

Ascending pop punk rockers Trash Boat have been pummelling the road as one of the leading,
forward-thinking bands in the scene and the quintet’s claim to the throne is on the horizon. Rock
radio mainstays Three Days Grace are on hand to deliver a powerful performance, as are
Godsmack with choruses so anthemic they grant no immunity, alongside Bad Wolves whose viral
cover of ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries shot them into the spotlight in 2018.

For those who like their metal delivered with laser-like precision, Animals as Leaders will astound
with their technical virtuosity. Heart Of A Coward return to lay waste to the fields of Donington with
new vocalist Kaan Tasan. They are joined by tech metal instrumentalists Intervals and UK prog
metallers Toska, who have quickly become an exciting force in the ever-growing scene.

 

Newcastle post-hardcore band GroundCulture have been grafting away, building a fierce
reputation ready to take on Download, and forward-thinking nu-metal act Cane Hill are also
confirmed, whose visceral approach has helped reignite the genre.

Download 2019 will be a truly international affair with the addition of Reputable party thrash
heroes Municipal Waste, French post metal/shoegaze Alcest, and Sumo Cyco who have made
waves with their fusion of rhythm and dancehall hooks and metal riffs. Flying the flag for Japan are
all female power metal stars Love Bites as well as Japanese metalcore titans Crystal Lake.

Australian natives Redhook, and Twelve Foot Ninja will also be making the long trip to get the
mosh pits started, while Representing New Zealand are hard rockers Like A Storm.

Electronic-infused industrial duo SKYND are ready to make things dark, creepy and sanguine all at
once. Bridgend five piece Those Damn Crows are purveyors of melodic, in-your-face and
exhilarating hard rock. Icon For Hire have been breaking down boundaries worldwide and are
ready to stamp their mark on their Download debut. Up next are pop-punk new comers Lost In
Stereo, Manchester’s hottest new band Parting Gift, and last but not least are melodic rockers
Vega.

 

Download Festival announces next wave of acts for 2019

Download Festival, the world’s premier rock event, has announced a further 23 acts including Slayer
with their last ever UK show, The Smashing Pumpkins, Dream Theater, Lamb of God, Eagles Of Death
Metal, and more. The three-day festival takes place 14-16 June 2019 at the spiritual home of rock
in Donington Park, Leicestershire. Tickets are on sale now at downloadfestival.co.uk/tickets.

Metal royalty Slayer will be making their final UK appearance at Download 2019 after 37 years of
mayhem. Their impact on musical culture cannot be overstated and fans should prepare for yet
another legendary performance which will include a barrage of classics as they make one last
celebratory sweep of Donington.

The Smashing Pumpkins will make their first appearance at Download Festival next year. The altrock and grunge legends have stunned crowds worldwide on their 30th anniversary tour and are as
ageless and seminal as ever. Loud, quiet, dreamy, stirring and everything in-between – The
Smashing Pumpkins debut Download performance is not one to be missed.

Prog-metal titans Dream Theater have been at the top of the game for 33 years. Having inspired
countless bands along their storied career, their performance will be no less grandiose as they return
to Download after a 10 year absence. They will be joined by the groove-laden modern metal
heavyweights Lamb of God, as well as Eagles Of Death Metal, who invite fans to revel in all their
rock’ n roll glory on their second ever Download appearance.

The prodigally powerful Maori-metal trio Alien Weaponry have carved their own sound somewhere
between Sepultura and Silverschair and are in good company with the heavy-metal powerhouse
Anthrax who will give fans a performance to remember. Brooding rockers Badflower are hotlytipped after the success of their poignant, powerful single ‘Ghost’, and joining them are industrial
noise-punks Black Futures who have been making seismic waves and will take the crowd on a trip
of a lifetime.

Atlanta southern rockers Blackberry Smoke will be on hand to serve up a truck load of raucous
country-infused good times. Detroit post-hardcore band I Prevail have proven that they are the real
deal and will whip the crowd into a frenzy, and so too will Los Angeles natives The Interrupters.
Ukrainian tech metallers Jinjer, led by their incredibly powerful frontwoman Tatiana Shmaylyuk, are
also added to the line up and will bring their all-powerful live performance to Download.

Man With A Mission are jumping on board with their pulse-racing hooks, riffs and giant wolf heads
in tow, and are joined by fellow genre-melder nothing,nowhere. who has taken the world by storm
with his hybrid emo-rap, pushing both genres forward as the most exciting force in the ever-growing
scene. Our Last Night whose rapid rise to success shows no sign of slowing down are also added to
the bill, as too are Riding The Low who are making the pilgrimage from Burton-on-Trent featuring
Paddy Considine on vocals.

Swedish sensations Royal Republic will also join the Download 2019 line up alongside Pop-punk frontrunners State Champs who’re fresh off the back of the release of their third album ‘Living Proof’.
Rising Nepalese metal disruptors Underside will turn up the volume and are in good company with
the well-oiled deathcore machine Whitechapel who will steam roll in to lay waste to the fields of
Donington.

Australian up-and-comers Yours Truly will be flying in with a freight of huge choruses with them, and
last but not least Floridian party starters Zebrahead are bringing the fun with no shortage of anthems
and antics to get the crowd going.

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 to
its main stage, plus some of the best and hottest new acts in the world. AC/DC, KISS, Metallica,
Black Sabbath, The Prodigy, Rage Against The Machine, Slipknot, Linkin Park and many more have
all headlined the main stage.

 

System of a Down – Download Festival 2017: Reviewed!

A miraculously dry day at Download sees droves of half-drunk, half-sunburnt red faces heading to the main arena for Friday night's headliner System of a Down. Having played at Download last in 2011, SOAD were definitely due a return to the main stage at Donington and thousands of people are already packed in to watch.

Starting strong with 'Suite-Pee' and 'Prison Song', blending seamlessly into 'Violent Pornography' (which I realise sounds rather rude…) SOAD make it known that they mean business. It's rare for  a band to be respected and liked across the board, but it really seems like System aren't the great divider that other headline acts seem to be. Droves of people are coming in from the second stage where Sum 41 are just finishing up, and the standing is packed all the way to the back of the arena.

With his now white-streaked beard, Serj Tankian holds the crowd in the palm of his hand and a giant screen behind shows clips of black and white movies and news stories during the bass heavy 'Aerials'. It's bone-shakingly heavy and there is a deafening chorus of people joining in around us, Download have got the main stage sound absolutely spot on this year, it's pitch perfect from way back into the arena.
Into the much loved 'Bounce' for some limb-flailingly chaotic pogoing, during which a man in an extraordinarily short tutu with "Twat" sharpied across his forehead, almost loses what's left of his dwindling dignity, followed shortly by the incredible 'Psycho' and 'Chop Suey' – absolute classics. The guy on the front row wearing a full tuxedo is going berserk and I know how he feels, this is shaping up to be one of the best headline sets Download has ever seen.

After a solid 45 minutes of play without so much as a pause, Serj yells out to the crowd "Download, how you fucking doing out there?" and that's our lot. SOAD truly came to just smash it up, not stop for a chat. For a band heavily invested in political topics and lyrics, I had sort of wished for a quip or two regarding yesterday's UK election results, maybe something about being well hung…

Closing out with the enormously enjoyable 'Toxicity' and 'Sugar' SOAD have pulled off a near perfect headline set, and despite the obviously lower numbers at the festival this year, everyone seems to have turned out to see them do it. Roll on day two!