Download is the UK’s biggest Rock Festival and it returns to Donnington Park in Leicestershire, its home since 2003 between 12th and 14th June. 2015 looks set to be an epic year for the festival that focuses on Rock, Metal and Punk.
Download has hosted the biggest names in rock over the years and this year looks like the line-up may just be the best in the festivals history. The bands confirmed already read like a veritable who’s who of rock royalty. Many of the main stage headliners have already been announced with Des Moines masked crusaders Slipknot and UK veterans Judas Priest heading up Fridays line-up.
Saturday sees the Devon based rockers Muse supported by San Francisco’s Faith No More. Whilst Sunday has my personal favourites main stage line-up with the inimitable Kiss, supported by Motley Crue and Slash. Unbelievably I have not managed to see Kiss live since around 1983(?) When I saw them play the Louisiana Super-dome. Its a long story, I was in The Royal Navy and my ship visited New Orleans, I even had free tickets!!
As is invariably the case at major festivals the main stage headliners are only a very small part of the story. There may be hundreds of websites that give you endless lists of things to take to festivals. They all miss out the most important item and the easiest to pack. Never go to a festival without an open mind. Get away from the main stage, feel the vibe and discover new bands.
Away from the main stage this year I want to catch Enter Shikari, Gnarwolves, Black Stone Cherry and Marilyn Manson. Enter Shikari and Gnarwolves both played reading and Leeds last year, I only managed to catch part of their sets, something I hope to put right at Download. Incidentally I will be seeing Enter Shikari in a small venue in a couple of weeks so keep an eye out for a review and photo’s.
Punk poet and Philosopher, the hard partying Andrew W.K. looks like a good call and L.A. grunge band L7 are playing their first UK set for 15 years, they are a must see.
Swedish metal giants In Flames will also return to Download in 2015; the infernal five-piece spent much of 2014 in the recording studio but are set to roar back on to the UK live scene to set Europe’s biggest rock and metal festival alight this summer. They will be joined by seminal thrash heavyweights Testament seven years on from their only previous Download performance.
Following his surprise departure from Asking Alexandria last week, Danny Worsnop’s new project, We Are Harlot – whose music draws on the awesome tradition of its 1980s classic rock forebears – are also bound for Download 2015.
Among other renowned acts joining the line-up are titanic metal supergroup Hellyeah, featuring former Mudvayne singer Chad Gray, Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell and legendary Pantera and Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul.
Black Star Riders, will share material from their hugely anticipated new album, The Killer Instinct, with the Download faithful for the first time.
British rockers Thunder are also confirmed ahead of the release of their first record in six years, Wonder Days, which is due for release in February. They will be joined by local cult heroes, Nottingham metallers Evil Scarecrow, will be scuttling South West along the A52 to unleash the mighty Crabulon on unsuspecting legions of festival goers.
Swedish metal-heads Bombus will also fly into Donington for the first time armed to the teeth with their uncompromising breed of barnstorming, balls-out heavy metal, alt-power-rockers Hands Like Houses add to the booming Australian delegation, while cult hardcore punks Stray from the Path also hit Download for the first time, as do hotly tipped punk rock tyros, Creeper and the new project form the post-hardcore marauders formerly known as Climate, Blood Youth.
Unbelievably there are many more acts to be announced for this years Download. It is shaping up to be an epic.