Now in it’s thirteenth year, Download Festival 2016 returns promising a lineup of rock and metal behemoths. The festival is situated in Leicestershire at Donington Park, which has played host since the festival’s beginnings in 2003. Download was born out of one of the most well-known rock festivals in the UK, Monsters of Rock, which ran from 1980 to 1996 in the same place. It is renowned for high-profile headline acts every year, such as AC/DC, Status Quo and Iron Maiden to name but a few.
Rammstein return to Download for the second time to headline the main stage on the opening night. Many in attendance will be anticipating the German industrial-metal outfit, well known for their pyrotechnics and impressively anarchic live performances. They are preceded on the first night by KoRn and Killswitch Engage, bands which are both veterans of the hard rock scene, and will be sure to attract large numbers. Rammstein will clash with All Time Low and Twin Atlantic on the second stage, who cater for a crowd with slightly more mainstream tastes. Another band to look out for on the first day will be Royal Republic, Swedish garage rockers who have enjoyed some commercial success after their single ‘Tommy-Gun’ made #1 on the MTV Rocks chart.
On the second day the main stage is headlined by hardened rockers Black Sabbath. Still going since 1968, the band have had a tumultuous career, thanks largely to the erratic behaviours and substance abuse of Ozzy Osbourne. They will play after Deftones, a popular alternative rock outfit who are still recording after the death of their bassist, Chi Cheng, in 2013, who had been in a coma for four years following a car accident. Over on the second stage the headliners are NOFX, long-serving in the punk-rock genre, and Skindred. Skindred will no doubt be one of the highlights of the festival, as they are notorious for putting on outstanding live shows, winning Metal Hammer’s Best Live Band award in 2011.
On Sunday night the festival will be closed out by what is surely the day with the biggest names of the weekend, with Disturbed, Nightwish and Iron Maiden all headlining the main stage. Maiden are well into The Book of Souls tour, promoting their new album of the same name, which will see them play in 35 countries. Download will be one of the biggest dates on this tour and the band will be highly anticipated. Another one to watch out for on the final night will be Don Broco on the second stage, fresh from the release of their second studio album, ‘Automatic’, in 2015.
Despite it’s reputation for one of the heaviest lineups around, the festival this year will cater for a range of tastes, from All Time Low’s own brand of pop-punk all the way through to the heavy metal of Ozzy Osbourne. Whatever the tastes of the festival-goers, 2016’s Download Festival will be sure to impress.