Download festival preview

With Download festival just over 5 weeks away (it’s scary how fast it’s approaching), we thought we’d take a look at a few of the bands playing. As always we’ll all be waiting nervously for the stage times to start planning who to see on the various stages and hoping for no nasty clashes. If it’s your first time at Download then be aware it’s a big site so moving from one stage to another can easily take 10-15 minutes particularly when it’s busy.

Remember there will be limits on bags you can take into the arena (one bag no bigger than A4 size). See the website for full details –

As always there will be a lot of traffic and sometimes queues to get in/out of the car park. There’s a shuttle bus to/from Derby and East Midlands Parkway stations (usually around £25 for a weekend ticket)


80s rock fans will no doubt be looking forward to the main stage on Friday. Headlined by Def Leppard performing Hysteria in full it’s bound to be a great show judging by thei recent tour. Also on the main stage you’ve got Guns’n’Roses guitarist Slash with his band featuring Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy. Throw in Whitesnake and Tesla and that’s a great selection of 80s rock. Another 80s band to watch is Skid Row on the 2nd stage.
Other great acts on the main stage include the mighty Clutch and country-rockers Blackberrry Smoke

Rob Zombie headlines the second stage with Eagles of death metal, Opeth, Delain, Kvelertak and Skid row adding to a strong lineup.

On the smaller stages there are plenty of smaller bands to watch – I’m particularly looking forward to Sumo Cyco and Icon for Hire on the Avalanche stage, and Ukrainian band Jinjer will be one to watch on the Dogtooth stage, as will Dogtooth stage headliners At the gates.


While Friday on the main stage was all about 80s rock, today is a bit heavier with Behemoth being a particular highlight in the afternoon. Trivium are sure to go down a storm, and of course Slipknow bring their awesome live show to headline the stage. Die Antwoord will be interesting to watch as they’ve got a very different sound so could fall flat or reign triumphant – we’ll watch with interest to see if they win the crowd over.

Halestorm headline the second stage which will be a great set, and with Skindred on stage before them then the crowd will certainly have been well warmed up.
Carcass headline the dogtooth stage, so if you want something heavy then head to the tent early before it’s packed out. Earlier in the day Japanese band Lovebites play the Dogtooth stage – after winning a load of new fans at Bloodstock when they took Suicidal tendencies main stage slot after ST got delayed on the way to the festival, they’re bound to put in a strong performance here too.
The Dogtooth stage also sees a Mongolian band – The Hu. They should be an interesting one to check out as they’re quickly gaining a good reputation.


Those who like their music to be heavy are in for a treat today with Municipal Waste, Whitechapel, Heart of a coward, Anthrax, Lamb of god and Slayer all playing today. With this set to be Slayer’s final UK show then you can expect thrash fans to be there in their masses to see them bid the UK farewell.
Other bands to watch out for include The Fever 333, Aaron Buchanan and the cult classics, Amon Amarth, Smashing pumpkins and main stage headliners Tool.

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.