FEATURE: Who could replace Motörhead at Download?

With just under 8 weeks to go until Download once again opens it’s doors, there is still at least one more announcement of bands left. Whilst the majority of these will be acts filling out the slots on the lower stages, one prominent TBA is what will happen to the spot that Motörhead were due to have on the Friday evening. Since the turn of the year a graphic of Lemmy’s famed hat between two thunderbolts has sat between Killswitch Engage and Korn on the official poster and neither festival nor band are confirming who has been drafted in to provide a fitting tribute to one of the greatest rock stars to ever grace this planet. PlanetMosh takes a look at eight possible outfits…

Hollywood Vampires

Looking ever likely as the days pass. The supergroup of Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Johnny Depp, Matt Sorum and co are officially touring the U.S summer, with a convenient chunk left out in June that alludes to a European run. Further to this, Alice is headlining the Stone Free festival at London’s O2 Arena the weekend after Download itself and the band covered ‘Ace of Spades’ at the Grammys this year for Lemmy as well. Certainly the frontrunner here.

Phil Campbell’s All Starr Band

The former Motörhead guitarist has toured his side project to critical acclaim, covering classic songs by his previous band along with other artists like Black Sabbath, Ted Nugent and the Rolling Stones. Despite his confirmation to drum with Thin Lizzy at Ramblin’ Man this year, he is touring his All Starr Band in the autumn, and we wouldn’t put it past him bringing them to Download either.

Motörhead + Friends

A bit of a long shot, perhaps, but nonetheless feasible. It’s also worked before – when Black Sabbath cancelled all their dates sans Download in 2012, the bills around Europe were changed to ‘Ozzy and Friends’ and featured Ozzy Osbourne playing Sabbath and solo songs with an array of artists like Slash, Zakk Wylde, Geezer Butler and Gus G. Who’s to say Mikkey Dee and Phil are not in talks with people playing on the Friday of Download and rehearsing for one of the biggest send-offs in history?

Killswitch Engage

Credit: William Golding

An odd choice, you might think, but hear us out. There are three reasons why Killswitch Engage may have been bumped up into that position. The first is convenience – the festival may have not been able to find a band in time to fill the slot and are instead planning something completely different. Therefore they cut their losses, move Killswitch up one place and will bring a smaller band in to open the Main Stage on Friday. The second is that Killswitch have dropped a stormer of an album in Incarnate and Andy Copping may feel that they deserve the chance at a higher slot. Thirdly, a number of new posters advertising the festival have appeared on London train stations with Killswitch Engage’s name on them, in Motörhead’s slot, without a hat in sight. All very peculiar….


Sonisphere had a two minute silence for Slipknot’s Paul Gray in 2011 with his boiler suit and mask on stage and nothing else – never has a festival fallen so silent at once. How powerful and moving it would be to have Lemmy’s bass, hat and boots surround his famous mic stand whilst an hour of feedback from his monitors allowed us to pay our final respects.


Knowing Download, they could wrongfoot us completely and produce something out of the blue which will amaze, astound and astonish us. Who knows, eh? Only time will tell…

Triple H

The news that WWE NXT is coming to Download has excited a number of fans, but nothing would send them into more of a frenzy than if ‘The Game’ emitted from the speakers and out strode NXT’s manager, the wrestling legend that is Triple H (a huge Motörhead fan who even spoke at Lemmy’s funeral). Quite what he’d do for an hour is anyone’s guess, but he’d get one of the biggest pops (or cheers) in the history of wrestling entertainment, that’s for sure.

Justin Bieber

The new prince of pop has ruffled the feathers of the metal community recently by miming to Ozzy Osbourne on American television, wearing a lot of Metallica and Iron Maiden t-shirts and even saying in a recent interview that his next album will draw influence from Avenged Sevenfold and Marilyn Manson. Oh, wait, that last point was an April Fool’s you say? Ah, right….erm, forget I ever mentioned him, okay?

Download Festival takes place from 10th-12th June and will feature headline performances from Rammstein, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, with a whole host of other names taking part. For tickets and further info, visit www.downloadfestival.co.uk. Rest assured though that whatever the festival does to honour Lemmy, it will be truly special…and Biebs won’t be in sight.

About Elliot Leaver

PlanetMosh's resident Iron Maiden fanboy and Mr. Babymetal. Also appreciates the music of Pink Floyd, Rammstein, Nightwish, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot and many others. Writing to continue to enjoy life away from the stresses of full-time employment.