“You just never know what a spot of goodwill and a pagan ritual will do for you,” shouts the narrow-eyed metal head with the tangle of dirty blond curls.
The ground trembles with the sound of Steve Harris’s galloping bass.
“I fucking love Download man,” yells the blond hair, “long-live Donington!”
Chaos. Frenzy. Utter havoc. A seething mass of sweat, cigarettes, and toplessness. The only sniff of sense is in the bearded die-hards chanting like warrior druids… but they are somewhere near the back.
…and the beautiful thing is that it’s all back for 2013.
In a highly unanticipated turn of events, Slipknot has been announced as the headline act on the Friday night. The band has been in a state of semi-hiatus since their last Download appearance in 2009, just under a year before bassist Paul Gray was found dead in a hotel room. But the band has become determined to persevere in the face of adversity, and sees Download as a perfect opportunity to salute their fallen brother.
“We are extremely honored to have been asked once again to headline the Download Festival,” commented the band’s Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan, “every time we’ve played Download we have created memories….This summer cannot come soon enough.”
By contrast, Saturday night is headlined by local lads Iron Maiden and the band could not be in a better place. The veteran rockers have just come off a highly successful North American tour, selling-out arenas with an explosive tribute to 1988’s Maiden England. They now return to Download for a record fifth headlining act, and promise a heavy metal extravaganza like no other.
“We’re absolutely over the moon to be headlining Donington again,” said singer, Bruce Dickinson, “We will be bringing a huge new lightshow, stage set, various incarnations of Eddie, plenty of pyro and all kinds of other exciting stuff for the fans… we’ve had many great times at Donington and there is always a wonderful mix of bands and a really wild crowd who love their metal.”
The final salute comes from German pyromaniacs, Rammstein. There is an air of vintage about these industrial metalists from Berlin, having recently bowed to that landmark of venerability: “the best of album”. But don’t let Made in Germany: 1995-2011 fool you, as the band has recently “done a Maiden” (to coin a new term), and set North America alight with their first tour there in ten years.
Festival organiser Andy Copping commented that, “we’re very excited to welcome Rammstein to Donington for the very first time. They are an epic live act and a perfect Sunday headliner to cap off what is shaping up to be yet another fantastic Download festival.”
You said it Andy, you said it.
Slipknot. Rammstein. Iron Maiden.
SEE YOU THERE!