Continuing the battle between the UK’s rock and metal festivals, Andy Copping and his team over at Live Nation HQ have unleashed a royal haymaker of an announcement for the Download Festival 2014 with another two dozen bands joining the already sizeable existing bill.
Top of the pile in this announcement is the news that Sheffield’s own Bring Me The Horizon will be making their highest profile appearance at the Download Festival to date, appearing on the main stage on Saturday directly under Linkin Park and Fall Out Boy and right after Killswitch Engage. Their enigmatic frontman Oli Sykes is rather pleased by these developments:
We’re over the moon about playing Download. Before we got confirmed I had already asked for guest list as there was no way I was going to miss Linkin Park play Hybrid Theory in full. When we were offered to play on the same day and on the same stage just a few hours before, it was a no brainer. I’m crowd surfing to Papercut, mark my words!
Joining Bring Me The Horizon in a major main stage slot are Dutch symphonic metal superstars Within Temptation, who are back at Download for the first time since 2008. Within Temptation will be on the main stage on Friday directly before Rob Zombie and Avenged Sevenfold. Their frontwoman Sharon den Adel is equally looking forward to returning to Donington:
We’re thrilled to let the beast loose at Download again! We’ve got such great memories, we can’t wait to play the tracks from our new album Hydra and retake the stage at Download. Give us rain, we will bring fire!
In news that will thrill many, making their Download Festival début in 2014 will be the mighty Polish extreme metal lords Behemoth, who will be headlining the Pepsi Max Tent on the Saturday night. With their new album The Satanist winning rave reviews just about everywhere, including ZOO magazine, Nergal and his bandmates have never had such a high profile. The man himself had this to say:
It’s a great honour to be part of the bill for this year’s Download. It’s one of the most prestigious Heavy Metal events, not only in UK but in the whole of Europe! This summer’s schedule already looks great, but with Download in it we are looking at something truly epic! The UK never disappoints! We owe you and we shall deliver!
Two notable bands making their second Download appearances are Sepultura, who return for the first time since the original Download in 2003, and classic rockers Twisted Sister, who last appeared in 2011. Also returning to Donington for their third appearance, but first time on the main stage are the “huge rock stars” of Fozzy, led by Chris Jericho and “The Duke” Rich Ward. Jericho had this to say about heading to Download for their third appearance:
We are super excited to return to Download and play the MAINSTAGE for the first time ever! One of our all-time favorite gigs was Download 2012 and we are looking forward to exploding your heads with pure Fozzy rock all over again this year! Do You Wanna Start A War, Download? We hope so, because here we come!
Plenty more homegrown talent has also been added to the line up with post-hardcore group Zoax, rock & roll punks The Howling, math rock outfit and Red Bull competition winners from 2013 Press To Meco, metal outfit Collibus, blues rock group Bad Touch, prog metallers Monuments and rockers Cage The Gods all come onboard for Download 2014.
Heading over from the US to join the fun will be ska punk rap act Zebrahead who are fresh from their huge UK tour with Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake, along with the hardcore offerings of Defeater. Metalcore outfit We Came As Romans are also heading to Donington to make their Download Festival début, along with classic rock groups Tyketto and Winger who will also be appearing for the first time. “The biggest Christian metal group in the world” Skillet will also be making their Download bow, along with punk group Radkey and Rolling Stone’s pick as ones to watch for 2014 Reignwolf. Schizophrenic pop/rap duo Twenty One Pilots will also be appearing for the first time, along with multi-national post-metal group Sky Harbor and funk rock act The Dan Reed Network.
On top of all this, once again the effect of people power has been demonstrated; The announcement that Trivium would be headlining the tiny Red Bull stage prompted a huge reaction across social media, the Download forums and beyond as to just how everyone who wanted to see Trivium would be able to. Andy Copping and his team have listened, and Trivium have now been promoted to headline the Zippo Encore Second Stage on the Sunday night, a position they filled five years ago back in 2009.
….And breathe. All of these bands join the dozens already announced to join headliners Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park and Aerosmith at the 2014 Download Festival. Get your tickets and additional info from www.downloadfestival.co.uk. We’ll have further updates on Download 2014 as and when they become available.