Bands we must see at Download this weekend!

The Largest UK Rock and Metal Festival continuous for its 16th year and now overtakes its former name Monsters of Rock;  something Andy Copping (Festival Booker)is really excited about, as are we.

Each year has its challenges and Download organisers listen to their fans as they try to adapt to provide a comfortable experience for everyone and continue to further improve the festival site.  Alongside this they provide an amazing line up year after year and seek out the talent that paves the way for the future.

So, who are we looking forward to this year?

For me at least this year most of my focus will be on the main stage which I feel is more attuned to my tastes that being said, there are still some great bands amongst the rest of line-up and we will strive to catch as many of them as possible these include


The epic Avenged Sevenfold headlining which no one can deny they earned their place in 2014. We caught them at Birmingham Arena for their The Stage tour which was something unbelievable, solid performers with some great rock hits which will confirm their place in history.

Welsh heavy metallers  Bullet for My Valentine, and Danish Volbeat while very different to each other both will put on agreat show.  I cant wait to see Avatar again, after seeing them on the main stage 2016 with an early slot.  I was drawn in by the carnival style approach to calling fans in and the vivid costumes and styling. The music was rocking for such an opening act as well as the Japanese speed metallers, Dragonforce who have mesmerising tunes to get lost in and not forgetting pop punk rockers the UKs Boston Manor

Bands we must see on Zippo Encore stage are CKY we recently covered them supporting Skindred and the energy was intense.  Nothing More these guys are something special to watch and deliver solid shows. Jonathan Davis debut solo would be interesting and last but not least;

The Dogtooth Stage  We want to check out Cellar Darlings first Download Festival you can catch them on The Dogtooth stage.  Hailing from Switzerland, Cellar Darling are generating quite a following of their own after their first tour of the UK this year. They have amain stage slot at Summer Breeze Festival and were recently signed to Nuclear Blast.  The future is interesting for them and its exciting to see what comes next.


Has a fairly bold line-up but it’s definitely main stage that has most interest for a hight proportion of the day.  Closing the  main stage for the last ever time will be Guns N Roses re-united and ready to rock our world with a 3.5 hour set. This is going to be a night to remember but to help us get to the night we will be warmed up by Kentucky’s own Black Stone Cherry, with the blend of softer, hearty rock they are sure to deliver.  Thunder are always good to see plus  The Temperance Movement.   Heavy rockers Monster Truck with interesting riffs reminds me of Inglorious but with a twist of heavier vocal these have so much potential to be huge.

Bands we Must see on the Zippo Encore stage are  Baby Metal but don’t be deceived by their looks,they provide dirty sounding metal with high pitched vocals and shows to remember, they might just use their karate on you.  We want to see Aussie metal core Parkway Drive too and this wont clash with GNR as we reported earlier as Winston’s a massive fan so we need to see if we can fit everything in, including Yorkshire rockers Asking Alexandria.

There’s a theme going here but we have welsh based Neck Deep who are headlining the Avalanche stage.  This must be an amazing feeling for them and certainly something they deserve.   Birmingham Live first saw them headlining Godiva Festival over in 2016 in the tent. Also worth a stop to see are WSTR and Mayday Parade.

The Faim are another one to watch out for. In our Slamdunk Festival preview we mentioned we were looking forward to seeing them.  Now we have we really want, to see them play at Download too.

The Dogtooth Stage has some interesting acts worth a mention another Yorkshire group with Hardcore Punk Malevolence and more rock from English band Massive Wagons they have previously played BOA and are due a new album out in August 2018. Full Nelson and SHVPES will get things moving over here.


After seeing the end to Black Sabbath, now we get to see the end of the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy.  Quite fitting in both place and end to his massive career and will make for another night to remember.   Before Ozzy there will be Marilyn Manson who when on top form would be a crazy show.   Great to see a long time favourite of mine Shinedown now finally being embraced and accepted over in the UK. We must see Black Veil Brides as we haven’t seen them previously and Inglorious will be nice to see on main stage this year with their melodic rock to chill out in the sun!

Zippo Encore Stage has again some interesting acts we need to fit around the main stage.  These include Rise Against whose shows are amazing and to see them headlining this stage with Punk rock would be a great close, as well as Kreator who always have an amazing stage setup.  If they bring their stage from Germany you are in for a treat, and last Greta Van Fleet, who are currently grabbing attention at the moment with sick riffs and some really catchy lyrics with a humongous vocal range.

The Avalanche Stage has Less Than Jake whilst as well as the newer Black Foxxes who bring with them an interesting mix of rock and roll.   Punk Badcop/Badcop who I haven’t got to see yet after missing their UK tour previously and  I’m told are a great live show and Puppy againI’m assured they are great.  I’m also looking to catch Wayward Son on the Dogtooth Stage.

Thinking practically, I need some good luck, a time machine or some kind of machine to clone me so I watch just the bands listed above let alone all the other talent available over these 3 days – Download has it all.

Reviewer: Chris Bowley

Images: Chris Bowley

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