Download Festival is just a few days away, and things are already shaping up to be complete madness. We’re counting down the hours until those gates open, the beers start flowing and we feel the typical English cold and get poured on. The weather will not hinder any of us though. Rain or shine, we will see it through, with rock in our hearts and a flat lager in our hands!
Download have just announced the set times for the festival, so now you can all plan ahead of who you want to see. Sadly there will be clashes, but fear not – it’s not all doom and gloom.
If you’ve started packing, take a break and start planning your days at the biggest festival of the summer. Once you get a pen and paper, or print off a Clashfinder (highly recommended), or download the festival app, and you’ve noted down all the important setlist times for your favourite bands, you can go right back to finding your long lost tent poles and dusting off the cobwebs of your camping chair.
While we’re here, we’re going to run through seven bands we could not be more stoked about seeing at this year’s Download Festival:
Code Orange (Friday – Avalanche Stage – 3:30pm-4:00pm)
Pittsburgh hardcore punk has never sounded so vitriolic. Pure unadulterated filth from start to finish, and Code Orange really are unforgiving when they set foot on that stage. Stay out of the pit if you don’t want to get hurt within a sea of insanity.
Venom Prison (Friday – Dogtooth Stage – 6:50pm-7:15pm)
Death metal is few and far between at Download this year, but Venom Prison should be on everyone’s watch list if they are feeling particularly starved of meticulous and unrelenting hooks. Sounds as though they were hand carved out of pure stone, the venom will spread tenfold.
The Contortionist (Friday – Dogtooth Stage – 9:20pm-9:50pm)
If prog is on your mind on a Friday evening, then you need to marvel at The Contortionist if you haven’t already. Fusing a sonic blend of thunderous echoing percussion with intricate and evocative melodies, with such pure vocals is exactly the right recipe for Download, right before thrash titans Exodus grace the stage.
Mastodon (Friday – Main Stage – 4:10pm-5:00pm)
They really need no introduction at this point. Atlanta sludge lords Mastodon have played Download several times, and with new album Emperor of Sand proving that they are capable of standing amongst the best live bands in metal today, this set will be as memorable as it will be full to the brim with God-level stoner anthems.
Northlane (Friday – Main Stage – 1:00pm-1:30pm)
Ambient progressive metalcore is EXACTLY the right way to open up the main stage for the entire weekend, and Sydney’s Northlane are too perfect for the bill. Crafting an intelligent blend of furious riffs, polyrhythmic breakdowns and euphoric vocals both harsh and clean, the Aussie quintet have to really be seen to be appreciated. You won’t regret it.
The Dillinger Escape Plan (Sunday – Avalanche Stage – 8:10pm-9:10pm)
Headlining the Avalanche Stage on Sunday, and probably playing Download for the last time, are genre-defiers The Dillinger Escape Plan. Having amalgamated just about everything from math metal to hardcore to progressive to avant-garde in their arsenal, the titanic machines have absolutely nothing left to prove. Expect carnage from start to finish.
Aerosmith (Sunday – Main Stage – 8:50pm-10:50pm)
It wouldn’t be Download without a bit of classic rock, and there is no more fitting end to this year’s festival than Aerosmith. We really don’t need to explain how much fun this is going to be, and how emotional this particular song will be. We’ll remember this Download alright. Bring your tissues.
Download takes place at Donington Park from 9th June-11th June 2017. Weekend tickets and day tickets, including RIP Packages are still available.