Festival Maths: Download Festival 2018

With festivals like Bloodstock Festival already being ahead of the curve by announced their headliners a while ago, the annual godfather of rock festivals, Download, are about to announce their first headliner, and maybe, just maybe, their first round of bands. With bands announcing their summer plans ahead of the Christmas gift giving season to pump up sales of tickets, let's look at who may be gracing the stage at Donington next summer, in a new feature: Festival Maths.



It's simple, Metallica have just played a UK touring behind their latest record and their tour dates last up till May 2018 finishing up in Finland, now Download is the first weekend end in June. Logistics would dictate rather than drag the whole stage set back to the US, why not leave it in Europe and do a few high profile festival dates in our neck of the woods? Sounds perfectly reasonable! Metallica, although one of the old guard at this point haven't headlined Download since 2012 so they would be a fantastic addition to the bill especially with a well received record like 'Hardwired...to Self-Destruct' behind them that has been a hit with fans and critics alike.

Gun's N Roses

Andy Copping, head booker for Live Nation and Download Festival, made a comment on his annual Q + A with the fantastic That's Not Metal podcast last year that Gun's N Roses wanted to headline their own stadium show last year (held at the Olympic Stadium) rather than headline Download and it was never about the money. Well there is no excuse this year, the 'Not In This Lifetime' tour actually feels like it's going on for a lifetime and the train will probably still be rolling come Summer next year. Imagine it, Messrs Slash, Axl and Duff gracing the stage they played for the first time back in 1988, the summer sun dipping below the horizon as Slash peels off the start of the solo in 'November Rain'. Goosebumps all around.


It's been eleven whole years since Tool have graced the shores of the UK, headlining behind their magnum opus '10,000 days' album in our arenas. With rumours, tweets and lead singer Maynard James Keenan cryptically giving information out like bread crumbs in interviews, Tool are supposedly in the final stages of putting a record together. Let's be clear, Tool are not for everyone, with their complicated prog rock leanings and intricate time changes, but let's be even clearer, Tool are headliner material and are more than justified to hold the spot come next summer.

So those are our picks for the Main Stage at Download 2018, but being the festival it is, there are so many other stages and places for bands to be playing, here are some thoughts on the 2nd stage headliners, because well we can't resist.

Papa Roach

With a fantastic album behind them in the form of the sublime 'Broken Teeth' and the almost perfect US Radio Rock anthem 'Help' the stage is set for the nu-metal survivors and boys from Vacaville, California to step up and blow away the naysayers who don't realise the band are actually still going and more importantly back on top form.

30 Seconds To Mars

Love them or hate them, led by Hollywood royalty Jared Leto, Los Angeles trio 30 Seconds To Mars have produced some perfectly catchy tunes over their nearly 20 year career. Tunes like 'Night Of The Hunter', 'Hurricane' and latest track 'Walk On Water', and having graced the 2nd stage before, its now or never for this band to cement their legacy for all to see.

A Perfect Circle

Alongside his main band Tool , lead singer Maynard James Keenan has another band called A Perfect Circle and they are just as good. Wouldn't it be a hugely successful coup if Download could not only snag Tool but also lasso A Perfect Circle to play a headlining set across the weekend as well? With new track "The Doomed" showing the Rock landscape that they are still a formidable band to deal with, this headline slot is theirs for the taking!

Disagree with any of our guesses? Have we missed any bands that you think would be an ideal addition to the line up? Comment below and add your name to the conversation.


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