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Download 21 Line Up: How to Get Your Rocks Off at the UK's Premier Rock Festival


The 2003 festival tickets had a code on them, which would allow festival goers to download tracks from bands which had played. Although this idea has been dropped in subsequent years, the festival organisers have nurtured an online community through the Download Festival Forums. Initially a sounding board for the fans (and critics) of the festival, the boards have become an integral part of the festival organisation with regular contributions from festival director John Probyn and promoter Andy Copping. The forums also provide face to face feedback through the Fan Forum meetings (started in 2006) and organise the Boardie BBQ (2006 on) and the Boardie Takeover night (2009), football tournaments and a pub quiz for the R.I.P. campers who arrive on a Wednesday night.


The biggest news came from the headliners Metallica, when Lars Ulrich was rushed to hospital.[9] Taking to the stage an hour and a half late, James Hetfield explained the situation with Ulrich and the show then began with Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo playing on "Battery" and "The Four Horsemen." Slipknot's Joey Jordison played the rest of the set apart from Fade to Black which was played by Metallica's drum technician, Flemming Larsen.




download 21 line up



In June 2004 a two-day Download Festival was held on Glasgow Green, several days before the Donington event. This had a limited line up with only nine bands performing over a two-day period. The bands which did play included the headliners, Metallica and Linkin Park. Download Scotland also saw an appearance from the Welsh rock band Lostprophets who did not perform at Donington.


During the Sunday headline set of Guns N' Roses, bottles were thrown at the band. This caused problems after the band's lead singer, Axl Rose, slipped on the wet surface and a bottle hit bassist Tommy Stinson. Stinson threw his bass, hitting one of the cameramen, and left the stage. He returned after the song and apologised, but warned the crowd that if this activity continued, he would leave for good. There were some disturbances but they eventually died down, and later in the set Rose commented "I'm actually having quite a good time now! I couldn't have said that an hour ago!"[16]


The three bands that headlined the 2007 festival were My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park and Iron Maiden. Korn's Jonathan Davis stated that the reason for the band returning in 2007 was because of his absence due to illness the previous year. He stated on the official Download Festival website, "I am so looking forward to coming to the Download Festival this year. I was heartbroken to pull out last time. So this time I am very happy to be coming back and we promise to rock the place! I will definitely make-up for missing the last one. You can expect an amazing Korn show!"[20]


Chris Cornell was scheduled, but cancelled his European tour to focus on a new album. Twin Method, and Finger Eleven were announced but removed from the official website's lineup. On the Friday of the festival, Kid Rock was meant to appear between Seether and Disturbed on the Main Stage but pulled out at the last minute. At first it was announced that this was due to illness.[26] Rock later claimed he left the festival grounds after becoming dissatisfied with the amenities.[27] But, the following year, Download's booker theorised that it had been due to a broken heart.[28] Rock's no-show allowed two bands following him, Disturbed and Judas Priest, to play longer sets.


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The headliners were Faith No More (Friday), Slipknot (Saturday) and Def Leppard (Sunday).[31] Sunday had a strong classic rock themed line-up on the main stage with bands such as Whitesnake, ZZ Top and Journey, somewhat reminiscent of Monsters of Rock. This would become a recurring feature in future years. Other notable performers included Limp Bizkit, who were playing in the UK with their original line-up for the first time since 2001, Trivium returning for their third appearance and first head lining spot, Anvil, the band featured in the 2008 film Anvil! The Story of Anvil, and Steel Panther, who were making their first appearance in the UK on the Tuborg Stage. A fourth stage, the "Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage", also made an appearance at this year's festival. This stage was also present at other UK festivals, such as T in the Park in Balado, Scotland, and the Underage Festival in Victoria Park, London.


The Ghost of a Thousand were scheduled to headline the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage on Saturday but the band cancelled. the Blackout stepped in to play their slot, thus giving them two slots on the festival's bill.


The Download Festival was confirmed to return to Donington on the 10, 11, and 12 June 2011. Linkin Park and System of a Down were the two main stage headliners officially announced, with Saturday subheadliners Avenged Sevenfold and Sunday second stage headliner Rob Zombie announced a short while later.


15 March saw the Darkness unveiled as the widely speculated Friday subheadliner, with Funeral for a Friend, Plain White T's, Framing Hanley and Hyro Da Hero also added. In April, the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage and Jägermeister Acoustic stage's acts were revealed.


Due to the wet and windy weather, Download did not open its Arena gates on Friday 8 June until 14:00 whilst laying down straw in the Arena and removing potentially dangerous signs and banners which could prove hazardous in high winds, meaning some of the bands were shifted around. Cancer Bats were moved from second opening band on the Jim Marshall Stage to a headline slot on the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage, with Rise to Remain and Six Hour Sundown missing out on a slot entirely. Fear Factory were also given an additional 10 minutes of performance time due Cancer Bats being relocated to a different stage and Rise to Remain being cancelled. Europe were scheduled to play the Zippo Encore stage on Friday before Little Angels, but it was announced at the last minute that they will not be able to perform due to traffic and transportation issues. Much criticism was aimed at the organisers for not preparing better as the poor weather occurred before the festival goers arrived. Also the conditions in the camping and arena meant that many fans who required disabled access were left stuck in the mud requiring help from their fellow fans to reach their destination, or even the toilets, often with little to no help from organisers.[55]


Reactions to Avenged Sevenfold being announced as headliners were very mixed. After a Facebook user suggested that Dying Fetus headline the festival instead, a social media trend titled #WhyNotDyingFetus was started as a joke. However, this actually led to the band being booked to play, although not in a headline slot, and they were officially confirmed on 6 November.


To commemorate its 20th anniversary, the Offspring performed their third studio album, Smash, in its entirety. Also, their appearance marked the first time in Download history that a previous main stage headliner returned to play a lower slot (though Limp Bizkit, who were originally scheduled to headline the festival in 2003 would return in 2009 to play a lower slot).


Joe Bonamassa was originally booked to play on the Zippo Encore Stage Saturday before Status Quo but he was moved to the Sunday Main Stage due to a double booking. Trivium were initially confirmed to be headlining the Red Bull Studios Live stage on the Sunday, but following a generally negative response from fans due to the size and limited capacity of the tent, the band was moved to Zippo Encore Stage headliner.


In Flames were scheduled to sub-headline the Zippo Encore stage on Sunday, but they were quietly removed from the line-up poster on 26 February. It was later revealed that they had cancelled all of their Summer shows to finish recording their new album. On 22 March the latest announcement was leaked by Classic Rock Magazine. Shortly after the leak, Defeater, who were scheduled to play on the Pepsi Max Stage Sunday, were confirmed to have pulled out due to their lead singer, Derek Archambault, suffering an injury and having to undergo hip replacement surgery. Danger Danger were originally confirmed, but pulled out on 7 April, claiming that bookings had been erroneously made for various dates. September Mourning were confirmed for the Pepsi Max Stage on the Friday but were removed from the lineup on 2 May (as they wished to focus on getting their sophomore album completed), they were replaced by I Am Fire. Cage the Gods also pulled out on 2 May. King 810 pulled out the day before they were due to play because their lead vocalist and bassist were arrested. Upon a Burning Body were scheduled to appear on the Pepsi Max stage on Saturday, but were forced to pull out because singer Danny Leal was taken seriously ill with an inner ear infection that meant doctors would not clear him to fly to the UK.


The unknown band 'Iceman Thesis' were subtly added to the lineup poster in the buildup to the event. They were scheduled to perform for five minutes on both the Pepsi Max and Red Bull Studios Live Stage on the Saturday at the same time. The band performed both sets as scheduled with all ten (two bands of five) member's identities hidden using balaclavas. They performed one song known as 'Return to Harmony' before leaving the stages.


Following on from the Offspring's second stage appearance in 2014, Faith No More's subheadlining position marks the second time a previous main stage headliner have returned to play in a lower slot. Mötley Crüe's performance was their last ever UK festival appearance.


The Sword were due to play on the Maverick Stage on Friday, but were removed from the line-up poster in March, later being confirmed to have pulled out. King 810 were due to play the Maverick Stage on Sunday, but pulled out on 15 May due to undisclosed reasons, just as they had done before in 2014. On 22 May, Ghost Town, who were confirmed to play on Jake's stage on Saturday, pulled out due to undisclosed reasons; they were replaced by Dub War. Antemasque were due to play on the Zippo Encore Stage on Friday, but pulled out in May, the Cadillac Three were moved up from Jake's Stage to replace them.


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