Festival founder Andy Copping tells us which bands he's most excited about seeing at Donington Park this June
Can you hear that? That’s the sound of some of the biggest, loudest names in rock and metal getting ready to drown out Donnington Park motorsport circuit in June – with Download Festival gearing up for one of its best years yet.
“We’ve really hit the nail on the head this year,” says festival founder and booker Andy Copping, using a typically metal metaphor to talk about the spread of names covering heritage bands and newer acts. “The thing about Download is that it’s always been about the fans. Seeing them walk through the gates, when our doors first open, is always the biggest thrill for me. I just can’t wait to welcome everyone back, and to see new faces for the first time”.
As the likes of Kiss, Iron Maiden, Biffy Clyro, A Day To Remember, Deftones and Korn get ready to take the main stage between 10-12 June, Andy Copping tells us who he’s most excited about seeing at Download 2022.
“Friday night, we got Kiss. This is last time around for them, the final farewell tour. I know they’ve been talking about a farewell tour for the last 15 or 20 years, but it really does look like this is it now. The first time I saw Kiss it It was on the Lick It Up in Leicester, at De Montfort Hall. And that was without the makeup back then! They had Vinnie Vincent on guitar too. I saw them again at Donington in 1988 on that huge bill they had, then again in 96 at Donington where they were headlining with Ozzy. And then of course we’ve had them three or four times at Download. I also remember booking them for The Forum in Kentish Town, which was insane because they brought in the huge Kiss sign and only just managed to fit it through the doors. I just can’t wait to see them again, especially seeing them play their final show. It’s going to be emotional.”
“I mean, where do you start? I love ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’. I love ‘Number Of The Beast’. ‘Aces High’. ‘Fear Of The Dark’… I think we’re going to get them all here too, since they’re doing the Legacy Of The Beast show, which is like a greatest hits, interspersed with the new album Senjutsu. So that’s gonna be really exciting.”
“Obviously we were all very familiar with with Biffy right from the very beginning when they first broke onto the scene, and we’ve sort of watched that band grow over the years. I remember seeing them supporting Muse at Wembley Stadium years ago. And I remember the stadium was completely full, and that nobody was at the bar – everyone had come early to see Biffy. And obviously they’ve now gone on to be a major arena act in their own right, and a festival headliner. They really do deliver a great show and I can’t wait to see it again.”
“Still looking to the main stage, I’m really excited about Mastodon, but I’m also really keen to see Deftones, because I feel they’ve really come through over the years. They’ve been around a long while now but they’re always just such a great band to watch live, and they’ve always really delivered for us when they played at Download.”
“Some of the younger acts on the bill have really come to fruition during lockdown, like Sleep Token, who are amazing. Others have literally come from nowhere in some cases, which is great, because it means people were listening to music during lockdown when they couldn’t go out and see them. Then there’s other younger acts like Kid Brunswick – just really switched on, building such a great following. He knows what he wants, and he’s going to be massive.”
“My top tip for the festival, if I only had to give one, would be to ogo and see Cassyette. She did actually play at the Download pilot last year, and she was at The Great Escape in Brighton this year too. This girl has got an amazing voice with some truly great songs. She sounds like Pink – a real rock voice, but very clear, and very solid. She’s got a great personality and a great band behind her too.”
“It’s just the energy. It’s just the two of them on stage, Milkie and Sam. Obviously they’ve got a backing band behind them, but you can’t take your eyes off those two. You know, they really gel well together. Milkie is a cross between Madonna and Debbie Harry, like a crazy punk chick. And then you’ve got Sam Matlock who’s like an absolute maniac, jumping out into the ground every five minutes. It’s just, I mean… they’re just so good. And you know, it’s very visual, very full on. Great band.”
Day and weekend tickets are still available now for Download 2022 here.