Remembering these Download Festival greats

We look back at Downloads past as they prepare to make the first 2018 announcement.

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There’s not long to go until the first Download Festival 2018 announcement. With some of the most recognisable songs in rock, and some seriously awesome performances across the weekend, each Download Festival has been something really special. Before organisers announce those first names for next year, we’re looking back at some of our favourite and most memorable headline slots from the past fifteen years. Then roll on 2018.

Iron Maiden

From headlining the first Download Festival in 2003, to frontman Bruce Dickinson flying the band and equipment to Donington in a Boeing 747 named Ed Force One, the band have always left a lasting impression on anyone who’s seen them at Download.


Has there ever been a headliner that people want to return to Download Festival more than Tool? The band have only ever made one appearance, topping the bill in 2006, but every single year fans beg for Maynard James Keenan and the band to return to Donington Park’s hallowed grounds.

Black Sabbath

Having played Download Festival three times since its start in 2003, the rock legends always put on a massive show, especially last year when Black Sabbath said goodbye to the festival before embarking on their The End tour.

BLACK SABBATH - "Black Sabbath" (Official Video)

The Prodigy

Friday night was party night at Download 2012 when The Prodigy commanded the main stage, making thousands of metal heads switch from circle pits and moshing to dancing up a storm.

The Prodigy - Spitfast (Download Festival 2012)


So good they had their own stage! Fans who headed to the 2010 edition of Download Festival were greeted with with not one but two giant stages at the front of the field, allowing AC/DC to bring their full stadium show to the festival.

AC/DC - Back In Black (Official 4K Video)

Rage Against The Machine

Donington’s 30th anniversary in 2010 saw Rage Against The Machine entertain the masses on Download Festival’s main stage. Off the back of Killing In The Name reaching the UK No.1 spot at Christmas, it was an evening of sheer fury. The crowd went absolutely wild, and rightly so.

Rage Against The Machine - Killing In the Name (Official HD Video)

Linkin Park

They headlined the second ever Download Festival, having just released sophomore album Meteora. Then again in 2007, 2011, 2014, and in Paris in 2017. They are part of the Download Festival family, and will remain so forever.

Numb (Official Music Video) [4K UPGRADE] – Linkin Park

Check back soon to find out who Download Festival have announced for 2018. Get your tickets now through