Iron Maiden for Download Festival 2013?

Are the metal legends heading to Donington next summer?

Photographer:Sara Bowrey

Chris Eustace - 20 September 2012

**UPDATED** Iron Maiden were officially confirmed at 6pm as one of the Download 2013 headliners, while Rammstein briefly appeared to confirm their involvement too, with their Facebook page momentarily listing a string of 2013 European festival dates, including Download.

Message boards and social networking sites have been buzzing with speculation in the last couple of days ahead of the official announcement this evening at 6pm, with the British metal legends the roaring favourites to be revealed as the first of next year’s Donington Park headliners.

Many have noted that on the Download website, the festival’s dog character now has red eyes that resemble those of Iron Maiden mascot Eddie, while forums have been talking excitedly of how a “Planet Rock radio DJ said he'd be talking to a headliner, 'one of the biggest British bands', on Thursday 20th.”

With Austrian rock/metal event Nova Rock on the same weekend as Download (14-16 June 2013), it’s believed Maiden’s headline spot will be the UK leg of a European festival tour.

Meanwhile, clues to the identity of the other two headliners are beginning to emerge, with metal site Thrash Hits tweeting that: “none of the [headline] bands originate from the same country as either of the others.”

Others have seized upon comments apparently made by Download booker Andy Copping over the summer, where he reportedly said in a radio interview that “one of the band members was at Download this year [as part of another band], has a great affection for Download, and his band were one of the best things to happen in the years Download has been running”, although these quotes could not be confirmed.

That the three headliners supposedly come from three different countries have leant more weight to the perennial “Rammstein for Download” rumour, while the notion that a member of one of the headliners was at the festival this year in another capacity has led to suggestions of Pearl Jam (as their current drummer Matt Cameron also plays in Soundgarden), Bullet For My Valentine (whose frontman Matt Tuck played Download this year as part of metal supergroup Axewound) and much wishful thinking around a reunion of the original Guns N’ Roses line-up with Slash having performed at Download 2012 as well.

More likely is a return to Download for SlipknotCorey Taylor played a solo set there this year, where he was presented with the Metal Hammer Golden God award for “Best Download Moment Ever” for his band’s set there in 2009.

While the singer has recently said that he plans to concentrate mainly on his other group Stone Sour for the next two years, he added that there would “probably” be some Slipknot shows in that time as well. With the band keen to make their recent special Knotfest shows an annual event in the style of Ozzfest, many believe an appearance at Download 2013 could involve bringing Knotfest to the UK for the day.

Stay with Virtual Festivals on Twitter and Facebook this evening for big Download Festival 2013 announcement at 6pm, plus all the news and rumours as we get them.


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