Guns N' Roses, one of the greatest rock bands of all time, have been confirmed to headline Download 2006 alongside Metallica, marking the festival's strongest line-up so far. Four more bands have also been added.
Lacuna Coil, InMe, Within Temptation and Hatebreed have also been added to the 3 day rock festival which takes place at Donington on June 9-11.
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Guns N’ Roses’ performances in the UK over the past decade have been an extreme rarity and Download 2006 will see the only UK shows by Guns N’ Roses (playing on the Sunday) and Metallica (on the Saturday). The Friday headlining slot is yet to be announced, but rumours include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Darkness and Placebo.
This spectacular coup reunites the two seminal rock bands for the first time since they famously came to blows on a co-headline tour of the USA and Canada in the summer of 1992. This ill-fated union literally exploded on August 8th, 1992 when Metallica singer James Hetfield was hospitalised by a wayward pyrotechnic during the band’s show. Guns singer Axl Rose then stormed off-stage a few minutes into his band’s set, causing a riot at the stadium. The rest of the tour was cancelled and a public feud between the two giants ensued, the whole episode captured dramatically in Metallica’s 1992 Tour film “A Year and a Half in the Life Of”.
Guns N’ Roses have a legacy of controversy, especially where their live shows are concerned, and expect nothing less at Download this summer. Their last UK festival performance (at Leeds in 2002) was the most extraordinary headline appearance VF has yet to witness. Arriving on-stage after the event’s licensed curfew (11pm), Rose and organisers faced a dramatic on-stage stand-off when council officials demanded that the show was cut short. Rose’s threats to incite a riot (a skill he has well-honed) allowed him to remain onstage until 1am – unheard of on an outdoor UK stage!
Axl Rose told Virtual Festivals, “The UK and Europe have always been special for me. After our last great shows there, we are all very excited and looking forward to getting back over there and in front of such great audiences. Donington has always meant a lot to me personally, way before I ever played there. To be asked to headline is for me an honour and a privilege that none of us take for granted. We look forward to seeing all of you at Download!“
Festival director Stuart Galbraith added proudly, “For Guns N’ Roses to play at Download, 18 years after their last performance at Donington will be amazing. Adding this to Metallica’s confirmation is a dream. Originally we would have been happy to have one of these great bands to headline Download 06, but to be able to secure both is just awesome.”
As well as the two confirmed headliners, the ever-expanding bill for Download 2006 includes Korn, The Prodigy, Deftones, Clutch, Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine over the three days.