As the dust has settled on yesterday’s disappointment regarding to the Wacken announcement, something very interesting has come out today regarding this year’s Download Festival. I think it is fair to say that Download 2014 is shaping up to be another excellent festival. At first, I didn’t think it would be but I’ll be the first to say that I was wrong about that one. Looking at the line up right now, there is plenty for me to watch every day and more than enough to have justified my ticket purchase. Since the ticket has been purchased, there has been more that has been announced which has made me happy (anyone that knows me knows that I am a big fan of The Wildhearts so that announcement was great). I had assumed that the line up was near enough complete now and apart from a few bands that are left to be announced for the main three stages, the last few announcements will be bands to pack out the Red Bull Studios stage and acts that will appear on the Jagermeister (assuming they sponsor it again) Acoustic stage. Today, a story appeared on the Loughborough Echo’s website regarding a secret/unannounced band playing Download this year.
A surprise in store for Download fans
A SURPRISE act will be gracing the Pepsi Max stage of Download this year to add extra thrills to one of the UK’s biggest rock festivals.Festival organiser Andy Copping says he is remaining tight-lipped about the secret rock act that will be performing on the Sunday.He told the Echo that it is not Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, but added: “It is not within their touring cycle and they just wanted to do something as a little treat for fans and play a small stage.”He said it was quite a big act but would not divulge any more detail. Link
Andy Copping has since confirmed on Twitter that the band who are playing in this slot are a band that play arenas. That is an interesting clue to give and will get people talking. That is exactly the purpose of this blog. I will look at possibilities and say whether or not they are likely. I have listed them in alphabetical order. I have seen on the Download Festival forums, I have seen people suggesting bands and I have taken some of those bands to make this list and added my own to it.
30 Seconds To Mars – Last two UK tours have been arena tours in the UK. However, this slot at Download is sandwiched in between two South Africa dates that the band are playing. I would say this rules them out.
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath are playing Nova Rock on the same day as this slot. That definitely rules them out.
Black Stone Cherry – Black Stone Cherry are doing some dates on the European festival circuit (notably not playing the UK). They are doing their first arena headline tour of the UK later this year so tick all the boxes of the clues we know so far. I do wonder if them doing this slot though would be detrimental to ticket sales for this tour in November. People could see them here and say “well, don’t need to buy a ticket now” – I’m not sure if it is a good idea.
Bullet For My Valentine – Last time they toured the UK, they played arenas although according to some live reports, the tour sold really badly (a surprise considering the undercard I would have thought would have sold a few thousand tickets on their own). They played their first slot at Download in 2004 so this would be 10 years since their first slot. It could be a celebration of that I guess. They are not on tour at the time of Download and because of this; I would say they are the firm favourites to be the secret band. This would be their 8th appearance in 12 Download festivals – that is too many!
Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls – One of the outsiders for me to be playing this slot. Frank and his band have just finished a UK arena tour 2 months ago. They are playing Sonisphere UK in a major slot and are headlining a number of smaller festivals (and one new one which seems to be a fairly large one on the outskirts of London). Frank Turner and his band played the main stage at Reading in 2011 and then played the small Lock Up tent the same day. This to me suggests they would have no objection taking up this slot. Furthermore, the only time (I think) that Frank Turner has played Download was in 2011, headlining the third stage. I imagine due to contractual arrangements with Sonisphere, he would have to remain a secret until Download had started, but this to me is a real possibility (especially as he is in Europe at the time). If the band that are playing are doing this show as a European one-off, this rules out Frank Turner.
Foo Fighters – An outsider given they could easily do a fully fledged stadium tour next time they tour the UK but they are coming back off a hiatus and are known to play random shows. This could well be one of them. I doubt it, but it would be cool.
Green Day – Pretty much the same as Foo Fighters but with the added fact that they recently (in 2012) played a small show at Reading festival. Granted, the stage they played was bigger than the Pepsi Max Stage at Download, but it could still potentially happen. Again, I would suggest this is another unlikely one.
KISS – I would imagine this is really quite unlikely but then they have done things previously that were quite surprising - playing a club show at Islington Academy being one of the recent examples. They are starting their US 40th anniversary tour at the end of June – this slot would be one hell of a way to warm up for that tour!
Machine Head – Machine Head have just announced (and subsequently sold out) an intimate club tour in the UK for July/August. They are clearly not opposed to playing small shows and this would be their smallest slot at Download. I don’t know if they are likely or not but this is the sort of band I would expect to see take this slot.
Marilyn Manson – Doing some European dates at the end of June through to August. He co-headlined an arena tour with Rob Zombie (already playing Download this year). Andy Copping has said he would not book Marilyn Manson again until his live performances improved for fear of being lynched. This could be one way around it I guess.
Metallica – Last time they did a UK tour, they did play arenas so I guess they could be a possibility. They are in Europe at the time and they have also done a secret set at Download before (albeit in 2003). I guess they are possible but I would suggest it is unlikely.
Motley Crue – Starting their final ever world tour in June, what a way to kick it off than by playing a random festival show in the UK, proving they are still unpredictable. I feel as though this is possibly one of the more unlikely suggestions I’ve made here though as I’d guess they want every date on thie farewell tour to have as much fanfare as possible.
Nine Inch Nails – NIN are doing their first full-fledged arena tour of the UK in May this year. They will still be touring Europe at this time and as it stands, have no plans to play a festival in the UK. Last year they announced a tiny club show in London. I guess that somehow makes it more possible in my NIN-loving mind. This would actually be amazing. Have them play a 30min slot on the third stage and announce them to headline the 2015 festival not long after – that would be cool.
Queens Of The Stone Age – Co-headlining Reading and Leeds festival this year. They toured arenas last year on the back of their latest album. They are in Denmark on the day of this slot, so they are not playing Download.
The Who – Possibly the most ridiculous of my suggestions. They toured the UK last year (in arenas) and this year are celebrating their 50th anniversary. This suggestion is more just me being silly but you know what, it is a secret slot – anything could happen.
So, those are all the suggestions I can think of. I know there are some quite silly ones there but also some realistic ones. If you were to ask me to pick one now, I would say it will be Bullet For My Valentine – but I hope it isn’t them.