For a niche genre, there are a lot of bands headlining arenas and stadiums and even more metallers and emos buying festival tickets. Even with the recession firmly on our backs, promoters had no qualms about announcing a brand new major hard rock festival to get drunk at. Joy.
Joining the Donington-based Download Festival and ultra-metallic Bloodstock Open Air is Sonisphere, which is set to take place at Knebworth. It’s as much a battle to be crowned The Home Of Rock as it is a battle to actually get the bands for the lineups in the first place.
If you’re serious about your heavy music, you’ve been following all the lineup releases already and you’ve started thinking which of the three summer festivals you’ll be attending and while it was relatively simple last year, the addition of Sonisphere to the list just makes the decision that bit more difficult.
You could, of course, have a guaran-fucking-teed good time at a continental metal festival like Wacken or Hellfest but, like I said, we’re in a recession and the Euro is daylight robbery at the moment. A weekend trying to get drunk in Paris before watching AC/DC at the Bercy is my braggadocio testimony to that.
01-02 August 2009
Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire
Thrash Hits broke the news about the bands headlining Sonisphere both times – Metallica way back in November and Linkin Park, four days before the official announcement at the start of February. They’ve only announced the major bands so far, but we’ve been promised plenty of hot underground acts.
Line-up so far: Metallica, Linkin Park, Lamb Of God, Mastodon, Machine Head, The Sword, Thin Lizzy, Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Alice In Chains...
Rumours, hopes et cetera: Nine Inch Nails and sunshine.
What to expect: This touring extravaganza is an unknown quantity but we’ve been promised no overlapping bands – one band finishes on the Main Stage and a band on the Second Stage starts. There also might be another stage in the camping area, full of younger, louder bands looking to piss off the campers.
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12-14 June 2009
Donington Park, East Midlands
When Download Festival announced the reformed Faith No More as the third headliner, they also announced Download’s arrival as a major festival in 2009. The nu-metal pioneers join Slipknot and Def Leppard in a retro-fest sure to blow your minds all the way back to the turn of the century.
Line-up so far: Faith No More, Slipknot, Def Leppard, Limp Bizkit, Whitesnake, Motley Crue, Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, ZZ Top, Dream Theater, Killswitch Engage, Billy Talent, Anvil, Devildriver (latest full details)
Rumours, hopes et cetera: Nine Inch Nails again and that there aren’t too many clashes.
What to expect: Amidst rumours that last year’s event lost the promoters a bit of cash, we weren’t entirely sure there would be a Download Festival 2009 but here it is with an interesting lineup. There’s no massive, massive headliner in place but take a moment to consider that Def Leppard and ZZ Top have sold over 100 million albums between them. Probably some good songs there…
Links: Home | MySpace | Last.fm | Twitter
Bloodstock Open Air
14-16 August 2009
Catton Hall, Derbyshire
Line-up so far: Carcass, Arch Enemy, Saxon, Amon Amarth, Satyricon, Apocalyptica, Enslaved, Candlemass, Municipal Waste, The Haunted, Turisas...
Rumours, hopes et cetera: That there’s enough beer and enough Viking horns to drink them out of.
What to expect: Bloodstock is the metal festival for the metal fan. There’s no poncing around claiming to be metal fan and then dancing to Pendulum. No. If you see a man in full Viking attire, you can easily assume that he’s a Scandinavian band member who’s taken a wrong turn. Look a bit closer, however, and you realise it’s James from IT. He fixed your mouse.
Links: Home | Last.fm
For more from the world of rock and metal visit ThrashHits.com
- In Photos: Download Festival 2012 @ Donington Park
- Download 2012: The DiS Review
- Metallica, Lou Reed - Lulu
- Friday Fun: Listen to the WHOLE of the Lou Reed and Metallica album
- Listen: Clip of Metallica & Lou Reed collaboration
- Sonisphere 2011: The DiS Review
- In Photos: Sonisphere Festival 2011 @ Knebworth
- Sonisphere 2011: The DiS Preview, Part 1