Download 2017: Top bands not to miss

By Kirsten Rawlins | Staffordshire entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

Rock and metal fans will descend on Donington Park this summer for three days of music.

Download Festival

Download Festival, taking place from June 9 to 11, will see headliners System Of A Down, Biffy Clyro and Aerosmith perform - among many others.

Looking ahead to the event, Group Online Entertainment Editor Kirsten Rawlins lists the top bands not to miss:


System Of A Down

System Of A Down - Lonely Day

Melodic heavy metallers SOAD return to Download this year - the first time the band has played festival since 2011. The band first played Download back in 2005, alongside fellow headliners Feeder and Black Sabbath.

This show will be the only UK date played by the group.

The Californian outfit, set up back in 1994, is best known for an array of hits, including Chop Suey!, B.Y.O.B, Toxicity, Lonely Day, Aerials and Sugar.


Led by Serj Tankian on vocals, the group has reportedly promised fans a ‘fantastic’ show - one which crowds can enjoy for a total of two hours.

Prophets Of Rage

Rage Against The Machine - Testify

Formed by members of Audioslave, Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill, this rap and rock supergroup was founded last year - and 2017 marks the first time the band has ever performed in the UK.


This year’s Download slot is also the only UK date to be played by the band.

Prophets of Rage is made up of Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, Chuck D, B-Real and DJ Lord.

Five Finger Death Punch

Five Finger Death Punch- Bad Company

With their latest album eagerly awaited, Five Finger Death Punch once again return to Download this year. They first played the festival back in 2009, alongside Slipknot, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Marilyn Manson.

The band, led by Ivan Moody, is best known for a range of songs, including Wrong Side Of Heaven, their cover of Bad Company and Wash It All Away.

Be sure to catch the band at Download this year, as there is some speculation as to when the band will next be touring, as Ivan has expressed the desire to begin work on a side-project.

Sum 41

Sum 41 - In Too Deep

Canadian pop punk band Sum 41 will cast fans back to their teenage years when they play the Zippo Encore stage on Friday.

The band, which launched back in 1996, is best known for songs including In Too Deep, Fat Lip and Still Waiting.

This will be the first time the band has played Download Festival since 2004. They had been due to perform at the festival back in 2010, but were forced to cancel after drummer Steve Jocz was involved in an accident.

Good Charlotte

Good Charlotte - Girls & Boys

US pop punks Good Charlotte play Download Festival this year for the first time ever, despite having been founded since 1996.

The band - which is still led by twins Joel and Benji Madden - is best known for songs including The Anthem, Lifestyles Of The Rich and Famous, Girls and Boys, Little Things and Riot Girl.

Years after they launched the band, Joel and Benji are also now famous for their wives, with Joel being married to Nicole Richie and Benji to Cameron Diaz.


Biffy Clyro

Biffy Clyro - Bubbles (Official Music Video)

Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro will headline Download Festival on the main stage on the Saturday, bringing with them fan favourites, as well as material from their latest album Ellipsis.

The trio - made up of Simon Neil, James Johnston and Ben Johnston - has had great success in recent years. At the 2013 NME Awards, they received the award for Best British Band. The group has sold more than 1,240,000 albums and 400,000 singles in the UK alone.

They are best known for hits Many of Horror, Black Chandelier, The Captain and Biblical.


AFI - Miss Murder (Short Version)

Californian rockers AFI will play the main stage on Saturday, following the release of their tenth album AFI in January - the band’s first new music in three years.

Led by lead singer Davey Havok, the band is best known for songs including Miss Murder, Love Like Winter and Girl’s Not Grey.

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie - Superbeast

American musician, filmmaker and screenwriter Rob Zombie will headline the Zippo Encore stage on the Saturday, following performances from Devin Townsend Project and Coheed and Cambria.

The 52-year-old heavy metal star, also known for his time as leader of band White Zombie, is best known for hits Dragula, Living Dead Girl and Superbeast.

He previously played Download back in 2014 and 2011.

Simple Plan

Simple Plan - Welcome To My Life (Official Video)

Canadian pop rockers Simple Plan will return to Download Festival this year for the first time in nine years.

Fifteen years after its release, the band has this year been on tour marking the anniversary of their debut album No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls, in which they played the entire album. It is not clear whether they will be doing the same at Download.

They headline The Avalanche Stage on the Saturday.

The band, which founded back in 1999, is best known for songs such as Welcome To My Life, Summer Paradise and Perfect.


ALESTORM - Magnetic North (Official Video) | Napalm Records

Pirate rockers Alestorm are guaranteed to get the crowd moving when they play the Zippo Encore stage on Saturday afternoon.

The group from Perth, Scotland, is set to release a new album entitled No Grave But The Sea at the end of May.

The five-piece band is best known for songs such as Keelhauled and You Are A Pirate.



Aerosmith - Jaded

This year’s performance at Download is set to be the final UK show ever to be played by the band, as part of their farewell ‘Aero-Vederci Baby’ European tour.

The group, founded back in 1970, is best known for an array of hits, including Dream On, I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing, Crazy, Cryin’, Sweet Emotion, Amazing, Walk This Way, Livin’ On The Egde, Janie’s Got A Gun and Jaded - to name just a few.

Led by vocal powerhouse Steven Tyler, the band is expected to play a greatest hits show.

Over the last 47 years, Aerosmith has achieved tremendous success - inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, selling more than 100 million albums, and winning countless awards, including four Grammy Awards, six Billboard Awards, 12 MTV Awards and eight American Music Awards.

Alter Bridge

Fronted by Myles Kennedy, who also sings alongside Slash, this rock band from Florida will be performing on the main stage on Sunday in the slot prior to Aerosmith.

The band was formed back in 2004 by former Creed members Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips.

They are best known for numbers such as Open Your Eyes, Watch Over You and Broken Wings.

Steel Panther

Steel Panther - Eyes Of A Panther

LA comedy glam rockers Steel Panther return to Download this year, playing the main stage on Sunday.

The parody band, which stereotypes the 1980s glam metal era, is best known for its blue lyrics and tongue-in-cheek music videos and stage performances.

They are best known for songs such as Death To All But Metal, Community Property and Eyes Of A Panther.


Slayer - Raining Blood

Californian slash metal icons Slayer will headline the Zippo Encore stage on the Sunday, following fellow heavy metallers Opeth.

Slayer, which is considered to be one of the ‘big four’ metal bands (alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax), has received five Grammy nominations, winning one in 2007 for the song Eyes Of The Insane and one in 2008 for the song Final Six.

The band, founded back in 1981, is best known for songs such as Raining Blood, Angel of Death and War Ensemble.

Dillinger Escape Plan

"Farewell, Mona Lisa" Official Music Video - The Dillinger Escape Plan - OPTION PARALYSIS

Following the release of Disassociation in 2016, Dillinger Escape Plan will appear at this year's Download Festival before their break up.

After recently headlining Europe on their farewell tour, TDEP announced their split in 2016 following their sixth full-length studio album, Disassociation.

Their band name is devived from the bank robber John Dillinger and TDEP have released six studio albums, and toured with the likes of Trash Talk, Norma Jean and Periphery

Tickets for Download Festival are now on sale. Click here for more information or to book.

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins

Online Entertainment Editor for the Express & Star, Shropshire Star and Native Monster. E-mail me, or phone 01902 319368


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