Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Rammstein to headline Download 2016

Iron Maiden - Still the kings of Donnington Park

Iron Maiden – Still the kings of Donington Park

As Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Rammstein are revealed as next years trio of acts for Download festival, Getintothis’ Vicky Pea finds that once again it’s better the devil you know.

In a flurry of announcements made this week we now know that Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Rammstein have been confirmed as the three headline acts for next years Download Festival. Though many had predicted the inclusion of Maiden and Sabbath, there’ll be no shortage of interest in the appearance of the metal legends – this being Iron Maiden’s only scheduled UK date in 2016 and one of Sabbath’s final ever stops on their final ever tour…ever.

Despite all three acts having recently headlined in 2012 and 2013 respectively the announcement acts as a show of power from the festival, proving they still have the klout to attract the biggest rock bands in the world during an era where bill topping metal acts are in short supply – as shown last year when the festival was forced to drift off genre, preferring to book a ticket shifting act like Muse opposed to passing the metal torch as it were to newer, younger talent. But who can blame them? With Sonisphere struggling to run in consecutive years (in fact Maiden headlined the last one in 2014) and festivals such as Glastonbury and Reading encroaching on their brand it’s the short term survival of the festival that takes priority.

Where are all the new metal headliners?

As for Maiden, the Donington Park veterans (this will be their 6th appearance) are quite entitled to wear the enviable Sunday night closer crown with their 16th studio album topping the charts last month, a task seemingly out of reach for any modern metal acts. It seems that 35 years in there’s no stopping Maiden yet and despite the very “final” nature of their tour the same could also be said for Black Sabbath. With their previous record 13 reaching number one and work underway on a new album with Rick Rubin, the formula is a winning one, and one yet to be matched by newcomers to the genre.

Unlike many of their peers you can expect Bruce, Ozzy and Co to showcase plenty of their most recent material as if previous performances are anything to go by neither band like to give in to “greatest hits” pressures, an attribute generally appreciated and respected by fans as even when they do miss out a favourite or two the experience remains a spectacular one.

German visual extraordinaires Rammstein will kick off the festival on Friday night in hazardous style, with their trademark pyrotechnics and visually epic theatrics aimed at “touching all of the senses”. However with the wait for a new record now into its 6th year we’re interested to see how the controversial act shake up their 20 plus year discography on the night.

Of course we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, who knows what else the bookers may have up their sleeves and headliners aside Download still remains one of the biggest platforms for upcoming rock and metal bands to peddle their wears across Europe with hundreds of acts taking to the stage over the weekend. We’d sure give them our full support to throw a curve-ball (or two) out to the kids.

Maybe the blame lies with golden oldies themselves, because as long as they continue to deliver the goods both live and in the studio the only way the torch is getting passed is when they decide to pass it. And let’s face it, with legit rock gods already signed up, they can take our money now.

Tickets for Download 2016 go on sale 9am Friday October 23 2015.