With Download 2013 not long over and camp sites barely cleared of debris and lost last shreds of dignity, talk has already begun about who will headline the festival next year.


To headline a festival is a great privilege for any band, but to headline Download Festival is one reserved for those considered the biggest and best in the rock & metal world. It is the stuff of dreams for many young bands to play on the hallowed grounds of Donington but only a select few get to grace those last main stage slots each year.

This years festival is barely over and social media is already abuzz with who fans want to headline Download 2014 but what bands out there currently can take on this challenge and throw it down to over 90,000 people next June?

Avenged Sevenfold


Hailing from Huntington Beach, California, Avenged Sevenfold are one of the few metal bands of a more recent generation ready to step up, seize the day, and grab the opportunity to headline Download with both hands. Despite the tragic death of drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan in 2009, the band have continued to grow and take the world by storm. With the follow-up album to Nightmare on the way and embarking on a European Arena tour this winter, M. Shadows and co. are certainly a band to keep an eye on.

Nine Inch Nails


The Industrial Rock giants are returning to the live circuit this year after being on hiatus since 2009 and will also bring with them a new album to be released in September. With the band set to tour extensively and worldwide through 2014 would there be any better way to top off their comeback than with a headlining slot at Download? P.S. They’d probably have lots of shiny lights, lasers and pyro too!

Foo Fighters


The Foo Fighters may not be the first band to pop into a persons head when you mention Download, but they are one of the biggest rock acts on the planet at the moment, if not of all time. With an extensive back catalogue of heavy hitting tunes and well known for crowd pleasing performances Dave Grohl & his boys might just fit right in on that main stage.



Tool are a band that is whispered by the lips of many when it comes to Download line-up speculation in recent years. Despite being on hiatus since 2008, many fans have been clamouring for a the prog masters to return. in late 2013 or early 2014, fans may just get what they’ve been waiting for with the band currently sitting on an album that is “over half done”. No definite release date for the album has been confirmed, but one would think that when it does land it will bring a series of tour dates, with Download 2014 being a likely stop off.


MetallicaDespite headlining the festival as recently as 2012, Metallica are a band that can never be written off when it comes to Download. They are arguably the biggest metal band of all time and what’s one of the biggest metal festivals without the biggest metal band making regular enough appearances? With 2014 also marking the 30th anniversary of their “Ride The Lightning” album, Metallica, while unlikely, are never far from being one of the lucky 2 to take a headlining spot.

Pearl Jam


Seattle based grunge-pioneers, Pearl Jam are another strong contender to potentially pull a headline spot at Download. Rumoured to be releasing an album in late 2013/early 2014 and also rumoured to be dropping a single this July. The band were also falsely revealed as playing at Download 2013 by festival sponsor, Vodafone, which may or may not be an indicator for a 2014 appearance.

Green Day

GreenDayCurrently riding the wave of their most recent triple album release, Green Day are back to take over the world once more. They recently became the first band to sell out the Emirates Stadium completely and are set to headline Reading/Leeds 2013 (above System of a Down!!). Should they return to European soil in 2014, Download could be a likely destination. 2014 also marks the 10th anniversary of their perennial American Idiot album. Live and in it’s entirety anyone?

Led Zeppelin

led-zeppelin-celebration-day-press-conference-11One of the more unlikely possibilities for Download 2014 but there’s nothing more appealing at a festival than a massive reunion (see Black Sabbath, 2012), and Led Zepellin could be the band to do just that. While nothing is confirmed, or even rumoured to an extent, Robert Plant revealed in February that he would be open to a reunion of the band in 2014. A long shot (read looooooooooooooooooong), but one that would be a major coup for the festivals organisers.



Ok I know, this one is really clutching at straws. It will never be the same without Dimebag, and there is still an air of animosity between Vinnie and Phil, with the latter occupying himself with Down and a solo project. But, if there is one thing Download prides itself on is turning a festival slot into an unforgettable event (Ozzfest at Download, AC/DC ’10, Slipknot ’09, Joey Jordison drums for Metallica, Black Album in full & many more). If things could be patched up between Anselmo and Vinnie, and have Zakk Wylde step into Dimebag’s shoes it would ensure Download 2014 would go down in the heavy metal history books. Highly unlikely, but who out there would turn down the chance of witnessing this?

  1. […] Download 2014: Potential Headliners […]

  2. namredips15 says:

    I want to see Dave Draiman at DL ’14 – either with Disturbed or Device

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