FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Ones To Watch At Download Festival 2019

This weekend rock and metal fans will return in their thousands to the iconic Donington Park, for another momentous year of Download Festival. With yet another impressive line-up, including headliners Def Leppard, Slipknot and Tool, there is plenty to choose from – here are our must-see bands at this year’s festival!

The Avalanche Stage hosted by Kerrang! Radio
Friday 13:00



Winners of the Download Festival Kerrang! Radio Fresh Blood competition, grime punks PENGSHUi are guaranteed to bring the party to The Avalanche Stage on Friday. Their chaotic blend of rap and metal has been turning heads in recent times and you’ll understand why when you see them live. Expect to hear the likes of Nobody Cares and Ramp or Play and prepare to walk away from the festival with a new favourite band. HG

Man With A Mission
The Avalanche Stage hosted by Kerrang! Radio
Friday 15:50 

Man With A Mission DL

After making waves in Japan, Man With A Mission are taking on the UK next. Ahead of their slot at Download they’ll be playing an intimate show at the 100 Club in London, before taking to the Avalanche stage on Friday. Their pop-rock sound and distinctive visual appearance make them hard to miss. With their new EP Remember Me set for release on the day of their Download appearance, it looks set to be a big day in their history.

Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators
Main Stage
Friday 19:00

Slash ft Miles Kennedy DL


The mighty Slash returns to Download‘s main stage, joined by his legendary band Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. You won’t want to miss the combination of Slash‘s unbeatable guitar solos alongside Myles Kennedy‘s soaring vocals. Whatever the weather their infectious, energy-fuelled hits will get you perfectly warmed up for headliners Def Leppard. HG

Def Leppard
Main Stage
Friday 21:10

Def Leppard DL

Classic rock legends Def Leppard are set to complete their Main Stage headline hat-trick this year, adding to their previous honours in 2009 and 2011. The band’s iconic Hysteria album recently passed its 30th birthday and to honour their best-selling record of all time, the rock giants will be performing the record in full at this year’s festival. If you’re looking for big riffs, multi-layered harmonies, guitar solos and huge sing-along choruses, take your air guitars over to the Main Stage on Friday night for a premium dose of rock nostalgia. MJ

Parting Gift
The Avalanche Stage hosted by Kerrang! Radio
Saturday 11:00

Parting Gift DL

Manchester’s Parting Gift recently released their debut EP Ensom, showcasing their emotionally captivating brand of post-hardcore. The band’s atmospheric sound is ideally suited to a live stage and with each passing show, this young act has been gradually growing in confidence and stature. Now is the time to catch Parting Gift on the rise, as they hope to follow in the footsteps of their genre-mates Holding Absence. MJ

Yours Truly
The Avalanche Stage hosted by Kerrang! Radio
Saturday 11:55 

Yours Truly DL

From the club circuit of Eastern Australia to both the Spotify and radio airwaves, Yours Truly have been kicking up something of a storm when it comes to the international pop-punk scene. If you don’t know them yet, you will soon. Their Download debut will be sure to get you dancing! CLS

Royal Republic
Main Stage

Royal Republic DL

Hungover or tired from Friday night? Royal Republic are the cure you’ve been searching for. Their appearance at Download follows the recent release of their album Club Majesty, which means we’re guaranteed to hear some new material live. The Swedish four-piece are guaranteed fun and you will find yourself dancing to the likes of Fireman And Dancer and Anna Leigh no matter how you feel on Saturday. As the band say, there’s no such thing as guilty pleasures, only pleasures! HG

The Avalanche Stage hosted by Kerrang! Radio
Saturday 18:10

nothing,nowhere. DL

Offering something a little different on The Avalanche Stage is emo-rapper Joseph Mulherin – better known by his stage name nothing,nowhere. Mulherin’s emotionally-charged vocal delivery and sparsely atmospheric instrumentals are perfect vehicles to drive home the power of his painfully relatable lyrics. Mulherin had a rollercoaster year in 2018, with the highs of signing to Fueled By Ramen and releasing album Ruiner, offset by the lows of cancelling all summer shows to focus on his mental health. Thankfully now, Mulherin is back to grace the stage and ready to tug at your heartstrings. MJ

Simple Creatures
The Avalanche Stage hosted by Kerrang! Radio
Saturday 20:40 

Simple Creatures DL

While technically newcomers, Simple Creatures are no strangers to the game in terms of the scene – in fact, you could even say that they helped write the book. We’re fairly sure Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 needs not introduction, and when you add Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low into the mix you can see why these guys are kicking up quite the fuss!

But this isn’t another chapter in the pop punk storybook. Simple Creatures dishes up dark pop in all of its glory, influenced by none other than The Cure. CLS

The Avalanche Stage hosted by Kerrang! Radio
Sunday 11:00

RedHook DL

Nu-metal is back and its face is definitely and defiantly female – at least on the surface. Scratch Redhook‘s music a little deeper and you’ll soon discover that this is a band that refuses to be pigeonholed, changing up the playbook every time (despite being relative newcomers on the scene).

For a little Redhook 101, check out the video to absolute banger Turn Up The Stereotype to see the different sides of this eclectic outfit laid bare. Energetic, exciting and electric; their tracklist ranges from pop-punk to rap to straight up sing-along. Australia may have raised them, but now they’re ready to make the wider world their own.

Black Peaks
The Avalanche Stage hosted by Kerrang! Radio
Sunday 15:00

Black Peaks DL

Back in September 2018, Brighton trio Black Peaks released their second album All That Divides. In the months following it has seen them head out on the road with the likes of Enter Shikari alongside their own headlining shows, honing in their live skills. If you’re looking for something a melodic but a little heavier this Sunday then catch their progressive rock sound on The Avalanche Stage. NC

State Champs
Zippo Encore Stage 
Sunday 15:10

State Champs DL

State Champs will be bringing their pop-punk goodness to Download Festival once again this year. It’s been nearly a year since the quintet released their third album Living Proof so expect to hear fan favourites such as Secrets and Dead and Gone within their set, but maybe even some of the new music the band have been working on. One thing is for sure though is that the band will deliver their infectious onstage energy to wake up the crowd on the closing day of the festival. NC

Fever 333
The Avalanche Stage hosted by Kerrang! Radio
Sunday 19:10

Fever 333 DL

Fever 333 gave last year’s crowd a set remember with a loud, frenetic, and at times chaotic, UK debut performance. Like a contemporary Rage Against the Machine, the band serve up waves of groove-oriented rap/rock rhythms, while airing their own political and social views. With former letlive. vocalist Jason Butler at the forefront of the band’s live show, you never quite know what to expect, but whatever happens, it’s never short on entertainment. It’s great to see the three-piece on the bill again this year, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store this time. MJ

Enter Shikari 
The Avalanche Stage hosted by Kerrang! Radio
Sunday 20:20 

Enter Shikari DL Credit Tom Pullen

Photo Credit: Tom Pullen

By now, St Albans’ Enter Shikari are well and truly industry stalwarts, with over 2000 shows across the globe and five studio albums under their belt. The four-piece have continually pushed boundaries when it comes to the scene, incorporating everything from post-hardcore to politics into their electric repertoire.

From this lot, there’s truly no slowing down and the band continue to grow, commanding a loyal army of fans wherever their careers take them. Whether you’ve never seen them before or you’ve seen them 100 times, you won’t be wanting to miss their fascinating ferocity in the pit as they dominate Download. CLS

Main Stage
Sunday 21:25

Tool DL

Last time Tool released an album Tony Blair was in charge of the nation’s politics, Steve McClaren in charge of our football team, and there was no such thing as Twitter, Instagram or Uber. Thirteen years have passed since 10,000 Days, leading many fans to speculate whether the band – known for their cryptic messaging and mystery – might make us wait as long as the title of their previous record for another iteration. This year, however, fans received the news they’ve all been waiting for: a new record is coming on 30th August. If the band’s reputation for being the masters of complex, yet compelling, prog-rock doesn’t draw you in, the prospect of hearing two new tracks – provisionally titled Invincible and Descending – should provide the lure of checking out one of alternative music’s most enigmatic and captivating acts. MJ

Written by: Mark Johnson, Claire Louise Sheridan, Nicola Craig and Hannah Gillicker.

A 20-something year old journalist and freelance PR often found at a gig, a festival or holding a dictophone to a band and asking them all kinds of questions. I'm a sucker for whiskey and vinyl.