Since the announcement that Download Festival would be coming to Australia, there has been a lot of conjecture about whether the line-up is ‘metal’ enough, which has resulted in extended rants, widespread outcry on social media and numerous articles about the pros and cons of the line-up. We at Metal Wani believe that this is a great line-up, so let us explain why!
Carrying the name Download Festival was always going to mean that punters drew comparisons between the parent festival and what we have on offer in Australia. It is an unfair comparison, because it is drawing comparisons between our line-up, with a festival that is historically held at the start of the European festival season. What this means is that the United Kingdom leg of Download is bound to get big names,as bands on their line-up will use the festival as a starting point to embark on a run of European Summer festival shows. This makes it far more feasible to book bands there than it is to have them touring Australia, or coming down for a once off performance. It’s a comparison of apples to oranges and it just doesn’t work.
Many people are upset that Korn has been announced as a headliner as they feel the band hasn’t been relevant for some time; but what those decrying this announcement seem to forget is that Korn released killer album “The Serenity of Suffering”towards the end of 2016. Not only was this album well received, but Download 2018 provides the band with an opportunity to bring these songs to Australia for the first time.
In that same vein, co-headliner Limp Bizkit’s position on the line-up has also been a topic of conjecture, with people seeming to forget that Limp Bizkit have only played in Australia three times since their inception. That’s three times total in a career spanning more than 20 years! As a band that has that elusive appeal about them, many fans will undoubtedly turn out to see them perform, and if they manage to sneakily drop the new album “Stampede of the Disco Elephants” before the festival (longshot, we know!), this could be one of the first times that some new tracks have been performed live.
People have also become annoyed when they draw comparisons between these acts and Download UK headline acts Ozzy Ozbourne and Avenged Sevenfold, and complain that we couldn’t get something similar. Well, factoring in the European festival season discussion above, and the fact that these bands hold fans of various ages, it is safe to assume that they are more than likely to tour on their own for larger stage spectacles later in 2018, than as part of an inaugural festival where they would get a reduced set time.
The rest of the lineup:
There is no doubt that band selection was more than likely targeted at those that could pull at nostalgic heartstrings, with bands like the aforementioned Korn, Limp Bizkit and even Good Charlotte all being a good cross section of acts that many people in their mid-late 20’s and early 30’s would have been hammering during the 2000’s. These acts alone are enough to get a sizeable crowd down for Download, but the festival still has more to offer.
Another determining factor in the line-up announcement is that unlike its parent festival in the United Kingdom, this is an 18+, single day event. Band selection is more than likely focused on picking bands that have the potential to sell tickets and draw a sizable crowd, ensuring the festival can remain prosperous for years to come. There are numerous bands on this line-up that have had large gaps between their last Australian tours/shows that are safe bets to pull crowds to Melbourne, including Sabaton (last toured in 2013 with Nightwish); Gojira (have only toured as part of Soundwave 2014); Amon Amarth (last toured as part of Soundwave 2014); Arch Enemy (Sydney and Melbourne shows in 2012);Mastodon (last toured in 2015), and many others. While we could discuss all day where we think they should be on the line-up poster, I think we can all agree that headliner or not, these bands will definitely fly the metal flag at Download Melbourne.
As with any festival line-up, Download Melbourne has a wide variety of bands on offer. While the pool isn’t as large as most well-known international festivals, the logistics of holding such an event in Australia are far greater than those of holding similar events in Europe and the United States. That’s also factoring in that overseas Festivals are normally 3-day or more events, while Australia only seems to manage a single day most times.
While it might not be seen as conventionally ‘Metal’, compared to other festivals, the Download Melbourne line-up offers a broad spectrum of acts that will make the festivals first foray into Australia a success. Are you a fan of Punk or Crossover Thrash? Download has you covered with Suicidal Tendencies and NOFX; enjoy metalcore? Well you’ll be fine with Northlane, Of Mice and Men and Falling in Reverse; feel the need to fly the flag for Australia? King Parrrot, Psycroptic and Ocean Grove are just a few of the bands you can get out and support! There are some other hidden gems on the line-up which may have been overlooked at first glance, like Nails who have been the subject of recent widespread critical acclaim and are sure to have a massive crowd in support, and who could forget Prophets of Rage, who are bound to bring a level of energy and excitement that has been long missing from our festival scene. It’s this broad spectrum of tastes that when brought together will make this festival a success.
Ultimately let’s not forget that there is someone out there willing to take another punt on Australia’s alternative festival scene. While I know heavy festivals like UNIFY have been absolutely hammering it here over the past few years; and our independent festivals like Sydney’s Steel Assasins, Brisbane’s Dead of Winter, Melbourne’s Legions of Steel, and even the travelling Progfest have been thriving of late, attracting names from across the country (and in some cases, across the world), the presence of another major international music festival in Australia will only be beneficial to Australian heavy music lovers in the long run.Australia needs Download festival— more than Download needs Australia, so let’s show our support and help foster this festival into the monster it is overseas, because if Download fails, we may not get another chance at an event this big.
Get Your Tickets Here: downloadfestival.com.au/