Download boss approached “21 bands” to headline 2024 festival in “hardest year” for line-up

He also stressed the importance of helping artists climb up the bill

The post Download boss approached “21 bands” to headline 2024 festival in “hardest year” for line-up appeared first on NME.


Andy Copping, the boss for Download Festival, has revealed that the upcoming 2024 edition was the “hardest year” to secure a line-up – with the team having to approach “21 bands” to find headliners.

The promoter was speaking to Planet Rock about the struggle, shortly before the official line-up for the festival was announced on Tuesday night (November 7) – with Queens Of The Stone AgeAvenged Sevenfold and Fall Out Boy set to headline next year’s instalment.

80 other acts were also announced for the 2024 edition, including Slipknot legend Corey Taylor, Pantera, Machine Head, The Offspring, Sum 41 and Royal Blood.

However, speaking to the outlet, Copping revealed that the team had found it “really tough” locking in these artists compared to previous years.

“I don’t mind admitting, this year for 2024 we approached 21 different headliners for Download,” he said. “It’s been probably the hardest year – I’ve said that in previous years before when it’s been hard to put the bill together – but this year has been particularly hard.”

According to the festival boss, he has seen that other festivals across Europe have “have been feeling the same” and also “struggling to lock the bands in.”

“Myself and the team, we dug in really hard…We would list all the bands that we should go for and, yeah, it was 21 different acts that we approached. Normally, you’d be looking five, six, seven and you’d find your three from that.”

Festival goers cheering in the crowd during day 2 of Download Festival 2019. CREDIT: Joseph Okpako/WireImage/Getty

“This year has been really, really tough to lock bands down and that’s just been the way that it goes – everything goes in cycles,” he added. “For 2024 it was a little bit light.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Copping revealed that he is “proud” with the artists the team have secured for next year – adding that the edition will have a “wide-ranging spectrum of bands across all the stages”.

Reflecting on the headliners booked for 2024, he also recalled the importance of letting bands climb up the bills at festivals.

“I’ve been bleating on for years the fact that festival promoters like ourselves at Download, we’ve got to bring the new acts through,” Copping said. “The fact that Bring Me The Horizon played one of the small stages back in 2006, and they’ve worked their way up there (in 2023).”

“It’s us as an industry that has to do it. It’s not just the festival promoters – the media, the labels and the fans have got to get behind acts and not be dismissive when an act headlines at a festival.

“They need to get behind it because these are going to be the bands for the future and hopefully (they will) encourage other bands to come through and hopefully be a headline band of the future.”

Andy Copping announces the line-up for Download Festival 2024 at the launch party on November 07, 2023. CREDIT: Shane Anthony Sinclair/Getty Images Kevin Nixon/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Next year’s instalment of Download will be the 21st edition of the rock festival and is set to be held at Donington Park between June 14-16, 2024. General tickets will be on sale from 9pm tonight (November 9) and will be available here.

Ahead of the line-up being revealed, Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz spoke to NME about the band stepping up to the headlining slot for the first time.

“So many of the bands who have headlined Download before have been such a big influence on us,” he explained. “We grew up watching videos of Metallica playing Donington and most of our band was informed by that era of the band.”

He continued: “Headlining a festival for the first time is always a new thing though. We’re not stressed about it, but we want to honour the festival and honour the bands that have played before us.”

The post Download boss approached “21 bands” to headline 2024 festival in “hardest year” for line-up appeared first on NME.

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