I feel festival headliners have got a bit lacklustre over the past few years – Download especially – with the same bands constantly being churned out. This isn’t to say the bands aren’t good or don’t deserve to headline but it gets a bit boring when it keeps happening. I love Slipknot but when they headlined last year it was their third time since 2009 and don’t get me started on the Metallica/ Iron Maiden type bands *yawn*. I remember in 2011 Sonisphere took a risk on Biffy Clyro and gave them their first festival headline show (I believe) and it was sensational. Since then they’ve headlined Reading/ Leeds twice and T in the Park. In 2014 Download gave Avenged Sevenfold a chance at headlining the Friday night and it was great, but not enough festivals’ are taking these risks and giving bands the chance to prove themselves. I had a think about who I think might headline some of next years’ festivals and here’s my thoughts.
Foo Fighters- Glastonbury
After pulling out in 2015 we thought it would be a sure thing that the band would headline in 2016 but sadly it didn’t happen (I did weep a bit when I went), but I would be pretty surprised if the band didn’t come back for 2017 and smash the Pyramid Stage.
Green Day- Reading/ Leeds or Download
With a brand new album out in October 2016 and a string of arena-sized shows for early 2017 I would be surprised if Green Day didn’t come over for a headline slot next year. I’d like to see them at Download as they’ve done Reading/ Leeds not too long ago, but in my heart I think they’re more a R&L band. With massive anthemic tracks whatever festival they play I’m sure they’ll go down amazingly.
Avenged Sevenfold- Download
Now I know I mentioned before about churning out repeat headliners but after a stonking show in 2014 the band haven’t been back to Donnington Park since and 2017 should change that. Having headlined once before they won’t come back unless they headline again and with a huge arena tour in early in 2017 and new music I’d be surprised if this didn’t happen.
Bring Me The Horizon- Download
Now for the first ‘new’ headline band. I know I might be slightly biased but in 2015 when BMTH subbed for Metallica at Reading/ Leeds it was an incredible show and I know it converted a lot of non-believers. ‘That’s The Spirit’ changed the band’s fundamentals and made them a band who could sell out arena shows (how the hell did that happen!?) I think it’s been a long time coming but I think they’re ready. If Download know what’s good for them they’ll take a punt and be the first one’s to offer them a headline slot.
The 1975- Reading/ Leeds
Perhaps this will be another co-headline split like Foals this year, but seeing how packed the NME stage got for their headline performance I think the band have enough hype to push them to the top. It could work to pair them with another indie type band who are also at the point of almost hitting the headline slot like Bastille or Royal Blood. Could 2017 see two of the bands pair up?!
Guns N Roses- Download
This seems to be a bit of a no-brainer as Axl, Slash and Duff (alongside the rest of the band) have just been touring together and if they manage to come out without hurting each other surely they’ll headline Download? 2017 would be the 30th anniversary of their first Donington appearance, and after they pissed of Reading and Leeds a few years’ back I can’t imagine they’ll be invited back there. Copping has been seen hanging out with the band and after Axl killed it with AC/DC earlier this year he seems to have improved his reputation somewhat. I’d love to see it!
You Me At Six- Reading/ Leeds
Thinking about it the band are a bit big to perhaps headline the NME Stage but maybe not quite big enough for main stage, but Foals were the 2015 secret band and went on to headline in 2016 so maybe the same could be said for You Me At Six. Whichever stage they play I think the band are ready with enough material to last a lengthy slot and huge songs like ‘Underdog’ which could help pull off a great encore.
Steel Panther- Second Stage Download
Glam rockers Steel Panther have played Download Festival a few times and have played numerous arena shows across the country so with a few years’ away from Donington I think 2017 is about time they return. With the massive tracks, incredible stage presence and awesome sets they’d be amazing to headline the second stage at Download.
Brand New- NME Stage Reading/ Leeds
It’s almost time to say goodbye to Brand New as their final few years’ of touring and being a band culminates so a farewell show headlining the NME Stage at Reading and Leeds would only be fitting. I haven’t really given the band so much of a listen to totally get the hype but there’s enough hype there with their fans for it to be a great but emotional show.