This week, we’ve been looking ahead to the biggest album releases and tours coming our way. Today, we examine the festivals and stadium shows looming over the horizon, like a massive event with many arms and screaming faces…
The UK festival season starts earlier than most, and 2015 promises to be a year to remember. Though perennial favourites **Hit The Deck **(April 25⁄26) and Slam Dunk (May 23/24/25) are yet to announce line-up details, promoters are confident of pulling together their best ever pop-punk/emo/hardcore bills.
Bristol’s heavyweight Temples festival (May 29/30/31) announced their first bands back in August, and they have some absolute monsters booked, with Converge and Sunn O))) confirmed as headliners, and the likes of Nails, Trap Them, Pig Destroyer, Will Haven, Torche, Between The Buried And Me and Krokodil on the supporting bill, it promises to be one of 2015’s heaviest line-ups.
Desertfest (April 24/25/26) promises a different kind of heavy, with headliners Sleep joined by Red Fang, Orange Goblin, Acid King, Karma To Burn and a host of other sludge/stoner/psych treats. They’re joined by the likes of Angel Witch, Cancer, Quartz and SSS, who play the Metal Hammer stage on April 26.
The daddy of UK metal fests is, of course, Download (June 12/12/14), and promoter Andy Copping has pulled together a line-up that truly brings something for everyone with a passing interest in rock and metal. With headliners Slipknot, Muse and Kiss joined by legends such as Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, Faith No More, Marilyn Manson and Slash and superstars-in-waiting such as Lamb of God, A Day To Remember, Enter Shikari, Parkway Drive and Five Finger Death Punch, Donington Park can boast a bill that can stand toe-to-toe with any major festival bill in the world.
Bloodstock (6/7/8/9) too looks excellent this year, with headliners Trivium, Opeth, Within Temptation and Rob Zombie receiving stellar support from metal heavyweights such as Sabaton, Cannibal Corpse, Nuclear Assault, Ihsahn, Enslaved and more.
With Sonisphere yet to announce a UK staging in 2015, the summer’s other big hitter **Reading and Leeds** (August 28/29/30) has already bagged a former Knebworth headliner, in the shape of the mighty Metallica. The R+L organisers are keeping cards close to their chests too, but with Refused and Pierce The Veil among the first clutch of bands announced, rock fans can look forward to some big revelations in the months ahead. One could, of course, look overseas to the likes of Groezrock, HellFest, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, but frankly our brains might explode with over-excitement if we start picking apart those bills…
There’s also the TeamRock-sponsored Ramblin’ Man Fair that takes place in Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent on July 25–26. Scorpions, Gregg Allman, Camel and Marillion are confirmed, along with Shooter Jennings, Hayseed Dixie, Aaron Keylock and Joanne Shaw Taylor. More acts will be announced in coming weeks. Find out more at the Ramblin’ Man Fair website.
There’s the big days out, too. In the red corner: Foo Fighters. In the blue corner: AC/DC. Both bands sold out their UK stadium dates in minutes, a testament to two of the most loyal, hardcore fanbases in rock. In May, the Foos have got Iggy Pop and Royal Blood to back them up, while in June and July, ’DC have got cannons, Rosie and the single greatest back catalogue of rock anthems this side of the Beatles and Stones. One thing is for sure, for those about to rock 2015 is going to be one hell of a year…
**Angus Young ** Photo: Martin Philbey/Redferns