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Vote for the greatest Download Festival set ever

(Image credit: Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

The UK’s Download Festival has been the metal festival ever since it was launched in 2003 with headliners Iron Maiden and Audioslave. In any given year, you’re guaranteed of seeing a bunch of blockbusting sets from metal’s A-listers and career-making performances from its future stars.

This year is different. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organisers to pull 2020’s festival, leaving a massive Donington-shaped hole in the summer (the good news is that Download will be back stronger in 2021).

Rather than sulk about it, we want to compile a list of the greatest ever Download performances so far – and we need your help to do it.

We’ve started the ball rolling by listing all the key performances from the main and second stages below, and we’ve chucked in a few legendary showings from the likes of Trivium, Machine Head and Babymetal (it’s arranged year by year, so you can’t go wrong).

“But where’s Lawnmower Deth’s legendary 2009 Tuborg Stage set?” we hear you wail. We’ll be honest – there’s no way we can list every single performance by every single band… which is why we’ve given you the chance to add in your own suggestions at the bottom.

And if that isn’t enough, you get the chance to vote for not one, not two, but THREE of your favourite sets. Honestly, the things we do for you lot.

We’ll be printing the results on the weekend that Download should have happened, so check back then. In the meantime, we’re off to crank up some Dying Fetus and get severely sunburnt…