Download 2023: two Metallica sets, Slipknot, Bring Me The Horizon, Ghost, Evanescence, Pendulum, Disturbed and more in huge first lineup announcement

Part of the 2023 Download Festival poster
(Image credit: Live Nation)

Download 2023 has officially unveiled its first lineup announcement for its first ever four-day event, which will take place June 8-11, 2023 in its legendary home at Donington Park as it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the festival.

For the first time in history in the UK, Metallica will headline two separate nights, playing a unique set with no song repeats on the Thursday and Saturday of the festival. Also headlining this year's event are Bring Me The Horizon, making their first ever Download headline appearance on the Friday night, and Slipknot, who will headline Sunday.

Other major names announced for Download 2023 are (in alphabetical order): Alexisonfire, Architects, The Distillers, Disturbed, Evanescence, Ghost, I Prevail, Parkway Drive, Pendulum, Placebo, Simple Plan, Ville Valo and Within Tempation.

Want more? also added to next year's lineup are (in alphabetical order): As December Falls, Asking Alexandria, Aviva, Bambie Thug, Beauty School Dropout, Behemoth, Blackgold, The Blackout, Blind Channel, Bloodywood, Brutus, Crashface, Crawlers, Dead Sara, Elvana, Enola Gay, Fever 333, Fixation, Kid Bookie, Kid Papichi, Lake Malice, Lorna Shore, The Meffs, Mod Sun, Monuments, Motionless In White, Municipal Waste, Nothing, Nowhere, Nova Twins, Polaris, Pupil Slicer, Seether, Set It Off, Sim, Soen, Soul Glo, Stand Atlantic, Stray From The Path, Taylor Acorn, Terror, Three Days Grace, Touché Amoré and Witch Fever.

“We are next-level honoured to once again come back and partake in the Download shenanigans on the hallowed grounds of Castle Donington, which has an unparalleled place in rock history," say Metallica in a statement. "On top of that, to be able to share our double show format with two completely unique sets with no repeat songs for the first time ever in the U.K is way fuckin’ cool. Bring it on!”

“Download Festival was one of the first festivals I ever attended as a punter," says Bring Me The Horizon's Oli Sykes. "It was our first amazing festival experience to play as a band, and now the fact that we are headlining such a prestigious event blows my mind. We can’t wait to bring a whole new sound and show for the Download audience.”

“Download Festival!" beams Slipknot's Sid Wilson. "So many great memories, one of the most amazing crowds to play in front of, always an honour to share the bill with so many amazing bands, and of course, I’ll never miss the opportunity to play my homeland.”

General tickets are onsale at 10am on Thursday 10 November at www.downloadfestival.co.uk (opens in new tab).

Download Festival 2023 poster

(Image credit: Live Nation)
Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.