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Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson hails the ‘rebellious, anarchic’ vibe of Donington’s first Monsters Of Rock festival

Bruce D
(Image credit: Download Festival YouTube)

Iron Maiden will make their seventh headline appearance at Donington Park when they top the bill at the Download festival on June 11, 2022, but frontman Bruce Dickinson has a relationship with the spiritual home of metal which extends right back to the summer of 1980, when Rainbow, Judas Priest, Scorpions and Saxon were among the star turns at the very first hard rock festival held on the site. 

“I went as a punter when it was called Monsters Of Rock, I went to the first one,” Dickinson reveals to presenter Kylie Olsson during his Download Reloaded interview.  “It was good fun, it felt quite pioneering back in those days. It was quite rebellious… it was brilliant, a good, anarchic atmosphere.” 

Asked by Olsson if he’s looking forward to returning to Donington to headline Download in 2022, Dickinson replied, “Oh God, yeah, absolutely.”

“Obviously I know more than you do about the other things that are going to be going on in the space between now and then,” Dickinson teases. “I confidently predict that it’s going to be… anticipated, for a lot of reasons. A whole lot of other things are going to happen which I think people are going to be dead chuffed about.”

During the interview, Dickinson also confirms that he’s working with screenwriter/director Sacha Gervasi on a movie script centred around his historic gig in Sarajevo in 1994 at the height of the Bosnian War with Skunkworks.

“I’ve been chatting to one or two quite well known Hollywood scriptwriters,” he reveals. “It’s not going to be about us as a band, we are the catalyst that makes a whole load of other things that happen in the film… and the grand coming together is the concert. The narrative of it works really well.”

You can watch the full interview with Dickinson below.