Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson helps Heavy Metal Truants raise over £1 million for charity

Rod Smallwood, Bruce Dickinson and Alex Milas hit the road (Image credit: John McMurtrie)

Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson and over 250 Heavy Metal Truants worldwide have cycled, run and walked over 37,917 miles - a distance equivalent to the circumference of the earth - in just 12 days to help bring their long-term total of funds raised for children’s charities to over £1 million.

Founded in 2012 by Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood and ex-Metal Hammer editor-in-chief Alexander Milas, the Heavy Metal Truants have brought together fans, musicians and entertainment executives for an annual fund-raising cycle ride from London to Donington to coincide with the Download Festival. Funds raised benefit four charities, Save The Children, Nordoff Robbins, Childline/NSPCC and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Traditionally a 175-mile ride with an average of 40 participants, 2020 became the first virtual cycle ride due to the Covid pandemic, with riders clocking up their miles on local roads and cycling machines. This new format enabled many more cyclists from around the globe to join in and for 2021’s event, the ninth Heavy Metal Truants adventure, more than 260 participants – including Maiden frontman Dickinson, along with walkers and runners for the first time – joined forces in the same fashion.

The Truants have now been named as the official charity partner for the Download Pilot festival.

HMT co-founder, and Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood says, “Download's support for the Heavy Metal Truants from day one has been absolutely terrific and much appreciated. It's especially important now given how hard these charities have been hit by the pandemic, we sincerely thank Andy and Melvyn for their incredible support. It's all about the kids and these four amazing charities after all - that's why we do it!"
Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn says: “We’re delighted to be able to support the Heavy Metal Truants as the official charity partner of the Download Pilot. It’s a very special event and a very special milestone for the Truants as they’ve hit over a million pounds raised for these four incredible charities”
Live Nation and Download organiser Andy Copping adds: “It’s always an honour to be able to support the Heavy Metal Truants. Cycling the equivalent of the whole way around the earth in twelve days? That’s an incredible achievement. We couldn’t be prouder to be partners with them.”
“The Heavy Metal Truants are a tremendous expression of our musical community,” says Alex Milas. “So many people - fans, artists, and indeed industry - have joined us or supported us over the years so hats, or indeed cycling helmets off to them. A million pounds isn't the finish line for us - we are just getting started so watch this space!”

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