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Download Festival – Metal, Mud and Mayhem

  • Iron Maiden were the first band to headline Download festival - playing to 45,000 rabid fans in May 2003. They played on the Saturday night of the event, which was then only two days long. The rockers were supposed to headline alongside Limp Bizkit, but after Fred Durst and his crew pulled out Audioslave stepped in. Their set included songs such as 'Gasoline', 'Like A Stone' and a cover of The Clash's 'White Riot'. Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • After Limp Bizkit pulled out of their headline slot back in 2003, Metallica tried to take the Main Stage place, but due to the fact that they were already headlining Reading and Leeds that year, were unable to do so. Instead James Hetfield and the band played a secret, unannounced slot on the Scuzz Stage. Their lively set included 'Blackened', 'Creeping Death', and 'Master of Puppets'. Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • In 2004 a third stage was added, and 72 bands played the festival (up on 53 the previous year). Slayer were due to play the Main Stage on the Sunday and arrived on time - however, their equipment did not, which meant that heavy metallers Damageplan had to fill in for them. Sadly, in December 2004, while performing with Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa in Ohio, guitarist Dimebag Darrell was murdered onstage by a former US Marine named Nathan Gale. He was shot five times in the back of the head, killing him instantly. Pic: Rex Features

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • Metallica's Sunday night headline slot in June 2004 was not without its hitches when drummer Lars Ulrich was rushed to hospital. Taking to the stage an hour-and-a-half late, James Hetfield explained the situation and the show began with Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo playing on 'Battery' and 'The Four Horsemen'. Slipknot's Joey Jordison played the rest of the set apart from 'Fade To Black', which was played by Metallica's drum technician, Flemming Larsen. They closed the set with classic single 'Enter Sandman'. Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • System of A Down celebrated their 10-year anniversary by closing the festival on Sunday night back in 2005. The band played memorable hits including 'Cigaro' and 'Chop Suey'. In May 2006 the band announced they were going on hiatus, with frontman Serj Tankian releasing his debut solo album, 'Elect The Dead', in 2007. Bassist Shavarsh Odadjian will also be releasing an album with his side project Achozen in early 2010. Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • Numbers swelled significantly in the crowd when Black Sabbath played their highly-anticipated headline set on the Main Stage in 2005. The band played 'War Pigs' and 'Dirty Woman' before closing the 11-song set with 'Paranoid'. To date, this was Sabbath's last ever UK show. Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • Trivium made their Download debut when they opened the Main Stage in 2005. This year marks the return of the Floridian metal outfit. Their Download appearance this year is part of an on-going worldwide tour, which ends in Texas on August 15. Pic: Rex Features

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • Guns N' Roses' 2006 set at the metal fest was a mix of highs and lows. The band came on over an hour late, despite organisers laying on a private helicopter for Axl Rose. The lead singer threatened to stop the show when a stray bottle from the crowd caused him to slip onstage. After the initial tantrum, Axl commented: "I'm actually having quite a good time now. I couldn't have said that an hour ago." Pic: Phil Wallis

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • Back in 2006 The Prodigy headlined the Snickers stage. The Essex boys return this year to headline the second stage, and are thrilled to be back. "We’re buzzing to be back at Download," said the band, "and we’ll make sure it kicks off as much as the last show we played there three years ago, can't wait!" After Download the band will go on to play RockNess, Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds as part of a huge tour that ends in August. Pic: Dean Chalkley

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    Added: 23 Mar 2009

  • Korn hit the Main Stage in 2006 minus a frontman. Lead singer Jonathan Davis had contracted a rare blood disease and had to be hospitalised. He was then replaced by members of Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold and Trivium. Korn return this year to play the Main Stage today (June 12). Pic: Getty

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • In 2007 My Chemical Romance bravely walked out onto the Main Stage to be hit by a wall of piss and bottles. The band soldiered on though, and frontman Gerard Way even joked: "It's great to be back in the UK." Rumour has it that a few devoted fans filled the front rows to take the brunt of the missiles intended for their heroes. Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • Motley Crue stormed the Dimebag Darrell stage in 2007. Their headline slot saw drummer Tommy Lee offering the front row a shot, and asking it to be passed around the entire tent. They are back this year to headline the second stage today (June 12). Pic: Getty

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • Welsh rockers Lostprophets closed proceedings in 2008 with an eye-catching stage show. Not wanting to be outshone by Kiss, the band filled their Sunday headline slot with flamethrowers, strobe lights and fireworks, much to the crowd's delight. Pic: Retna

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • Pendulum played the Turborg Stage last year on the Saturday, June 14 before Ash and headliners HIM. The Australian drum 'n' bass outfit return this year to play the Main Stage on Saturday before Marilyn Manson and Slipknot (June 13). This will be the second time they have played the event, they will then go on to play Glastonbury and T In The Park. Pic: RetnaUK

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    Added: 11 Jun 2009

  • After famously calling it a day in April 1998, Faith No More will headline Download Festival at Donington Park today (June 12), the opening day of the festival. The band played the O2 Academy Brixton in London earlier this week (June 10), treating fans to a pre-Download two-hour show, including both classic hits and more obscure material from the band's back catalogue.

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    Added: 24 Mar 2009

  • Anvil are set to headline the Tuborg Stage this year on Saturday (June 13) after The Architects. The heavy metal gods have recently documented their band's long history in the film 'Anvil! The Story of Anvil'. They come back to Donington Park after an incredible 27-year gap, having last performed at 1982’s Monsters of Rock Festival.
    Pic: Danny North

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    Added: 12 Jun 2009

  • Iowa metallers Slipknot will play Download for the third time this year when they headline the Main Stage on Saturday (June 13). Singer Corey Taylor said: “We're so stoked to be coming back. It's been too long - Download is another home for us. I'm looking forward to total destruction. Headlining this festival is a dream come true!”

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    Added: 09 Jul 2009