Download booker Andy Copping on who could headline future festivals

Are the likes of Frank Carter and Ghost up to the challenge?

Download booker Andy Copping has discussed potential future headliners for the festival in a new interview.

The Donnington three-dayer, which was due to take place between June 12-14, was cancelled back in March due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. KissIron Maiden and System Of A Down were set to headline the 2020 edition.

With the next Download Festival now confirmed for June 4-6, 2021, Copping has thrown a number of acts into the ring as possible first-time bill-toppers.


Asked by Kerrang! who he thought could rise to the occasion, he replied: “That’s quite easy. Bring Me The Horizon, Architects, Parkway Drive, Five Finger Death Punch.

Bring Me The Horizon. CREDIT: Getty

Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Twenty One Pilots… We haven’t had Foo Fighters, Blink-182 or Green Day headline Download.”

As for “the new and contemporary acts”, Copping cited Frank Carter as a potential Download headliner. “Just seeing Frank’s rise over the years has been incredible,” he said.

Ghost without question will be a headliner in future years.”

Copping went on to say that a Download Festival headliner in around five years’ time may not even exist yet, “such is the trajectory of acts and the way the business is sometimes.”


However, he explained that rising artists would need the support of “everyone in the industry” in order to reach the top of the poster. “It’s not just festival promoters, it’s yourselves in the media, the labels, and without doubt the fans – you’ve got to get behind these acts,” he said.

Speaking again with the outlet, Copping explained that he believed socially distanced gigs would be “virtually impossible” in the context of rock music.

“Rock gigs are all about everybody getting together – the community, the closeness – and not just the closeness of the fans,” he reasoned, “but the closeness of getting right next to the stage and close to the act. Social distancing is going to be virtually impossible for rock shows.”

Earlier this month, Download hosted a virtual festival over what would have been their 2020 festival weekend. ‘Download TV’ broadcasted 20 hours of classic sets from past events, including Biffy Clyro‘s 2017 headline appearance.