Download festival pays tribute to Slipknot’s Paul Gray, Ronnie James Dio and Stuart Cable

Plus Bullet For My Valentine, Taylor Hawkins and Coheed And Cambria also play metal bash

Download festival paid tribute to recently deceased rockers including Slipknot‘s Paul Gray, Stuart Cable and Ronnie James Dio today (June 11).

A video montage of the stars was shown on the main stage of the metal festival, ahead of AC/DC‘s headline set, with fans being asked to cheer throughout, which they duly did. The message “We shall never forget,” was written on the video screen.

Elsewhere on the Donington Park site today, California post-punkers Funeral Party also paid tribute to Dio during their Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage set. Wearing a Ronnie James Dio shirt, frontman Chad Elliott dedicated a song to the recently deceased metal icon, saying “Come on, he’s dead!” to the crowd when they didn’t cheer enough for his liking.

The band finished their 25 minute set with current single ‘New York City Moves To The Sound Of LA’, with Elliott opening the song by thwacking a cowbell.

Bullet For My Valentine played to a huge audience on the second stage, which has this year been named The Ronnie James Dio stage. After playing ‘4 Words’, the Welsh metal act’s frontman Matt Tuck asked the crowd “‘Where are the fucking real Bullet For My Valentine fans at?” to large cheers.

He then thanked the band’s fans for making their new album ‘Fever’ go top five worldwide. “We love you and we thank you so much,” he added, before playing new song ‘Last Fight’ following it up with the demi-ballad ‘Say Goodnight’.

Earlier in the day, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins brought his solo project Taylor Hawkins And The Coattail Riders to the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage, drawing a sizeable crowd and joking with audience members throughout the short set. Meanwhile, Killswitch Engage drew a massive crowd at the main stage for their afternoon slot. Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz gave numerous shout-outs to the crowd, and stayed onstage after his bandmates to pay tribute the Download audience, promising he’d see them again soon.

New Yorkers Coheed And Cambria opted to air an untitled new track during their set on The Ronnie James Dio Stage, which also included the likes of ‘One’ and ‘The Broken’.

NME is coming live from the Download and Isle Of Wight festivals this weekend. Head to NME.COM/festivals for the latest news, photos, videos, blogs and more straight from both sites.