Download Festival to expand to four days for 20th anniversary edition

Organisers previously told NME that next year's headliners are already booked

Britain’s biggest heavy metal festival Download is set to become even bigger, with organisers announcing today that next year’s edition will stretch over four days for the first time.

Next year’s event will take place from June 8 to June 11 2023 at its regular Donnington Park home. The expansion will coincide with its 20th anniversary celebrations.

The festival’s 2022 edition wrapped up yesterday (June 12). It featured headline sets from Kiss, Biffy Clyro and Iron Maiden. Due to the coronavirus pandemic it was the first full-scale Download in three years, with last year seeing a smaller-scale ‘pilot’ event.

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Speaking to NME in April, the festival’s booker Andy Copping said that next year’s headliners have already been booked. “It’s the first time I’ve booked all the headliners in advance ahead of the prior year’s event. That news will come out not too long after this year’s festival, hopefully,” he said.

“We’re way, way down the line – because next year is essentially our 20th year so we wanted to do something a little bit special. All I can say is that it will be very, very exciting.”

In a three-star review of this year’s edition, NME praised a new generation of heavier acts, but found fault with the headliners: “The likes of Sleep Token and Wargasm show the scene’s in rude health. As for the dinosaurs taking up the main stage: Kiss off!”

Meanwhile, a runway at East Midlands airport was closed and flights diverted on Friday due to a fan filming Download with a drone.

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