The metal legends will headline the festival on June 15 this summer. It will be their third time headlining Download Festival and their fifth time headlining a major festival at Donington Park.
The performance comes exactly 25 years after the band first headlined an event at Donington Park, after they topped the bill at the Monsters Of Rock festival in 1988.
The band will be continuing their ‘Maiden England’ tour that has taken place this summer in the US and Canada and will be playing a setlist comprised almost entirely of songs from their 1980 self-titled album, their 1982 album ‘The Number Of The Beast’, the 1984 LP ‘Powerslave’, 1986’s ‘Somewhere In Time’ and 1988’s ‘Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son’.
Speaking to NME about the slot, singer Bruce Dickinson: “I’m incredibly excited about it. It’s been 25 years since we first did Donington and to go back with this setlist, which is very similar to the one we played then, is a joy. I’ve not seen the rest of the bill yet, but I look forward to finding out.”
Then asked about why they’d decided to continue with the ‘Maiden England’ tour, Dickinson said: “We did the tour this summer in the States and Canada, but this is Donington and we’ll also be announcing some big European dates very soon. We’re playing some very big places and it’s a very big set. The production is going to get bigger and the setlist, although it might change when we get into rehearsal, I can’t see what you’d want to shift, it’s pretty bloody good.”
Then asked why’d they chosen Download, Dickinson added: “It’s the only place in the UK where you can make a proper racket. There might be places in Highlands of Scotland, but at Reading, if the wind blows the wrong you have to go and stand at the other end of the field.”
He continued: “And at Hyde Park if you ruffle a crisp packet you can’t hear the music, it’s all gone a bit PC. But not at Donington, where you can make a suitabily loud racket.”
Dickinson also wouldn’t confirm if this was to be the band’s only UK date of 2013, saying: “Work in progress on that one, don’t know.”
Download Festival will take place from June 14-16 2013 at Donington Park, with tickets going onsale a week on Friday (September 28).
The festival was headlined by Metallica, Black Sabbath and The Prodigy in 2012, with the likes of Chase & Status, You Me At Six, Biffy Clyro, Soundgarden, Machine Head, Rise Against, Slash and Megadeth also performing across the weekend.
See Downloadfestival.com for more information about the festival.
Tickets for Download Festival will go onsale a week on Friday (September 28) at 9am (BST). To check the availability of Download Festival tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.