Iron Maiden confirmed as 2016 Download Festival headliner

The headline slot will be the band's only UK show of 2016

Iron Maiden have been announced as headliners of Donnington’s Download Festival, for what will be their only UK tour date of 2016.

Maiden will headline the Sunday night (June 12), and are the first act to be announced for next year’s festival. The show forms part of the ‘The Book Of Souls’ tour.

Bruce Dickinson has commented on his love of the festival:

“Download is a very special place for us. Not just because it’s always great to play on home turf but because there’s a truly unique vibe there, it’s the very heart of England and of Metal, so a fitting place for Iron Maiden!”

“The crowd is always fiercely passionate and the whole band feeds off that famous Donnington energy. We aim to deliver a really memorable show for our fans to close the 2016 Festival. Although this is our sixth time headlining at Castle Donnington, it’s the first time we’ve been able to land Ed Force One right on the doorstep.”

Below: Iron Maiden headline Download in 2013.

NMEAndy Ford

Dickinson adds:

“We haven’t decided on the set list as yet and won’t until we start rehearsing but we really look forward to playing a number of new songs live, especially as the recording was so much live.”

“However, as it’s been a while since we saw you all, I am sure we will include plenty of older fan favourites too. I think the fans will be delighted by what we have in mind. We are also in the middle of creating the new show and rest assured we are working hard to bring you all something spectacular, something with a lot of heart!!! You certainly deserve it for your patience.”

Iron Maiden scored a UK number one with ‘The Book Of Souls’ last month, selling 60,000 copies in its first week. The album was recorded as Dickinson battled cancer. Around the same time, Dickinson told an interviewer that he had ‘always regretted’ not punching Axl Rose.

The ‘The Book Of Souls’ tour is also set to take the band to China for the first time.

Tickets for Download go on sale on Friday, October 23, with prices ranging from £75 (for a single day ticket) to £205 (for five nights camping).