Download organiser: ‘Slipknot have promised me they’ve got some surprises planned’

Festival organiser Andy Copping says that Slipknot's headline set is going to be 'very spectacular'

Download Festival organiser Andy Copping has revealed that Slipknot have promised “some surprises” for their headline set this weekend.

The Iowa metallers headline the festival’s Main Stage on Friday (June 14) and will be making their second appearance as bill-toppers, having previously headlined in 2009.

Slipknot’s most recent album ‘All Hope Is Gone’ came out in 2008, before the death of their bassist Paul Gray, and the band have released no new material since then. They’ve consistently said in interviews that they’ll only return to the studio when the time is right.

Speaking to NME, Copping said that he’d been in constant dialogue with the band about their set. “The band have promised me they’ve got some surprises up their sleeve, they’ve told me that,” he teased. “Their show is going to be very spectacular, with so much pyro. It’ll be all the hits too.”

Download in 2009 marked Slipknot’s first appearance as major festival headliners and Copping said he felt vindicated by his decision to book them back then. He recalled: “I took a chance on them, people were unsure, but they were everybody’s band of the weekend and that set has gone down in Download folklore. You can’t take your eyes off them when they’re onstage, it’ll be exactly the same at Download this weekend.”

Copping also spoke about his decision to book German industrial metallers Rammstein – a band he’s apparently “been after for years”. Asked if he was pleased to have secured the Germans, Copping replied: “Absolutely. They’ve never played Download before and I think everyone knows that I’ve been after them for years. Most people at the festival will love them, but I don’t even think you need to like the band to enjoy seeing them live because the show is so spectacular – it’s like nothing you’e ever seen. It’s like Cirque du Soleil on acid, it’s a religious experience and there’s so much fire.”

The organiser also said he was very happy to have secured Iron Maiden, a booking he described as “total common sense”. Asked why he chose to book Bruce Dickinson and co, he said: “I’ve actually had them booked for well over a year, since well before Download 2012. They first played Donington 25 years ago, and they’re doing the same set, which is called the ‘Maiden England’ tour, so it was just total common sense to get them. They always deliver, they always play the hits, they’ve got so many loyal fans and they’re as big and as strong as they’ve ever been.”

Download Festival takes place this weekend (June 14-16) and will see Slipknot, Rammstein and Iron Maiden play headline sets, with support from 30 Seconds To Mars, Queens Of The Stone Age, Motorhead, Enter Shikari, A Day To Remember and Bullet For My Valentine.