Five of The Best Acts at Download festival 2017

Ahead of a monster weekend of music between Friday 9th June - Sunday 11th June, we've selected the acts who are out to steal the show at this year's Download Festival.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 2nd Jun 2017.
Originally published: 25th May 2017

Image: Download Festival

Arguably the most hard rocking event in the festival calendar, Download exhibits serious thunder year on year, with some of the biggest names in music gracing its main stage. The Donington Park event celebrates the finest in metal and hard rock, with headbanging and excessive displays of air guitar an unavoidable side effect of being there. 

With a Download Festival line up that once again delivers rock icons by the bucket load, as well as heaps and heaps of up and coming artists, there is plenty of to choose from if you find yourself meandering around Download's multiple stages. If you're struggling to plot your weekend, we're on hand to offer advice on which five acts we think you can't afford to miss.


Find Aerosmith tickets 

Fronted by the mercurial Steven Tyler, Aerosmith have been churning out hard rock anthems since the 1970s and have always dovetailed their releases with wildly excessive live shows, along with the sort of rock'n'roll squabbles that you'd expect from such a hedonistic outfit.

The group last topped the bill at Download back in 2014, an event immortalised by Sky Arts, and if that footage is anything to go by, the band are still a rock and roll tour de force with a catalogue of huge hits at their fingertips.

Henry Lewis


Find AFI tickets

Hailing from California in 1991, AFI (A Fire Inside) bring their genre-spanning post-hardcore sound to the main stage on Saturday.

A staple of every self-respecting emo kid's minidisc collection, 2003 album Sing the Sorrow was AFI's first major commercial success, with their 10th studio album, The Blood Album, released in January this year. AFI play Download following a successful run of Deftones support slots earlier this month.

Amelia Ward

Machine Gun Kelly

Find Machine Gun kelly tickets

The Cleveland rapper found himself on a rapid ascent to success in the early part of the decade, earning plaudits for his lightning fast delivery and dropped his debut record in 2012. Last year he toured as support for rap rock enthusiasts Linkin Park, meaning his slot at Download will see him in familiar territory. With latest record Bloom in his armoury, expect the rapper to be firing lyrical bullets as he hits the stage on Friday.

Jimmy Coultas


Find BlackWaters tickets

The indie punk four piece from Guildford are a live outfit to be seriously reckoned with, having cut their teeth via a heap of This Feeling shows and high profile support slots for the Amazons and Carl Barat and the Jackals.

They join the Download line up with a slot at the Dogtooth stage on the Saturday of the festival, promising to exhibit their raucous racket with a ferocity they're renowned for. Latest single 'Fuck Yeah' is a shining example of what the band can produce and begs to be hollered by a frenzied festival crowd.


The King Blues

Find The King Blues tickets

Politically driven 'rebel music' makers, The King Blues, have a history of making a stand; their last UK tour in 2016 doubled as a food drive, where they handed all donations to local soup kitchens.

With the band taking to the Avalanche Stage on the Sunday of Download 2017, festival goers can expect an energetic blend of punk and hip-hop, with influence drawn from the likes of Public Enemy and The Clash. 


See the full Download Festival 2017 line up.

Festivals 2018