When is Download Festival 2023? Dates for Donington Park music event and are tickets still available?

Over 60 bands and artists will perform at this year's milestone rock and metal music festival

The UK’s biggest rock and metal music festival will return for the biggest event in its history this year, and the organisers have announced that it is a sell-out. Download Festival will mark its 20 year anniversary in June 2023, and to celebrate the festival is being extended from three days to four days.

On Friday 5 May, organisers took to the official Download Festival Twitter page to reveal that the event has sold out, one month before it takes place. Thanking fans for their support, the people behind the music extravaganza also wrote: "Downloaders, thanks for making the 20th anniversary the biggest ever". In addition to the sell-out, there has also been one line-up change with Bad Religion now set to perform in place of The Distillers, who have had to withdraw.

So, when will Download Festival 2023 be held, who are all of the performers and what is the history of the event? Here’s everything you need to know.

When will Download Festival 2023 be?

Download Festival will be held over four days for the first time in 2023 to celebrate its 20th anniversary. It will be held between Thursday 8 June and Sunday 11 June.

What is the Download Festival 2023 lineup?

Bring Me The Horizon and Slipknot will be performing in the headline slot on the Friday and Sunday of the festival respectively, while Metallica are playing two unique sets, with no songs repeated, as headliners on Thursday and Saturday.

Metallica said: “We are next-level honoured to once again come back and partake in the Download shenanigans on the hallowed grounds of Castle Donington, which has an unparalleled place in rock history. On top of that, to be able to share our double show format with two completely unique sets with no repeat songs for the first time ever in the UK is way cool. Bring it on.”

Download Festival will be held over four days for the first time in 2023 to celebrate its 20th anniversary.Download Festival will be held over four days for the first time in 2023 to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Download Festival will be held over four days for the first time in 2023 to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Bring Me frontman Oli Sykes said: “Download Festival was one of the first festivals I ever attended as a punter. It was our first amazing festival experience to play as a band, and now the fact that we are headlining such a prestigious event blows my mind. We can’t wait to bring a whole new sound and show for the Download audience.”

Slipknot’s Sid Wilson said: “So many great memories, one of the most amazing crowds to play in front of, always an honour to share the bill with so many amazing bands, and of course, I’ll never miss the opportunity to play my homeland.”

Music fans will also be treated to be talents of of Evanescence, Parkway Drive, Disturbed, Pendulum, Architects, Ghost, Placebo, Alexisonfire, Asking Alexandria, Motionless In White, I Prevail, FEVER 333, Stray From The Path, Lorna Shore, Nova Twins, Within Temptation and the recently reunited The Blackout, and more. For more information on the full line-up, you can visit the Download Festival website.

Where will Download Festival 2023 be held?

Download Festival 2023 will be held at Donnington Park, Leicestershire, Derby. The festival has been held at the same location every year since it first began.

Can I get tickets to Download Festival 2023?

Unfortunately, tickets to Download Festival 2023 are now all sold out, as announced by the event organisers on Twitter. To be among the first to hear about Download 2024, you can sign up to the Download Festival newsletter.

What is the history of Download Festival?

Download Festival was first launched in 2003, and back then it was held over two days. By 2005, it had been increased to a three day festival. Performers have included some of the biggest names in the world of rock, indie and metal music, including Iron Maiden who have been a headline act for numerous years. Other bands who have performed at the festival include Feeder, Black Sabbath, System of a Down, Marilyn Manson, Audio Slave, Linkin Park, Metallica, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses.

Where does the name Download come from?

The name Download was chosen for the festival for two reasons. Downloading music from the internet was viewed negatively in the music industry at the time of the festival’s launch due to file sharing. Rock music is also seen as a rebellious genre of music, and the organisers wanted to use the internet to provide connectivity with its audience.