Download Festival 2021 Cancelled

  • Axl Rosenberg

In January, the organizers of England’s annual Glastonbury Festival announced the cancellation of the 2021 edition of the event. The next day, the organizers of another long-running annual British festival, Download, reassured would-be attendees that “we’re continuing to work behind the scenes to get ready for Download this summer and hope to have more news for you by March 1st.”

If that seemed to you a bit like painting a house you knew was about to explode, well, hey, guess what? It’s March 1, and –


The fest’s organizers have announced that Download 2021 ain’t happenin’. What you may or may not see as the silver lining is that a combination of headliners booked for the 2020 and 2021 versions of the fest — Kiss, Iron Maiden, and Biffy Clyro — are committed to playing Download 2022 instead. Assuming there is a Download 2022. Which there probably will be, although these days, who knows. By then we’ll all probably be boarding up our houses to protect against leprechauns while Cthulhu begins his first term in the senate.

What was I talking about?

Right: Download.

This will be the third year in a row Kiss have been scheduled to headline the event, and the second year in a row for Biffy Clyro. Kiss would have played Download 2020 alongside Iron Maiden and System of a Down; then when that was cancelled, Kiss and SOAD ported over to DL2021, and now System are out and Iron Maiden are back in.

The band for which this seems sadist is probably Kiss, who’d be broken up and enjoying retirement by now if not for the pandemic. By the time they play Download 2021, Paul Stanley will be 70 and Gene Simmons will be almost 73. Their rider may have to include WD-40 and defibrillators.

The statement from the fest’s organizers is below if you’re interested.

“Following the announcement of the Government’s roadmap and despite the extraordinary efforts the NHS have put in to roll out the vaccine, we can sadly now confirm that Download Festival will no longer be taking place this year, but we have exciting news for 2022.

“We never gave up hope of bringing the festival back to Donington this June and had been working so hard behind the scenes to make that happen, but sadly, we now know it’s not possible. We’re heartbroken for everyone in the Download family, from artists to suppliers and of course our passionate Download fans.

“We’ll be back on June 10th-12th 2022, as strong as ever, with an amazing set of headliners – Kiss, Iron Maiden, and Biffy Clyro.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the NHS for their extraordinary efforts in rolling out the vaccine, as well as thanking all of you for your patience and for keeping the spirit of Download alive until we can be together again.

“You are very welcome to retain your ticket and carry it over to next year. Alternatively, you will be able to receive a refund from your ticket agent. Look out for an e-mail from them very soon and please only contact them if you have not been contacted after 5 days as they are very busy at this time.

“Please read our refund FAQ’s before emailing with any questions – it’s likely you’ll find your answer there!

“Horns up. We’ll see you in 2022.

“Team Download”

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