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Download Festival's Andy Copping reveals the headliners still on his wish list

Van Halen's Dave Lee Roth, Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder © REX/Shutterstock

Download Festival booker Andy Copping has revealed the bands still on his wish list for the rock and metal extravaganza.

Speaking in issue 8 of Planet Rock Magazine, Copping was asked if there’s a dream booking he’s kept chasing but hasn’t managed to secure yet.

He replied: “There’s a few actually: Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Van Halen… we’ve been unbelievably close on all those acts. In fact, Pearl Jam and Van Halen have both confirmed previously, but had to pull out for different reasons.

“And with Foo Fighters, we thought we had them and then Dave (Grohl) broke his leg (from falling off the stage at Gothenburg’s Ullevi Stadium in June 2015).

“If Led Zeppelin ever decide to reform, I’ll definitely be seeking them out!”

Guns N' Roses at Download Festival © Scott Colothan

In fact, Copping insists there’s a plethora of bands who could headline at Donington Park in the coming years.

Asked if he’s concerned about a lack of new headline-worthy acts coming through, he responded: “If I look at potential Download headliners that haven’t played already, there is still quite a number out there: Bon Jovi, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Van Halen and Foo Fighters and that’s before you get to the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Paramore, Bring Me The Horizon, Volbeat, Alter Bridge.

"When you actually dig deep into the well of bands you could choose from, there’s still a lot of options. Even with someone like Black Stone Cherry, who’re playing as special guests to Guns N’ Roses this year, who’s to say that they couldn’t be a potential headliner in three, four or five years? It’s something I’m aware of, but it’s not something I’m worried about.”

Andy Copping and Festival Republic MD, Melvin Benn, with Download Dog © PA Images

Elsewhere in the wide-ranging chat, Copping reflected on the one booking he’s proudest of in Download’s distinguished 15-year history.

“I’d have to say AC/DC in 2010. They hasn’t done a festival in nearly 10 years, and they weren’t looking to play festivals, but I convinced them to play.

“Yes, they brought their own stage, yes, they brought a whole load of demands, but it’s AC/DC, and I would do the same again.

“It was an important part of Download’s growth that we got a band like AC/DC and it was an incredible day: we had over 100,000 people in that year. I feel that was my biggest, most inspired and best booking.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Download Festival 2018 in pictures 

You can read the full interview with Andy Copping in issue 8 of Planet Rock Magazine, which is on sale now.

Planet Rock Magazine issue 8



We‘re proud to welcome The Prince of Darkness, Mr Ozzy Osbourne, to the suitably spectacular golden cover of issue eight of Planet Rock magazine - out now!

Ahead of his first Download festival headline appearance, Ozzy invited Planet Rock aboard his private jet for an exclusive trip to South America as he kicked off his No More Tours 2 campaign in Mexico and Chile, and frankly it would have been rude to refuse! Cue tales of voodoo curses and graveyard visits, an Access All Area look at his killer new stage show and a trip down memory lane to revisit the classic Bark At The Moon and The Ultimate Sin albums.

Elsewhere in the issue, we journey to Texas with UK rock heroes The Darkness and Ramblin’ Man Fair headliners The Cult look back on the making of their classic album, Electric: “There’s nothing worse than diet rock,” guitarist Billy Duffy tells us. “If you’re gonna rock, ROCK!”

We also reunite Whitesnake legends Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody and Neil Murray to celebrate the band’s raw early years, before band leader David Coverdale was seduced by Hollywood and ‘hair metal’…

Former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora is the subject of this issue’s Planet Rock Interview, as he shares the private pain behind those unforgettable feel-good rock anthems. My Planet Rocks sees Scorpions founder Rudolf Schenker laying bare the songs that soundtracked his life, while Glenn Danzig shares his Guide To Life.

We have in-depth reports from the opening night of the UK leg of the Rolling Stones’ No Filter tour, the BritRock Must Be Destroyed! tour and DesertFest. And you’ll also read about Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Ghost, Wishbone Ash, Led Zeppelin, Joe Bonamassa, Howlin Rain, Black Stone Cherry, Buckcherry and much more.

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