Andy Copping comments about the lack of bands at the opening date of Download

Andy Copping joined Metal Hammer for their regular podcast and answered the question a lot of festival goers are asking “why the lack of bands on the main stage?”.

The following is from Metal Hammer:

Andy Copping: “The Friday is still a festival day. I’m hearing people talking about the whole three bands thing at the moment and here’s the reality; there’s many different ways of looking at this. Initially I was looking at (and this is down to band availability) Them Crooked Vultures headlining the Friday. It was well documented and I took a lot of beating for that and this was before we announced anything and then I got AC/DC.”

“AC/DC, the biggest rock band in the world, are going to be bringing a huge amount of production. This AC/DC back in Donington Park! There are certain concessions that we’ve had to make that I’ve made a judgement on and I believe it’s the right thing to do.”

“Do we want to have a full-on AC/DC show, headlining Download with all of the bells and whistles that may mean that we have to open later on the Friday because we’ve got to make sure that the production’s in and working and everything else with less bands than what people have expected and what they’ve had in the past on that Friday, I have to say yes. I’ve taken that judgement.”

“We’re still not 100% finalised on what we’re doing on the Friday, we’re working that out. I’m at a meeting on Bank Holiday Monday (May 3rd) with AC/DC’s production manager at Donington Park and we’re going to go through everything and we will make a final decision on what we’re going to do.”

Hammer: In an ideal world, you’d like more bands on the main stage on Friday?

AC: “Of course, in an ideal world, but there are certain concessions that we have to make. We made the decision to go with AC/DC, I personally think that having AC/DC as a headliner and losing 3 or 4 bands on the main stage to get them was the right call to do. Otherwise, we’d go with Them Crooked Vultures and 7 or 8 bands (on the main stage). With the greatest respects to Them Crooked Vultures, and I love them and they will be great playing as very special guests to AC/DC, but the reality is that this is what we’ve got and I’m having to deal with it.

“I don’t think it’s going to take anything away from the whole festival experience. This is AC/DC at Donington! If we’ve had to make a bit of a concession to make that work, that’s the decision we’ve made. I don’t accept that it’s a 2 day festival with an AC/DC show bolted onto it. There’s going to be five stages operating! People are going to say “but you’re closing all of the stages when AC/DC go on” and we say “because nobody wants to play up against AC/DC!” Who fucking would?! Nobody would be watching you!

“That is the reality. Nobody wanted to go up against AC/DC and in the past, we’ve closed the other stages before the headline acts. It’s happened on previous Download’s before and it’s happening on the AC/DC day. That isn’t what AC/DC are asking for, that’s other bands going “please don’t put us up against AC/DC”.


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