Better bust out those wellies and sunnies; Download Festival is nearly upon us. The biggest alternative music festival on the planet and the second biggest festival in the UK, the gates to the hallowed grounds/swamps of the festival are set to upon on the 12th of June, inviting in tens of thousands of rabid alternative fans from across the globe. With this year’s edition of the festival boasting artists such as Slipknot, Tool, Slayer, Enter Shikari, The Smashing Pumpkins and countless others there’s plenty of fantastic talent to get your teeth into this year. However, there’s plenty of young talent more than deserving of your time. What that in mind we present to you our top picks for Download 2019.
Opening a stage at any festival is always a daunting experience, let alone opening a stage at a festival that’s always had a turbulent relationship with the genre you represent. However, if there’s any band capable of brining the urbanite sounds of the grime scene to the populace of Donington its the London lads in Pengshui. Blending the murky aesthetic of capital grime with the confrontational and reckless nature of trash and punk, Pengshui have proved their worth to those cynical countless times. The group are indeed a rare breed, one of the few select bands that bridge the gap between two unique and contrastive scenes. Authentic and fantastic, if you’re still skeptical of the power of grime infused punk, get yourself down to this set.
When, Where? Friday – Avalanche Stage
If you where to ask anyone about the best thing about festivals, it’s likely one of the first things they would say is the inclusive environment and atmosphere. A unique, welcoming safe space, where punters can truly show who they are. However, one band that rightfully urges people to never shy away from their true identities is Queen Zee. A prominent force within the alternative LGBT+ scene, the Merseyside queens have been a vital rallying point for many within the national scene for many years, with the group being common staples at Pride events up and down the nation. This summer sees the quintet parade into Donington for what is set to be a set of show of flamboyant hedonism The group established their mission statement in February of this year with their incredible self titled long play, and going from previous sets, this is going to be joyous and riotous celebration of individualism.
When, Where? Saturday - Dogtooth Stage
Given that Download has proven to be colossal and inclusive celebration of the alternative scene as a whole, there’s always been a number of contemporary post and math rock bands representing the genre at the event. Backing the corner of all things technical, mathematical and polyrhythmic this year are the fantastic Intervals. The stage name of one Aaron Marshall, Intervals reject the stoicism and aloofness commonly, yet baselessly associated the instrumental tech metal. In contrast, Intervals provide translucent and vibrant soundscapes that radiate a sense of fluidity and childlike wonder, with his sweeping sonic landscapes sounding universally inviting yet proving to be technical marvels. If you’re yet to be inducted to the wonders of the genre, Intervals performance is set to be the ideal christening.
When, Where? Saturday - Dogtooth Stage
If there’s any band that embodies the joyous aesthetic and ideology of Download Festival it’s Allusinlove. Despite forming within the past decade, the Yorkshire dynamos are undeniably the product of the glam and classic rock generation, radiating a sense of bombastic urgency and swagger with their post-modern swaggering take on alt-rock. Yet despite this, Allusinlove challenge the sense of aggression and fraudulent hostility within the genre, with the group utilising their take on the genre to spread individuality and love rather than antagonism. Their set at Download will follow the release of their debut full length It’s Okay To Talk, which is released Friday the 7th of June. With the group prepared to raise hedonistic hell under the tarp of the Avalanche stage on Saturday, Allusinlove are one of the few select bands present who harness the prowess to bridge the gap between the ages and demographics will who will be attending this year.
When, Where? Sunday - Avalanche Stage
Forming in the past several years, to say Hot Milk are making waves would be a significant understatement. Since releasing their debut EP Are You Feeling Alive earlier this year, the Manchester emo pop powerhouse have been plunged into the deep end of the industry, with the group having already performed to colossal crowds at Slam Dunk Festival this year. However, the towering performances at Slam Dunk only just kickstarted the group’s summer endeavours. This summer will see the pop heroes performing at Wasteland Festival, Truck Festival and Reading & Leeds alongside Download. If you need any further proof of this band’s harboured excellence, the group have been handpicked to support Foo Fighters on their handful of UK dates later this summer. Yes, it may be easy to state that a band is ultimately set to be colossal, but it’s transparent that Hot Milk are destined to be future juggernauts of the scene. Get yourself down to their set for those exclusive ‘I saw them first’ bragging rights.
When, Where? Saturday - Avalanche Stage