Ten Bands You Should Check Out At Download Festival 2024

Can you believe it’s this time of the year again? The biggest alternative rock and metal festival in the country is back, and as of the time of writing, Download Festival 2024 is looking like it might sell out (Sunday already has).

Taking place at the hallowed grounds of Donnington Park from Friday 14th of June to Sunday 16th of June. Download Festival 2024 will showcase an immense number of bands playing across four stages over the three main days of the festival. Featuring the likes of The Offspring, Limp Bizkit, Busted, Black Stone Cherry, Sum 41’s final UK festival appearance, Pantera in their first UK appearance in 20 years, Machine Head, Heilung, Biohazard, Funeral for a Friend, Electric Callboy, Babymetal, and many more. With Queens of the Stone Age headlining Friday, Fall Out Boy on Saturday, and Avenged Sevenfold headlining on Sunday.

So many bands, and so little time. Who will you see? Let us help. Here are ten bands that we think you should check out at Download Festival 2024.

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Starting with the Friday of the festival and sticking to the Dogtooth Stage, there are three bands playing that we think you should check out. First up, it’s Defects.

The modern metal band are on the form of their lives right now. Releasing their stunning debut album, ‘Modern Error’ in May, and delivering heart-wrenching and ferocious live shows to celebrate that release. They’re a band made for a festival like Download, accessible and relatable, but also capable of causing carnage in the pits. At their current trajectory, you can expect to see Defects at Download many more times in the future, but on much bigger stages.

Time on stage can be quite limiting at Download, and that does mean the full Urne experience isn’t going be had, but you still don’t want to miss them because what time they do get, they will make count. All you need to hear is a couple of songs from their latest phenomenal piece of work, ‘A Feast On Sorrow’, and you will come away stunned. Having seen them play many times already, they never disappoint and spots like this have been well and truly earned.

Lastly, for Friday, we recommend you go see the mighty Ithaca. The last time we saw them play, they performed their latest album, ‘They Fear Us’ in full, and it was one of the best shows of 2023. As good as the songs from that album are on record, live, they take on a new life. It helps that they’re such a tight and watchable band too. This might be one of the ‘were you there’ moments of the entire weekend.

Over to Saturday now, and hopefully you’re not too hungover to get your pitting shoes on as we’re sticking with the Dogtooth Stage where cosmic death metal band Celestial Sanctuary will perform. If you think you like heavy music but haven’t seen Celestial Sanctuary play live, this is the time to correct that. Their latest album, ‘Insatiable Thirst for Torment’, is such a banger and their set promises to be one of the most chaotic of the weekend.

If you enjoy that, then maybe you’ll also enjoy a bit of ‘two-stepping’ action as hardcore reprobates Guilt Trip are playing the Dogtooth Stage too. Not for the faint-hearted and if you don’t want to get your head taken off by a spin-kick, stay away from the pit.

Chances are, if you’ve followed our recommendations, you might need to calm things down for a bit. Happily, over on the Avalanche Stage, alternative grunge rock band, Lowlives are performing. Their debut album, ‘Freaking Out’, only just came out, so they have a bevy of tunes to get your body moving.

A nice break from all the heavy that we’ve been recommending so far and a chance for you to reserve some energy for our last choice of the Saturday, Heriot. Who will wreck the Opus Stage with their immense brand of heaviness. It’s going to be packed when they play, especially as the band are building towards their debut album release and recently dropped the first single, ‘Foul Void’. Packed, because Heriot are special and that is being recognised far and wide. Expect to be floored.

Pick yourself back up though, you have another full day of the festival to experience and we have three more bands to suggest you see.

Over on the Opus stage, New Zealand metallers Alien Weaponry are in the house! Still riding the wave created by their 2021 album, ‘Tangaroa’ (after all, it was a bloody big wave), they’re one of the most exciting bands in the world. See them live and be prepared to be amazed.

Over to the Dogtooth Stage again, and this time it’s for something we’ve not recommended yet… thrash! Well, crossover thrash, but still freaking thrash! It’s Pest Control and hopefully you’re not head-banged out as you’re going to want some energy for this killer band.

As the sun sets (maybe) and the reality that the festival is coming to an end sinks in, we suggest you throw your all into the last bands you see. One of which should be on the Dogtooth Stage (a bit of a theme with this stage, no?) as progressive metalcore heavyweights Erra have one of the last slots of the day. Their latest album, ‘Cure’, only came out in April, so they have tons of fresh material to showcase, but whatever they play, it’s going to powerful and maybe even a bit emotional.

So, there you have it. Our ten recommendations. Ten bands we urge you to check out at Download Festival 2024. Regardless of what you do or who you see, we hope you have a fantastic time.


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!