Rammstein, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden have been announced as 2016's main stage headline acts for Download Festival.
2014's festival saw first-time headliners Avenged Sevenfold tear up the main stage on Friday with their first ever UK festival headline slot, whilst 2015's festival saw Muse conquer the main stage on Saturday for their first ever Download performance.
This year sees three returning headliners front the festival in the form of Friday's Rammstein (their last headline in 2013), Saturday's Black Sabbath (1992 MoR, 1994 MoR, 2005, 2012) and Sunday's Iron Maiden (1988 MoR, 1992 MoR, 1996 MoR, 2003, 2007, 2013).
With Black Sabbath declaring Download 2016 will be their final Donington appearance, and Iron Maiden headlining Donington for the 7th time, it begs the question... Are we suffering from a serious lack of headlining material for alternative music festivals?
I saw Black Sabbath in 2012 at Download on the Sunday and in all honesty, aside from my general grouchy mood from being covered in shit the entire weekend from the rain, their performance was not the best. We have all known that Ozzy has not been at his best for years and that Iommi was recovering from cancer - but was their backing track-esque performance really worthy of a major headline slot at the UK's biggest rock festival?
Similarly, Iron Maiden's performance at Donington the following year certainly left something to be desired. The highlight of their set for me was their opener, "Aces High," which commenced with a WW2 Spitfire flying over the main stage to open up their set. In terms of their performance, the music was dire. The sound quality was poor and as a band, they were sloppy. Bruce gives every show his all and you can really tell this with their performance, but from a musical perspective - is it really up to standard for a festival of 80,000 people with admission prices of £200?
Naturally, bands such as Aerosmith, AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden that have headlined in recent years (and will no doubt headline in future years, too) have truly earned their status as rock and roll "big hitters" with festivals. As pioneers of the genre, their position is cemented and their bands will go down in history.
However, is it not time that fresh headliners are given a chance to prove themselves on the big stage?
With all three of this year's headliners already headlining Donington in the past 3 years, I can't help feeling that the festival is becoming a little repetitive.
Rammstein bring an energetic and exciting set to the festival, and their slot on Friday has been well and truly earned. The case is the same for bands such as Slipknot, who have headlined several times over the years and bring a set fit for a fresh, lively Friday night opener at a festival.
We're seeing a very saturated industry for rock music at the moment, but aside from just a handful of big bands, the question, really, is how many bands will there be left to front such a huge festival once rock and roll royalty of the past generation hang up their boots?
In my opinion, it's time to give more modern bands a chance at taking on headline slots at festivals.
As mentioned before, 2014 saw Avenged Sevenfold take on Download as the main stage headliner for the very first time, attracting a whole new crowd to Donington and taking them a step further with their career. They coined Download 2014 as a major step forwards in their career, after appearing at the festival lower down the bill on other occasions. In general, reviews for their performance were very positive. They took to the stage with confidence and made it their own. They brought something different to a festival that it had not seen in years- a band wanting to prove a point.
Don't get me wrong - I love my classic rock. But I believe, for festivals at least, older bands have had their day. Newer bands should be given a chance to enhance their career and take their music to the next level with bigger slots at festivals.
I am looking forward to seeing Rammstein return, but I believe that headliners should not be recycled so quickly. Less is more. I'd rather a band make one historic appearance over 20 years than several monotonous appearances over the same amount of time.
Who do you think deserves a headline slot at Download 2016, and why? Post your comments below.