IRON MAIDEN To Headline DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL

IRON MAIDEN have confirmed they will be headlining the Download Festival at the famous Donington Park on Saturday, May 31. This will be their only appearance in the UK this summer, as part of their Give Me Ed … 'Til I'm Dead World Tour 2003.

The two-day festival features IRON MAIDEN headlining the first of the two nights with special guests, including MARILYN MANSON and DEFTONES. This will be the premier U.K. rock festival of 2003.

IRON MAIDEN have headlined Donington festivals twice previously, back in 1988 and 1992, the former with record-breaking attendances in excess of 100,000 fans. This year's festival will have over 50 of the best and most cutting-edge bands in rock playing across three stages over the two days.

MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson says, "Playing in front of your home crowd is a fantastic way to kick off the Give Me Ed ... 'Til I'm Dead Tour. There are some really strong bands on the bill and I think this will be the festival of the summer for sure. We've known for a few weeks that this was all coming together and I've found it very hard to try and not let anything slip out in case we gave the game away."

"To be playing Donington again means a lot to us as it's remembered as being the true home of metal festivals. To be headlining there again after so long is an indication of the resurgence of the music we all love. It's a very special festival for us as it really does feel like home."

The Give Me Ed … 'Til I'm Dead Tour 2003 has the band headlining not only their own shows but also just about every major festival throughout Europe this summer, before going to the USA later in the year. The first three shows in Scandinavia (announced just before Christmas) saw all 50,000 tickets sell out in the first week, including Stockholm's 31,000-capacity Stadium.

Dickinson continues, "This tour is all about having fun, as the name suggests. We love summer and we love playing big festivals. We're going to be playing a lot of our favorite MAIDEN songs and many people know we've got a new album in the pipeline for later this year so perhaps we'll be playing a new song or two. But basically it will be full-on MAIDEN. Trouble is, when you have so many great songs, it's hard to please everyone all of the time! Rest assured, the band are firing on all cylinders and the show will be as spectacular as always."

"With all these headline festivals across Europe it's shaping up to be another huge year for the band. We've got big plans for the next twelve months and this is just the beginning…"

Currently the band are in the middle of recording their as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2000's "Brave New World" with producer Kevin Shirley, who collaborated with the band on their last two albums.

No information is available at the moment but the feedback on the progress of the album from the studio is that, "Everyone's very excited about this project. The band are loving working with Kevin again as he works quickly and gets the band to record everything as live as possible."

Download Festival will highlight the best rock talent in the world today with more than fifty bands performing over two days, on three stages.

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