Why We Need A New Generation Of Festival Headliners

It has become a certainty that if you have attended Download, Reading and Leeds or Sonisphere over the last ten years, you have seen Metallica, Iron Maiden or the similar. These bands have dominated festivals for years,. A relentless headline force, or an out of date bore?

Bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden may be some of the most influential and popular metal bands to ever exist, and for promoters they will always be sure to bring in a huge crowd, but is it the torch was passed on to a new breed of headline acts or do we remain in the stale and old fashioned bands playing Enter Sandman and Run To The Hills? And this is possibly reason as to why Sonisphere doesn't gain the necessary support to even run in the UK regularly anymore?

Modern metal and rock fans are bored of seeing these bands at the same festival playing the same set every year, and the bands that they want to see are really not being given the chance. Last year, Bring Me The Horizon sold out Wembley. In my view, this band are worthy of a headline spot, a huge fanbase spanning deathcore to rock, even “Chart” music. Who did they get pushed out of this headline spot by.......Metallica.

These days, you will have to attend a smaller festival to see your favourite bands headline a day, and luckily for heavy music fans, the smaller festivals are pulling out some great line ups. They are cheaper, they offer a greater selection of bands for the modern and heavier fanbase. But why are the major festivals not offering this exposure to the modern bands, suggesting they are not as deserving as the “legends” of metal that continue to headline.

A new wave of potential headliners are coming along. Some of them have already broken through, Paramore, Biffy Clyro, Muse, even Linkin Park and Avenged Sevenfold. But these are heavily established bands, and it took Avenged an extremely boring, Metallica homage release to get them there.

So where will this “new wave” of bands come from?

Royal Blood: Unexpected breakthrough? Possibly. But a very new band, with a huge sound and a huge fanbase? Very good headliners.

Bring Me The Horizon: It has taken them a while, but I feel they are headline material. A huge shame they are pushed out by Metallica at Reading and Leeds.

Enter Shikari: Hugely diverse, a big fanbase and tons of anthems. They draw a huge crowd every year, wherever they go. Headlining 2nd stage at Download this year, definite future headliners for me.

Architects: Selling out the Roundhouse and the Koko over the last year, a band that are definitely working their way up the line ups. A few years I believe they will be there.

A Day To Remember: Find me a fan of modern rock who doesn't know Downfall of us All. Do I even need any other argument for them other than that?

Parkway Drive: The metalcore elite. Selling out venues globally, and becoming a regular at Download, although a fairly far out selection, I am positive that one day this band could push for it.

Essentially, we are in need of a new generation of headline acts, keep the old as “nostalgic” as they have had their time. The modern wave of bands have shown their worth on the vast majority of the smaller venues, now it is definitely their chance to prove themselves on the biggest stages there are, which I believe is necessary for the progression of the modern music scene.

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