Black Wizard wrote:
bloodofthekings wrote:Until they do that, they will continue to 'special guests' to the old guard.
The old guard who are only getting older and will eventually not be around any more. Other bands will have to headline eventually, and sooner rather than later, or Download will just collapse in on itself once Iron Maiden etc. are no longer around.
I'm pretty sure Ghost will be headlining Download in five years, but who else? If Download keeps recycling the same headliners and shirks from promoting other bands then it will have a shitload of subheadliners and second stage headliners in about ten years time.
You may be right and Ghost are certainly a contender for a future headliner in terms of 'current' bands but this is a problem for all big festivals, not just Download. Any festival that needs to shift that many tickets to remain viable is going to have this problem soon. Problem is - whilst you raise a valid point of DL needing to plan for the future, if they take too big a hit on ticket sales in a given year then that potentially jeopardises the festival for the following year.
DL backed themselves into a corner years ago by quickly cycling through pretty much every major old headliner in existence, creating a level of expectation that's very difficult to consistently live up to, unless you book those bands again.
As I said, this not a problem of Download's making as since their inception, they've needed to compete with other festivals of a similar size, not just in the UK, but across Europe now that travel is more accessible than ever to people, thus increasing the choice and competition.
This is a reflection of a much wider problem in the music industry where, thanks to rapid advancement in technology (namely the internet), it's a flooded market where bands struggle to rise to the top as there's simply too many of them, thus nobody is viewed on the same level as Maiden, Metallica, Kiss, etc. This creates a perception that current bands aren't 'big enough' to headline a festival the size of DL and when you're charging nearly £200 for a weekend you need to offer that stature of bands on the line-up or people (rightly or wrongly) won't see it as value for money.
Look at 2017 - much younger feel to the main stage (and most of the line-up) and what happened? Despite the nice weather to boot, attendance was noticeably down.
Again, take Alter Bridge as an example - they're about to release their 6th album - how big were Maiden, Metallica, AC/DC, Aerosmith, etc. when they were on their 6th album? Fucking huge - it's not even a comparison. And then look at Avenged Sevenfold when they were first given the opportunity to headline DL - same reaction - "they're not big enough", etc, etc despite the fact that they had 6 albums, sold out arena shows and a #1 album in the UK - all of this would have previously been essential criteria for a band to be a festival headliner but now? Oh, they're not Maiden or Metallica so they're 'not big enough' - it's an issue of perception that unfortunately has gone so far that I don't see it changing until it's too late.
I suppose what DL could have done several years ago is theme one of their days (presumably the Friday) where this is the day that a 'newer' band is given the opportunity to headline whilst still having the other 2 days headlined by bands that are guaranteed to shift the required amount of tickets. But again, if similar-sized festivals are offering 3 massive headliners but DL only offer 2, where do you think the average punter will take their business?