Feature: Download Festival 2024 – Ten Acts To Check Out

Our annual feature looking at artists playing Download Festival you might not be aware of that we think are killing it right now has doubled in size. Why?  Because the talent pool is just incredible and we couldn’t choose. Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list so please do spend a bit of time looking at the full line up ahead of planning your weekend. Here in no particular order are our ten picks:

Delilah Bon – Sunday

A Devolution favourite, the self styled brat punk has plenty to say and doesn’t hold back. Scratch below the surface though and there’s a cheeky fun side to the music and shows. This is Bon’s first time playing at Donington Park although she did perform fronting Hands Off Gretel as a part of the Boardie Takeover in 2017. Latest single ‘Finally See Me’ is just another blistering track in a series receiving critical acclaim.

Delilah Bon – Facebook

Alt Blk Era – Saturday

Blending rock with rap and electronica this sisterly duo  have only been releasing music for two years but are already veterans of Reading & Leeds, Glastonbury and Boomtown Fair. The siblings bring plenty of groove and sass with every song and have a unique stage presence. Their rapid rise sees no sign of slowing down any time soon.  If you’re a fan of crossover music then Alt Blk Era are a must see.

Alt Blk Era – Facebook

Harper – Sunday

At just 11 years old Harper is by some distance the youngest artist to have graced a stage at Download. Don’t be fooled though, her vocals make her sound like a child with a demon hidden inside. She first gained attention with a Spiritbox cover no less. With renowned vocal coach Melissa Cross guiding the Harper in the ways of healthy singing and with age firmly on her side a bright future beckons.

Harper – Facebook

Ne Oblivicscaris – Saturday

For those looking for something heavier and more technical then Ne Obliviscaris should float your boat. The Australians have built up a passionate following playing progressive metal that leans towards the more extreme end of the spectrum. This is mood music complete with violin, twin vocals and vibrant atmospherics.  Fans of Cradle Of Filth and My Dying Bride should be making this fine band a priority on their checklist.

Ne Obliviscaris – Facebook

Lowlives – Saturday

With former Defiled frontman Lee Downer involved you just know Lowlives are going to knock it out of the park. The band bring good old fashioned rock vibes to the party, tinged with a grunge dressing and no nonsense song writing. New album Freaking Out is released in May and looks set to be a huge hit.  Kurt Cobain once famously sang “Here we are now entertain us” and that’s exactly what Lowlives will do at Download.

Lowlives – Facebook

Gel – Saturday

When powerviolence fans need chill music, enter Gel a hardcore band that feature a big dollop of punk for added bounceablility. The music is fast and frenetic but there’s a huge slice of melody too which makes this a great act to listen to if you’re dipping your toe in the hard core water as much something a bit more fun for a festival for seasoned fans. Formed just before lockdown this could be Gel’s year.

Gel – Facebook

Hanabie – Friday

Japan (and Asia generally) is producing a stream of amazing artists at the moment and Hanabie are the latest to visit Download. Their unique take on metalcore (it could be described as kawaiicore) features the impeccable musicianship associated with their country as well as that now obligatory cultural twist, cute vocals.  You get the screams and slick sound too for good measure. Hanabie look certain to blow away anyone watching them this June.

Hanabie – Facebook

Lord Of The Lost – Sunday

Many will already know Lord Of The Lost. They represented Germany in the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Their mix of metal, gothic, industrial and glam rock has quickly propelled them up the music ladder. Their songs have an easy accessibility while their stage show flamboyance means they always leave a lasting impression. Steve Harris personally picked them to play Iron Maiden’s Legacy Of The Beast tour in 2022. You can’t really beat an endorsement like that.

Lord Of The Lost – Facebook

RØRY – Saturday

With a sell out tour behind her in early 2023 RØRY is one of the leading lights on the alternative underground. Her songs contain incredibly emotive lyrics backed up by one of the best voices you’ll hear all weekend. This is music in the raw, stripped back and deeply personal. It’s written in a way that connects so well. Amid all the big acts and crazy stage antics that you will see at Download RØRY will be the one winning hearts and minds.

Rory – Facebook

Scowl – Friday

Touring junkies Scowl have blitzed the US since their debut album Hot Flowers Grow was released in 2021. Now they’re over in the UK to play and make even more fans. Their brand of hardcore punk has enough depth about it to have seen them share a stage with Korn, System Of A Down, Deftones and Limp Bizkit and many other notables. The five piece won’t be holding back when they play Download, so expect carnage.

Scowl – Facebook

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Feature by Gary Trueman