For the second year in a row, the United Kingdom's marquee Download Festival won't be happening because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 edition of the rock and metal event was due to take place at England's Donington Park from June 4-6 with Megadeth, Descendents and more.
The fest revealed the unfortunate news this week while giving concertgoers hope for next year — 2022's Download Festival U.K. has already secured a trio of headliners in KISS, Iron Maiden and Biffy Clyro. For 2020's nixed Download, KISS, Maiden and System of a Down performed during a virtual event in its place. Download 2021 ticket holders can use their passes for 2022 or obtain a refund.
This year's cancellation comes after the U.K. government last week provided a cautious roadmap for slowly easing the country's coronavirus restrictions after a daunting period for COVID-19 transmission. But while the pandemic's brunt in the U.K is hopefully in the rearview, a summer 2021 date for a large gathering such as Download Festival is still evidently a bit too soon.
"We can now confirm that Download Festival will no longer be taking place this year," a March 1 statement from the concert's organizers explained. "But we do have exciting news for 2022."
The message continued, "We never gave up hope of bringing the festival back to Donington this June and had been working so hard behind the scenes to make that happen, but we now know it's not possible. We're heartbroken for everyone in the Download family, from artists to suppliers and of course our passionate Download fans."
Download Festival U.K. will resume at Donington from June 10-12, 2022. Many more acts will be announced soon. General on-sale for tickets begins this Friday (March 5).
"We'll be back … as strong as ever," Download Festival promised in Monday's statement. Get more information on the 2022 fest, tickets and 2021 ticket refunds at downloadfestival.co.uk.