words: Brittany Long

The world’s premier rock and metal festival Download Festival recently sent Australian fans into a frenzy with the announcement of long awaited March 2020 dates and now their lineup drop has escalated the excitement.

After its hugely successful Australian debut in 2019, which saw 20,000 heavy music fans flock to Sydney’s Paramatta Park and Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse and now the festival is set to return in 2020. Ready to bring an even bigger crowd!

Emo punk fans everywhere went insane over the recent announcement of a My Chemical Romance reunion show and now they have even more news to go crazy over, with the announcement that American rockers My Chemical Romance will be headlining Download Festival 2020 Australian dates!

March of 2020 will see the festival once again serve up two more days of metal fury and pure rock. Let’s not forget the delectable eats and the ice-cold beverages to cater to everyone’s fancy. Set to take place across four stages and harnessing a jam packed line-up, which sees 26 of the world’s most esteemed alternative musicians, and that’s only the first lineup, this will be a Download to remember that’s for sure!

2020 sees Download with a new home at the Melbourne Showgrounds and falls on Friday March 20th so there is truly no excuse to miss it! Get in early and book that annual leave now! The festival also returns to Sydney’s Paramatta Park on Saturday March 21st.

So let’s introduce the Download Class of 2020 edition one.

My Chemical Romance

From Newark, New Jersey American rockers My Chemical Romance made their 2002 debut with independently released album I Brought You My Bullets then signing to Reprise Records the following year and making their major label debut with 2004’s Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, which is now certified Platinum x3. 2006 3x Platinum certified album The Black Parade was hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the top albums of 2006 and has seen the band sell out stadiums worldwide and provided the soundtrack of a emo-pop generation. The festival appearances by My Chemical Romance are a Download exclusive and with no sideshows they will be the only chance to see them live.


Next up is Sacramento’s multiplatinum, Grammy-Winning rock band Deftones. Since their inception in 1988 the five-piece band have released seven albums and sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Famous for their unique two path approach; delivering songs defined by churning, double-fisted aggression while also testing the boundaries of music, by incorporating elements of psychedelia and shoe-gaze with an impressive discography that includes My Own Summer (Shove It) and Minerva. They’re a welcome addition to the Download Class of 2020.

Jimmy Eat World: photo by Oliver Halfin

Beloved alternative rock band, Arizona’s Jimmy Eat World have been selling out venues, headlining festivals and scoring top ten albums since 1992. Their music has proved to be a timeless release, swiftly becoming the soundtrack to the lives of countless generations of teenage punks struggling to fit in. With hit tracks The Middle, Bleed American, and Sweetness under their belt they land at Download in the wake of their tenth studio release, LP Surviving and are ready to give Australian fans their first taste of the new tracks live!


Download fans will be clutching onto Clutch and never letting go. Having patiently anticipated the return of the legendary Maryland rockers their four year wait will come to an end with the band set to join the class of Download 2020. Long hailed as one of the greatest heavy bands in the Universe and one of the most hardworking, Clutch spend eleven months of the year on the road touring, bringing their music to fans near and far and cementing their reputation for delivering ‘faultless, blistering rock’ n’ roll’ show after show. The band’s festival appearances will once again be a Download exclusive and the first chance for Australian fans to see new songs from the bands 12th studio LP Book Of Bad Decisions.


American pioneers of Industrial metal, Ministry will bring their synth pop heavy repertoire down-under to Download’s Class of 2020. With an impressive 14 studio albums under their belt, since their inception in 1981 including seminal LPs Twitch, Honey, The Land Of Rape and The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste, alongside LPs Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and The Way to Suck Eggs, their impressive repertoire has cemented them as one of the most consistent and prolific modern time heavy artists. With a new lineup, a fuller sound, and what some say is ‘a return to the Ministry roots’ the band is preparing to release a sonically effective and socially relevant record.

In Flames

For more than 20 years Sweden’s leading metal band, In Flames have never stopped evolving and moving forward. The band’s early days of melodic death metal have transformed into a unique expression, which has been manifested across 13 albums including; Sounds Of A Playground Fading, A Sense of Purpose, Siren Charms and their latest 2019 release, I, The Mask. I, The Mask recorded in Los Angeles with multi Grammy-nominated producer, Howard Benson charted as #2 in Germany, #1 in Austria and Sweden and took out top spot as #1 in the U.S. Top Rock and Metal Albums.


San Francisco’s Bay Area quintet, American thrash metal band Testament have consistently delivered metal in its purest form for more than three decades. Uncompromised unbridled, unadulterated and unbreakable metal and there’s no sign they’ll be slowing down anytime soon. With releases ranging from The Legacy and Practice What You Preach to The Gathering and The Formation Of Damnation, which was awarded “Best Album” at Metal Hammer’s 2008 Golden Gods Awards, the band’s sales have exceeded 14 million worldwide with 2 million of those sales in the U.S. alone.


Alestorm are renowned as Scotland’s party machine and you can bet they’ll be bringing the party down-under to the Download Class of 2020. The band have evolved into an international sensation having conquered festival stages and album charts worldwide, bringing their unique, infectious brand of ‘Pirate Metal’, their dashing good looks and their quirky inflatables everywhere. The band have successfully managed to convince hundreds of thousands of people worldwide that it’s cool to wear a pirate hat and sing stupid songs about stealing ships and getting drunk including aptly named hit track Drink! Download fans prepare your spleens for an exclusive performance because Alestorm are ready to kick ass, chew gum and get their pirate on!


After releasing several classic albums over the years seminal English outfit Carcass are continuously changing the extreme metal trajectory with every consecutive release. The band don’t just make records but they set the bar and then break the rules. Whether it was inventing gore-grind with hit albums Reek Of Putrefaction and Symphonies Of Sickness or creating the template for melodic death metal with Heartwork. Despite their 1996 demise and consequent 18- year hiatus which saw fans mourning their loss, the band were resurrected from their premature grave in 2013, and are back to destroy the stage at Download 2020!

Lacuna Coil

Italian alternative metal superstars Lacuna Coil are another exclusive Download act with a rabid worldwide following. Formed in 1994 the band’s lauded, spirited live performances have earned them a solid reputation as a band that not only delivers night in and night out, but has also established them as one whose stage performance reverberates long after the band leaves the stage at the show’s conclusion. The band’s heartfelt, heavy, melodic, rhythmic metal is a hybrid of gothic, groove and alternative music.

The HU

Mongolian rockers The HU blend hard-rock and traditional Mongolian music and pair it with guttural throat singing built around the pillars of heavy rock. Paired with traditional Mongolian instrumentation like the Morin Khuur (horse-head fiddle), the Tovshuur (Mongolian guitar), Tumur Khuur (jaw harp), and the traditional rock sound with distorted guitars, bombastic drums, and aggressive rhythms. The bands debut videos Yuve Yuve Yu and Wolf Totem immediately saw the band go viral, generating more than 30 million views and resulting in worldwide media coverage. This is a band not to be missed!


Baroness are a Grammy-nominated exploratory rock and heavy metal band who after releasing their first EP 15 years ago have showed no slowing down! The band triumphantly leaps over genre barriers with their anthem alternative-metal hooks ricocheting between the circuitous twists of prog, jazz, moody swirls of space-rock, noise and the hypnotic pulses of trip-hop and minimalism of the 20th Century. Their most recent releases include Borderlines and Seasons and we can’t wait to welcome them to the class of 2020!

New Years Day

Returning in 2020 after making their Australian debut at Download Australia’s 2019 festival, is U.S. metal five-piece New Years Day. The band fronted by powerhouse Ash Costello debuted at the festival’s Avalanche Stage in Sydney and Melbourne and brought an absolutely killer set! Now they’re back for more! They’ll be bringing their recently released fourth and current studio album Unbreakable down-under ready to unleash it in all of its pop-metal glory to the class of 2020!

Venom Prison

UK based five-piece death metal band Venom Prison might see you mistaking their music for light at the end of the tunnel, but is just as likely to be the bands view of watching the world burn. Their first self-released demo Defy The Tyrant in 2015 pummelled the underground jugular but it was their debut LP Animus which saw the band burst into the spotlight, earning the prestigious Metal Hammer Golden Gods award for best new band in 2017.


Industrialised gothic and true crime-inspired electronic duo SKYND promise to reach into the deepest, darkest depths of your soul revealing what lurks beneath in all of its painful glory! Their music is an experience in tales of the twisted darkside of humankind, expanding your awareness and visual imagination through their unique audio storytelling. Come on a journey and peel back the layers behind the earthly facade humans display to the world, get SKYND!

While there’s an impressive inclusion of international artists on the lineup we can’t forget about our hometown heroes representing Australia and doing us proud. The likes of Hands Like Houses, Stand Atlantic, Bodyjar, Redhook, Clowns, Plini, and Dregg will be holding it down for Australia.

My Chemical Romance (Download Australia exclusive shows)|Deftones
Jimmy Eat World |Clutch (Only Aus Shows) |Ministry
In Flames |Testament| Alestorm (Only Aus Shows) 

Carcass| Lacuna Coil (Only Aus Shows)| Hands Like Houses 
In Hearts Wake| The HU | Baroness| Ne Obliviscaris
Bodyjar | New Years Day | Clowns | Venom Prison
SKYND | Thornhill |Disentomb| Stand Atlantic 
Plini | RedHook | Dregg

March 2020 Festival Dates:
Friday, March 20th, 2020: Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday, March 21st, Parramatta Park, Sydney, NSW

Tickets to the festival go onsale to the general public on Wednesday, November 13th at 12pm and can be purchased here

Previous years attendees can access exclusive presale tickets from 11am on Friday November 8th.

Moshtix and Ticketmaster Presale opens 12pm on Monday November 11 and are available until Wednesday November 13th at 11am unless sold out prior.

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