Download Festival 2023: A look at this year’s debutants

Download Festival is two weeks away! With so many artists on the bill, we’ve provided a handy guide for what to expect from the festival’s debutants!

Download Festival is not a new festival but it will be the first appearance for a number of artists.

Here we take a look at the Download 2023 debutants to see what to expect.


Puscifer is an American rock band formed by Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan. They released four studio albums. Expect singles such as Man Overboard and Apocalyptical in the band’s debut.


Metallers Caskets sold more than 80 million copies of their debut album Lost Souls and the Yorkshire group have taken their melodic metal across the pond for sold out shows.

They have just announced a new album (Reflections, August 11) so you can expect new music, particularly single More Than Misery.

Cherry Bombs

Vegas rock and rollers Cherry Bombs will bring  their glamour dance and cirque performance to Download Festival.

Expect rock tracks, incredible routines and of course fire in a stunning show.


Prog rockers HAKEN will bring almost two decades worth of music to Download and they have seven albums, two EPs and two live albums to show as the fruits of their labours.

They are currently on tour in the states playing tracks such as Sempiternal Beings, Lovebite and the set of The Messiah Complex tracks.

Mammoth WVH

Credit: Travis Shinn

Mammoth WVH is the brainchild of Wolfgang Van Halen, who has musical talent running through his veins as the son of the legendary Eddie Van Halen.

But he is a talented musician in his own right, having played bass for Van Halen, he’s gone on to have success under the Mammoth WVH moniker. He was nominated for a Grammy for his first ever single and was dubbed Guitarist of the Year by Guitar World. The self-titled debut album was a hit and second record Mammoth II is set to be released in August.

Mammoth WVH will bring a range of awesome rock tracks to Download, before touring with Motley Crüe, Def Leppard and Alter Bridge.

Mimi Barks

London-based trap metal artist Mimi Barks has garnered a great reputation for herself over the past few years. She combines hip-hop lyricism, electronic beats and slashing guitars.

Expect songs such as [Kill]Billy and Grind to feature in a weird but wonderful set!

Punk Rock Factory

Punk Rock Factory were actually at Download Festival in 2022, delighting fans in the village with their high energy punk rock covers of everything from Disney hits to cheesy bangers! This year, they will be taking to the Avalanche stage on the Thursday to provide some fun!

Mom Jeans

Indie rockers Mom Jeans took inspiration from the likes of Blink-182, Fountains of Wayne and Green Day to create their own sound to fit in the genre.

They toured the U.K. earlier this year but are back to perform hits such as Graduating Life and Circus Clown.


Snayx are a relatively new band, releasing their debut EP Weaponised Youth: Part I in March, but have already got good footing, supporting the likes of The Hara, and Kid Kapichi.

You can expect anything and everything from the duo, who are quoted as not wanting Snayx to be “one thing.” Expect garage rock with single False Friends and energy from Cigarette.

Carpenter Brut

French synthwave icon Carpenter Brut will bring tracks from his successful albums such as 2018’s Leather Teeth (which was nominated for album of the year in many end of year lists) and 2022 follow up Leather Terror.

Carpenter Brut is a mystery but will bring a great show, with Kerrang previously naming the artist as one of the ‘best live bands on Earth.’

As December Falls

Credit: LJR Photography

Pop punkers As December Falls are an extremely engaging band live, they bring a lot of energy and will be bringing a mix of fan favourites and new music to promote forthcoming album Join the Club (July 21).

They have been nominated for Best U.K. Breakthrough Act at Heavy Music Awards (and by the time Download arrives, may have even won it, we’ll find out on Friday).

I’ve seen As December Falls live previously and it’s a set I really enjoyed.


Brutus is a trio formed in 2014 who take influence from a range of music styles including metal, punk and post-hardcore and are not afraid to mix their style up, even in the same song.

The raw, emotional rock that comes from Brutus is heavy and great and the Belgian trio are loved across the world, and have famous fans including Metallica’s Lars Ulrich.


Ville Valo is returning to Download Festival in 2023 for the first time in a decade, however, he will be performing under the VV moniker used to release solo album Neon Noir earlier this year.

He previously played Download five times – including the first festival in 2003 – with HIM and during his 2023 set, you can expect a number of HIM songs.

VV will be in the Avalanche tent which will mean that his incredible light show used on his Neon Noir tour will not be hampered too much by the natural light from the sun.

VV is definitely one to watch for his stunning light show and mix of Neon Noir and HIM classics, all with his signature, sultry vocals.


Liverpool’s Crawlers are a new band that have captured the attention of the rock world. The band’s music covers a range of influences and they are passionate, giving their all to the music and their message of ensuring a safe space for everyone.

Expect viral single Come Over (Again) to feature in their debut Download set.

Empire State Bastard

Empire State Bastard is an extreme metal band formed by Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil and Mike Vennart. They released their debut track in March but with their individual acclaim, we always going to get off to a great start.

Expect the set to be full of riffs, feral vocals and even some death metal growls.


Norwegian melodic metalcorers Fixation bring metalcore, electronic elements, post-hardcore and alternative rock together, creating a sound full of catchy riffs, soaring melodies, synths and heavy bass and drum rhythms.


Death metallers Ingested have spent over a decade and a half bringing brutal tracks to the masses. In that time, they’ve released four EPs and six albums, including last year’s Ashes Lie Still, so there’s plenty to choose from in their back catalogue for. Thundering set at Download.


Toronto punks Pup will bring a decades worth of music to bring to their debut set with four albums to pick from.

The punk rockers have been nominated for a host of awards and in 2014 were listed by Rolling Stone as one of the year’s ‘breakout acts.’

Pupil Slicer

Pupil Slicer are a relatively new band, releasing debut album Mirrors in 2021.

They’ve been pushing mathy grindcore and second album Blossom will be released the week before Download (June 2).


Australian alt-rockers Redhook have had tens of thousands of streams and gained fans all over the world following the 2021 release of debut EP Bad Decisions.

They will bring heartfelt rock with relatable lyrics to Download, and debut album Postcard from a Living Hell is set to feature heavily.

They supported Smashing Pumpkins in Australia earlier this year and will be supporting fellow Downloaders newcomers Stand Atlantic in the U.K. around the festival.

Smash Into Pieces

Swedish cinematic rockers Smash Into Pieces have arena-ready anthems with huge choruses and mystical live shows.

They have released seven albums and earlier this year released new single The Tide.

Stand Atlantic

Credit: Brandon Lung

Stand Atlantic have been a band on the rise over the last few years. They’re released three albums, have more than 20 million streams on their last few singles and have an army of fans across the world.

Their live show is entertaining and brings their brand of rock to life.

Taipei Houston

Californian siblings Taipei Houston bring their alt-rock to Download for the first time.

The brothers are the sons of Lara Ulrich, making it a family affair as dad will be headlining on the Thursday and Saturday, with Taipei Houston on the Friday.

The band released their debut EP Once Bit Never Bored last year and pulls inspiration from punk, grunge and garage.

In 2022, they played Reading & Leeds Festival and have toured across the US and Canada.


New York death metallers Undeath have released two full length albums, including 2022’s It’s Time… to Rise From the Grave.

To find out what you can expect from Undeath at Download, they have released live album Live… From the Grave, which showcases their groovy death metal in a life setting.

The Warning

Mexican rockers The Warning have released a number of independent records and gained more than 120million YouTube views and 10 million streams.

The sisters released their third album Error last year and played shows across both north and South America.

Witch Fever

Credit: Nic Bezzina

Manchester band Witch Fever have a sound that combines the best of Black Sabbath, Savages and Nirvana.

Their punk-tinged sound defies genres and debut album Congregation was a hit following its 2022 release.


British alt-rockers Placebo have almost three decades behind them, following their 1994 formation. They have released a host of albums and EPs including 2022’s Never Let Me Go.

The band are known for their angst-fuelled music and will bring this to Download with a mix of their melancholic sound and earlier, more fast-paced tracks.


Metallers Antisaint released debut album Vaticinate in 2021 with arena-ready tracks that are set to bring Download to life. It will be the first time the band has performed outside of the US and Canada.

Bambie Thug

Bambie Thug combines hyper-punk and avant-electro pop with sex positivity and freedom and the occult.

Bambie Thug has released a number of singles and will bring intensely personal lyrics and a poppy sound to the festival.

Beauty School Dropout

LA rockers Beauty School Dropout have been championed by fellow Downloaders Fever 333, signing to their label and they’ve worked with Mark Hoppus and Pete Wentz.

They bring a blend of pop, rock, punk and hip hop and played Reading & Leeds Festival last year.


Credit: Reelz

The masked nu-metallers in BlackGold will be bringing an air of mystery to Download’s Avalanche stage on Saturday. The band burst onto the scene in 2022.

The vocals in Way Out are akin to Bring Me The Horizon’s Ollie Sykes and Villain is a great tune. They are a band I’ve been looking forward to seeing live for a while.

Bob Vylan

Genre-benders Bob Vylan are a firm mainstay in both the rock and rap scenes.

They have been fully embraced with album Bob Vylan Presents the Price of Life scoring highly on the U.K. charts – becoming the first wholly independent album to reach the top 20.

The band also won a MOBO award last year for Best Alternative Music Act.

Enola Gay

Irish noise-punks Enola Gay blend hip-hip vocals with a layered rhythm section and big guitar lines, drawing inspiration from electronics and techno as well as post-punk.

They’ve released one EP so far and are set to be big, with a great live set.

Greg Puciato

Credit: Reba Meyers

The Dillinger Escape Plan’s frontman will be debuting at Download with his solo project.

His latest album Mirrorcell was released in 2022 and showcases his incredible vocals.

Kid Bookie

Kid Bookie will bring something for everyone as the rapper blends a wide range of musical influences into a melting pot, leading to his music switching between genres.

He has released a whole host of singles, two albums and three EPs.

Kid Kapichi

Punk band Kid Kapichi have been championed early on by Frank Carter who invited them to play at his birthday party and then to support him on tour!

Their debut album was released in 2021 and bring their in your face sound and lyrics on politics, racism, poverty and mental health, highlighting important topics.

They have even be praised by Liam Gallagher for song Party at Number 10.

Lake Malice

British metallers Lake Malice are a fresh sound in the music scene, bringing their nu-metal, hyper pop and metalcore influences together to create a fab sound.

They have a wealth of touring experiences alongside Hacktivist, Modern Error and Death Blooms and technically have played Download Festival, as they entertained the RIP festival goers in the RIP village in 2022, but this is the first time they have appeared on the main festival bill.


Credit: Joeseth Carter

Monuments will be bringing their progressive metal to Download’s Dogtooth stage on Saturday.

The band’s decade of dj-ent style riffs, complex melodies and overall great sound makes for awesome listening. I’ve not seen Monuments live yet but can expect their headline set will be one of the top ones of the weekend.


Aussie metalcorers Polaris have released two albums including 2017 debut The Mortal Coil

Rituals and 2020 release The Death of Me – both of which have been nominated for an Aria Award.

Their blend of metalcore features prog elements, electronics and melodic hooks with lyrics about personal issues such as anxiety, depression and loss.

Spirit Adrift

Spirit Adrift will bring their swagger to classic tracks, having covered Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pantera and Metallica amongst others on their 2022 album 20 Centuries Gone.

I Prevail

One of rock’s biggest breakthrough bands, I Prevail have captured the attention of the world across the last decade. They have been nominated for Grammy Awards and 2022 album True Power was great. They’ve had more than 2.7 billion global streams.

Electric Callboy

Electric Callboy have captured the attention of music fans and critics alike over the last three years, even winning a Heavy Music Award for Best Video.

Single Hypa Hypa has 28 million hits and the band’s live show is set to be one to watch.

Beauty School

Beauty School will bring an emo-infused alt-rock to the festival. The six piece had their debut single Take It Slow championed on BBC Radio 1 Rock Show and will bring the pent up energy on debut album Happiness to life.

Blind Channel

Finnish metallers Blind Channel will bring their own brand of ferocious, yet infectious nu-metal to the festival. They represented Finland in Eurovision in 2021, finishing in sixth place.

They have released four albums including most recently 2022’s Lifestyles of the Sick & Dangerous.


Indian heavy metallers Bloodywood are currently performing to thousands across the states. Initially the band began posting covers to YouTube but transitioned into writing their own material and now have two studio albums.


Cleopatrick are two friends who have created everything themselves, including building a dedicated fanbase that has given them more than 70 million streams.

Their brand of rock takes influence from the likes of AC/DC, Highly Suspect and Royal Blood.


Crashface is a high-energy duo with enticing aggression, huge riffs and pop-tinged vocals, blending death pop and bubblegum metal. They’ve released two EPs so far in their short career as a band.

Graphic Nature

Metal band Graphic Nature came together and honed their sound based on their love for 00s nu-metal acts like Slipknot, Korn and Deftones. They have been called a ferocious new force in British metal.

Green Lung

Green Lung is a melting pot of influences such as Black Sabbath, Angel Witch and many more.

The cult band burst onto the scene in 2018 with debut EP Free the Witch and have gone on to release two albums.


Alt-metallers Hawxx will bring four-part harmonies, heavy riffs and progressive drums to the Download stage. Lyrically they are extremely focused on female empowerment, oppression, beauty standards and mental health struggles, providing relatable lyrics alongside a great sound.

Jazmin Bean

Jazmin Bean grew up with music in their blood, with drummer mother Angie Adams (of Fluffy fame) and father Ginger Wildheart.

Jazmin released their first single in 2019 with debut EP Worldwide Torture coming that same year before being re-released through Island Records in 2020.

They draw inspiration from  pop, metal, trap and grunge.

Joey Valence & Brae

Joey Valence is a multi-genre, producer, vocalist and writer, who combines with vocalist Brae for a unique sound that combines hip-hop and hardcore punk for tracks with high energy.

Lorna Shore

Lorna Shore have gathered a lot of momentum in the years as a band, gracing the cover of Rock Sound and bagging slots on tours with Parkway Drive alongside their own headline shows.

The deathcore band have released four albums and will have a host of tracks including 2021 single To the Hellfire.

The Meffs

Punk duo The Meffs popped up on the music scene in 2019 with frantic punk bangers and a must-see live show.

They released a demo album in 2020 and have released two EPs called Broken Britain Pt1 and Broken Britain Pt2.

Mod Sun

Mod Sun has released four albums, three EPs  and more than 100 songs in a decade-long career. Originally a drummer, Mod Sun stepped out from behind the kit to forge his own solo career and made it to the semi finals of Rolling Stones’ Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star contest.

Set It Off

Set It Off is a band that I have seen a few times over the years and absolutely adore. The catchy dark pop punk sound of the early days right the way through the evolution to the dancey pop tunes of latest album Elsewhere ensures that there is something for everyone in Set It Off’s back catalogue. The one consistency in the band’s sound over the years is Cody’s stunning vocals which are shown off int he likes of Wild Wild World, Life Afraid and Miss mysterious as well as his more intense side in songs such as The Haunting, Killer in the Mirror and Hypnotized.


Japanese alternative metallers SiM combine a range of influences from the heavy metal, hip-hop, ska, reggae, dub and punk worlds. Their most recent album Thank God There Are Hundreds of Ways to Kill Enemies was released in 2020.


Metal supergroup Soen know how to keep their fans engaged with blistering songs detailing frustration, hope, and reflection.

They have a fierce sound which has only evolved with the band from debut album Cognitive in 2012, right through to 2021’s Imperial. They have also released a live album called Animal.

Soul Glo

Hardcore punks Soul Glo have spent more than a decade providing music since their 2012 formation.

There have been appearances at Reading & Leeds Festival and Coachella to delight fans.

Taylor Acorn

Taylor has gained an army of fans from her covers of well-known songs but also creates her own pop-punk sound with singles such as In My Head and Shapeshifting.


Terror has released eight albums in their 20 years as a band and the hardcore band has enjoyed much success despite a number of line up changes. There will be songs such as The New Blood and Live By The Code.

Elizabeth Birt

May 25, 2023

Band management assistant. Goth princess and lover of all things music and sport.


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