On the face of it, the line-up for this year's Download Festival is looking stronger than ever. Slayer bidding farewell to the UK, the return of Tool and Slipknot, Def Leppard playing Hysteria in full and much, much more. 

Download always seems to excel in its undercard bookings too - just look at the very-well established and legendary bands such as Anthrax, Opeth and Amon Amarth that they can quite easily book during the day time. 

However, it's not the whole story. 

Download's bands this year lack relevance and popularity on the whole, and are focused more on longevity of the band and suitability for the festival. A great deal of Download's artists and bands have been together for at least 20 years. But longevity is a two-sided coin - do we want to see fresh, upcoming music, or do we want to continue to see the same old bands, even if they are playing their best album in full?

All three of Download's headliners have headlined the festival before - two of them, multiple times. 

If you add up all the monthly Spotify streams from all the Download bands currently on the line-up, the number is below the amount of streams that Reading's Post Malone achieves alone. 

That tells you something about where Reading Festival's priorities lie, and where Download's doesn't. 

Moving onto Reading, they have also booked the rising stars of today - Billie Eilish and Juice Wrld to name a couple. Although their line-up scarily resembles that of Coachella's, they have been proactive in booking artists that are on the way up - even if, in fact, lots of people are yet to hear of them. 

In terms of relevancy - how long ago did the artists release their last record, is the artist touring around the time of the festival, and has the artist been in the news recently - Reading 2019 thumps Download 2019. It's also the case for popularity - measured through Facebook likes and Spotify streams. 

Yet Download fans are a lot happier with their line-up than Reading fans are with theirs. But then again, Reading's audience is broadening with every passing year, whereas Download's is very static. There's also an argument that the best line-up is the one that the festival's audience is most happy with - regardless of relevance, popularity, suitability or longevity. 


Which line-up do you think is better? I've attached both below so you can decide for yourself. 


Image result for download 2019 lineup

Image result for reading 2019 lineup



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