Heavy metal fans - rejoice
Andrew Trendell

19:40 19th October 2015

Festival season 2015 may only just be behind us, but next year is already starting to take shape - with one of the biggest bands in the world lined up to hit the UK. 

Yes, the rumours were true - metal icons Iron Maiden are back to headline Download Festival in 2016. 

Want more? Well, good news: while Maiden will be the closing headliner on the Sunday night of the event, Download have revealed that they'll be announcing the Saturday headliner at 7pm tomorrow (Tuesday 20 October). 

They will also be taking to a sister event over in Europe. 

 "Maiden will headline France’s first Download Festival on Friday June 10 at Longchamps Racecourse, Paris," said the band. "Then we fly across to England on Ed Force One, landing at East Midlands Airport next to Donington Park, to close the UK Download Festival on Sunday June 12. This will be Maiden’s only UK appearance."

This will be part of Iron Maiden's huge Books Of Souls tour, after frontman Bruce Dickinson celebrates successfully beating cancer - which he claims to have come about through oral sex

Download Festival takes place at Donington Park in Derbyshire from Friday 10 - Sunday 12 June. Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday (23 October). For tickets and more information, visit here

  • OK, so this summer's festival season might still be far from over - but that hasn't stopped us from speculating on who could headline next year's big summer staples, from Glastonbury to Latitude. If we were inclined to gamble, click ahead to see the bands we'd have a flutter on headlining in 2016.

  • Radiohead: Thom Yorke's surprise appearance at Latitude may have left more to be desired than some fans would have liked, but his band have been dropping updates about their new album for what feels like a lifetime, and a comeback headline slot at Glastonbury 2016 seems only fitting. Once they've finished writing the Bond theme, that is.

  • Foo Fighters: As we all know, the Foos were supposed to headline Glastonbury this year - but Dave Grohl selfishly and inconsiderately broke his leg. Every cloud has a silver lining though, and this cloud allowed Florence + The Machine to prove her headlining capabilities. Next year, surely, Foo Fighters will make up for the cancellation and headline, all limbs operating properly.

  • Prince: If reports are to be believed, Prince has pulled out of headlining Glastonbury twice. In 2014, after his headline slot was leaked prior to being announced, he angrily ended negotiations. This year, in a statement posted on The Who's website, a touring member of the band wrote, "We were a last-month's addition to the show, replacing Prince who decided not to come this year." Third time lucky?

  • Kendrick Lamar: With the release of his latest album, To Pimp A Butterfly, Lamar has risen several rungs up the ladder of both critical and commercial success. He's emerged as one of the most important and influential rappers of recent years, and we'd love to see him headlining Glastonbury. Kanye haters, start sharpening your petition pencils now.

  • Muse: They headlined Download earlier in the summer, and - if rumours are to be believed - might be the surprise guests at Bestival in September, but it would be great to see the band return to Glastonbury, or Reading & Leeds, next year. Particularly if they don't do a UK stadium tour anytime soon.

  • Daft Punk: This one is something of a long shot, but after the duo ended their live performance drought at the Grammys at the start of last year, the odds have surely shortened for them to grace some festivals with their presence. And what better way to gently ease yourself back in than with Glastonbury?

  • Eminem: A few years back, Eminem and Rihanna joined forces for what should have been an immensely memorable co-headline performance at V Festival. The result was strangely lacklustre - particularly on Eminem's part. Since then, we've been hoping he'll play another major UK festival - perhaps even Glastonbury - and redeem himself.

  • Kate Bush: Last year, Kate Bush ended a quite astonishing 35-year break from touring in the form of a 22-night London residency. That might sound like a lot of shows, but it didn't stop tickets from selling out in under 15 minutes. In light of those 22 inspiring comeback shows, we can think of nothing better than for Bush to headline Latitude in 2016.

  • Taylor Swift: "Taylor doesn't like festivals," said Ed Sheeran last year, rubbishing rumours that she was going to headline Glastonbury. Given that he also banded around facts about The Weeknd's new album that we have since discovered are entirely untrue, we're going to take this as proof that Swifty will be headlining Glastonbury next year.

  • Years & Years: Last year, Years & Years played to a few hundred people in a small tent at Latitude. This year, they played to tens of thousands of screaming fans at the same festival. What an impressively fast trajectory it would be, then, if they headlined the festival next year. Perhaps though, given that they just have one album under their belt, they're more likely to headline something smaller.

  • Haim: It is very important that we witness Este Haim's incredible bass face during next year's festival season. The band are currently in the latter stages of recording their second album, the follow-up to 2013's anthemic Days Are Gone. Add those two albums to their Hunger Games contribution, andtheir cover of Fleetwood Mac's 'Rhiannon', and that's more than enough to headline somewhere like Latitude.

  • Coldplay: The only gig Coldplay have played so far in 2015 was in Los Angeles back in March. Last year too, aside from an appearance at Radio One's Big Weekend, they decided to eschew festival season. When you're as big as Coldplay, you can afford to fall off the radar for a little while... but 2016 - five years on from their last time headlining Glastonbury - seems like a good year to return.

  • Bring Me The Horizon: Last month, the band showcased a more upbeat new sound in the form of their latest single 'Throne' and the epic 'Happy Song'. "We don't want to carry on and pretend we're still full of angst," they explained. With the new album due for release in September, perhaps they'll showcase this slightly more crowd-pleasing direction (and we absolutely mean that as a compliment) in front of Download's crowd.

  • Foals: After Foo Fighters pulled out of Glastonbury and Florence + The Machine was promoted to headliner, there was a big gap in the programme waiting to be filled. The Libertines stepped up to the plate, but Yannis Philippakis has since revealed that Foals were offered it first. "I'd been smoking too much," he told Q. "Our shows are so physical that I'd have been wheezing." If he can put down the fags by next year, with the immensity of new album What Went Down, Foals could easily step up to Reading & Leeds next year.

  • Bjork: She's just cancelled a whole bunch of European festival appearances due to "a scheduling conflict beyond our control", but she's still set to appear at Wilderness Festival this weekend. How the Oxfordshire festival managed to secure that incredible booking is beyond us, but the Icelandic icon should really be headlining something bigger in 2016. Latitude, perhaps?

  • New Order: A few weeks ago, New Order released their first new single in a decade - 'Restless'. It's an elegiac taster for their tenth album, Music Complete, which is also their first without Peter Hook. Hooky might not consider them the 'real' New Order, but we suspect enough of the Latitude contingent would disagree that a headline slot would be an inspired booking.

Photo: WENN