England's Download Festival plans to invade the U.S. on October 8 with a San Francisco show that will be headlined by the Killers and feature sets by Modest Mouse and the Arcade Fire.
The three-year-old festival, which combines cutting-edge technology demonstrations and music, will land at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, on October 8. The bill will also include Doves, H.I.M., Mindless Self Indulgence and other artists to be named soon.
"We're pleased at how well [the festival] has grown, and it's too good not to share with you Americans," said festival founder Stuart Galbraith.
Technology sponsors include GameTap, a new broadband games-on-demand platform slated to debut this fall. Festival attendees will be able to play hundreds of GameTap games in a huge, igloo-shaped tent. Napster will have demonstration kiosks and offer ticketholders a free month's trial subscription. Napster also hosts the festival Web site's Download Vault, which shares music, videos, wallpaper and ringtones from bands on the bill.
"We were really looking at bands on the cutting edge, but we're also trying to add diversity so it's not just a rock show," said Christopher Swope, a spokesperson for show producer Clear Channel Entertainment Properties. Swope said he expected at least 10 bands on the final bill, with DJs and other acts added to the mix.
The festival's three-day U.K. version this year drew more than 150,000 people for a bill featuring Black Sabbath, Velvet Revolver, Slipknot, System of a Down, Papa Roach, the Used, My Chemical Romance, Garbage and Billy Idol.
Download kicked off in 2003 with a two-day festival featuring Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson, Audioslave, Zwan and more than 40 other bands (including a surprise set from Metallica) on two stages. The debut featured onsite gaming stations, extreme-sports demos and text messaging displayed on large screens.
The 2004 event ballooned to 70 bands, including Linkin Park, the Hives, Bowling for Soup, Metallica and Iggy and the Stooges. That year's event marked the debut of a text competition that allows winners to watch their favorite bands from the offstage mixing desk.
Swope plans to expand the festival to at least one more U.S. city in 2006. Fans can get festival updates from the Download Dog (www.downloadfestival.com), a virtual mascot that sits on your desktop and barks out news, ticket information, and weekly links to artist interviews.