Despite ongoing controversy about the status of its frontman, Aerosmith -- with Steven Tyler -- will be one of the headliners at this year's Download Festival, slated for June 11-13 at Donning Park in Leicestershire, England.
The booking brings Aerosmith back to the Donnington stage for the first time in 16 years, where it headlined the Monsters of Rock festival in 1994 (and, before that, in 1990). In a statement for the festival's official announcement, Tyler said, "In the early days of Aerosmith we were infected with the vibe coming out of the UK with the Yardbirds, Blues Breakers, Pretty Things and the Stones and we wanted what they had bad. So baby, we're coming home. Rock & Roll can be pure sex and we can't wait to Download..."
Tyler's comment was dropped from the version of the announcement that appears on the Downland web site, however, although it still specifices that "Steven Tyler, Joe Perry et al..." will be appearing.
The booking comes after six months of rancor between Tyler and the rest of Aerosmith following the cancellation of a summer tour after the singer fell from the stage on Aug. 5 in Sturgis, S.D. The other band members complained about a lack of communication with their singer and have voiced plans to work with another singer in his stead. Tyler, who checked into rehab for a painkiller addiction in December, has said he has not left the band, and last month his attorney asked Aerosmith's management to "cease & desist" talk about a substitute singer.
Aerosmith has not made a public band comment about the Download booking, which was reportedly offered on the condition that Tyler be with the band. The group has also been offered potential tour dates in South America and Europe this year, according to Tyler's attorney, Skip Miller.
Download also announced AC/DC, Rage Against the Machine, Them Crooked Vultures, Megadeth, Motörhead, Stone Temple Pilots, 30 Seconds to Mars, Stone Sour, Lamb of God, Five Finger Death Punch, deftones, Bullet For My Valentine, Wolfmother, Volbeat and Billy Idol -- who was rumored to be one of Aerosmith's choices to fill Tyler's spot -- for this year's festival. More acts will be announced soon. Tickets are on sale now via the festival's web site, downloadfestival.co.uk.