Guns N' Roses didn't snub Download Festival for the money

Download Festival organiser Andy Copping says Guns N' Roses deciding not to headline the music weekender is nothing to do with money

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Axl Rose and Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal

Guns N' Roses

Download Festival's organiser says Guns N' Roses snubbing the headline slot isn't about money.

Andy Copping - who is in charge of the line-up for the heavy metal festival held at Donington Park, Leicestershire, England in June - has revealed he was the one who suggested the 'Paradise City' rockers perform at London Stadium at the Olympic Park instead, and he insists the pay cheque was nothing to do with the decision Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan made to play their own show for the UK leg of their 'Not In This Lifetime Tour' instead.

He told the 'That's Not Metal' podcast: "It's very, very simple.

"We'd been talking to Guns N' Roses when it was first being mooted that Duff, Slash and Axl were talking about getting back together.

"They did Coachella and then we talked about Download.

"I've got to be honest, and this is gonna surprise a lot of people, but it wasn't for the money.

"To them, it was about, 'We want to go out and do our own shows.'

"On that touring cycle in the early 90s they came to the UK three times and played at Wembley Stadium. That is huge.

"They wanted to play Wembley, but It was booked. So I said they should look at Olympic Park."

And frontman Axl, 54, was also eager to play with his own band at the London Stadium after he performed to a sold-out crowd while he was stepping in for Brian Johnson on the 'Highway to Hell' hitmakers' 'Rock Or Bust World Tour' earlier this year.

Andy added: "The thing that swung it for Guns N' Roses playing at the Olympic Stadium was that AC/DC concert.

"They just wanted to go for it. They felt it was a bigger stadium, coming back for the first time as that band, that it was a bigger statement. It was nothing to do with money."

Andy's comments echo those of Guns N' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus, who said their reunion wasn't motivated by money.

Asked if money was why they reunited, Fortus said: "No. Axl has been going on, on time for years before [the reunion]. It's been great. Is [money] the motivating factor for him? Absolutely not.

"I've never seen they guy motivated by money, as I've known him. Otherwise, this reunion would have happened a long time ago."

This year Download will be headlined by Aerosmith, Biffy Clyro and System of a Down.

The 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing' hitmakers - fronted by Steven Tyler - will top the bill at the annual music even on Sunday June 11.

System of a Down will close the first night of the festival performing on Friday June 9.

And 'Howl' hitmakers Biffy - fronted by Simon Neil - will perform on Saturday June 10.

The line up also sees Rob Zombie, Slayer, Five Finger Death Punch, Of Mice & Men, Fozzy, Sleeping With Sirens, Simple Plan, Every Time I Die, The Story So Far, Motionless In White and AFI performing.

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