Download’s Memorial Stages

This year Download Festival in Donington Park will rename two stages after two giants of rock music who have died in the last few months.

In response to the sad news that Ronnie James Dio died May 16 after a battle against stomach cancer, festival organiser Live Nation has announced the event will show its respect by calling the second stage The Ronnie James Dio Stage.

In another formal tribute to a key player in the rock world, the festival’s main stage will be called The Maurice Jones Stage.

Jones – the co-founder of the Monsters of Rock festivals that were held on the Donington Park site – died Nov. 9, also having fought a long battle against cancer.

He built Midland Concert Promoters to become one of the UK’s biggest promoting companies and was one of the first European operations to sell to SFX in September 1999.

LN UK’s chief ops officer John Probyn, who credits Jones for getting him involved in the live music industry, said the naming of the stages is a token of appreciation for what he and Dio contributed toward Download.

The bill for this year’s festival June 11-13 includes AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine, Aerosmith, Deftones, Stone Temple Pilots and Megadeth.