Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson recently spoke to The Guardian about Download Festival, among other things. Dickinson recalls using a fighter plane during their live act in 2013 and confirmed that it was a real one. He elaborated: “In recent years, we’ve had a replica Spitfire on stage for the song Aces High, but for the occasion of us headlining Download in 2013, we actually had a real one – a Battle of Britain memorial flight Spitfire.” He described the Spitfire show and how the audience reacted to it:
We called [the RAF] and said, ‘I know you make shows… could you perform one for us?’ So, at the start of the event, the Spitfire flew over and circled the stage a few times. The RAF was precise to the second, so as it took off, back over the top of the stage, we began our intro tape. The audience was utterly taken aback.”
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Download Festival, which has hosted many artists throughout the years, including Iron Maiden seven times. The band, known for their unusual stage displays, did not perform at this year’s festival. T band is currently on tour, visiting over 15 countries. The dates and setlist are available here. See the performance of the previously-mentioned aircraft down below.