Parkway Drive answered many questions Sunday night (June 16) when the Australian metalcore giants nailed a secret slot at Download Festival 2024.

Heading into the final day of the fest, heavy music fans were teased with the promise of pop-up secret sets at this year’s edition, including a “big band.”

Parkway Drive was that big band.

The Byron Bay rockers filled it up at 3.45 GMT on the Dogtooth Stage, hitting a six-song set that included “Glitch,” “Prey” and closer “Wild Eyes.”

“Kerrang!’s” Luke Morton caught the action, which he described as one of the “greatest surprise sets” in the festival’s history. “A cacophony of whoas and screams bring this dream set to its visceral conclusion with Wild Eyes, complete with Cheshire Cat smiles etched on the faces of everyone onstage and off,” he writes. “In what feels like the blink of an eye, the deed is done, history has been made, and Parkway Drive have pretty much won the entire weekend. Don’t expect to see them in a space this cramped any time soon.”

Parkway Drive was one of the top-billed acts for the 2023 fest, where they played the main stage at Donington Park.

The buzz leading into year’s Download Festival was dominated by the controversial support of Barclays Bank, with several bands withdrawing from the bill in protest, including Australia’s Speed.

On the eve of Download 2024, Barclays suspended its alliance with Live Nation, producers of the annual heavy music fest. This year’s event was led by headliners Queens of the Stone Age, Fall Out Boy and Avenged Sevenfold,

Parkway Drive has two appearances on the Official U.K. Albums Chart, with a best of No. 14 for 2018’s Reverence. In their homeland, the NSW outfit is on a streak of three consecutive ARIA No. 1 albums, most recently with 2022’s Darker Still.

Next stop of the European leg of the Darker Still tour: Wednesday, June 26 at the “Tons of Rock 2024” fest in Oslo, Norway.

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