Ever since Led Zeppelin reunited for one night in December 2007, it’s been every festival promoter’s dream to somehow coax Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones back out of their hiatus and into a headlining slot. Many have tried, all have failed, including Andy Copping of the U.K.’s Download Festival, who admitted to XFM that he approached the Physical Graffiti band about playing the fest, which takes place June 11-13th in Donington Park.
“Every single festival in the world approaches Led Zeppelin or their management to get them to pay at their festival,” Copping told XFM. “Loads of money gets thrown out. It’s not what they want to do at the moment and that’s fine. They probably never will, but everyone has a stab at it.”
As Rolling Stone previously reported, while Jimmy Page is anxious to return to the live stage, Plant is reportedly working on a new solo album as well as the follow-up to Raising Sand, his Grammy-winning team-up with Alison Krauss. “Next year I have every intention of playing music live and manifesting it,” Page said last year. “I’ve got the music waiting, and that’s what I’ll be doing.” That statement piqued the interest of Roger Daltrey, who offered to sing the blues with the legendary guitarist.
Led Zeppelin were also rumored to perform at Bonnaroo in 2008, but organizers briefly fooled journalists everywhere by instead recruiting Lez Zeppelin to play the Tennessee fest (as consolation, Plant & Krauss also performed). Even without Zeppelin, the Download Festival has pulled together a great lineup, with AC/DC, Rage Against the Machine and Aerosmith headlining the fest’s three nights, being supported by Stone Temple Pilots, Motörhead and Wolfmother. Plus, with John Paul Jones and Them Crooked Vultures also on the bill, Copping’s dream of having Led Zeppelin on the Download stage at least came a quarter of the way true.