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Europe's greatest Heavy Rock event, the Castle Donington Monsters Of Rock festival- in Britain's West Midlands- was initiated in 1980, when 35,000 headbangers turned out for a bill headlined by Rainbow. Since that festival, attendences have grown, with 65,000 enjoying Motley Crue, Accept, Y+T, Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, and AC/DC in 1984 and an all-time best of 97,900 for Halloween, Megadeth, Guns N' Roses, David Lee Roth, Kiss and Iron Maiden in 1988. Most of the biggest and best in Metal have played the Donington stage, including Aerosmith (1994's bill-toppers), Anthrax, Biohazard, Black Crowes, Bon Jovi (1987's headliners), Corrosion Of Conformity, Def Leppard, Dio, Extreme, Headswim, KORN, Machine Head, Motorhead, Pantera, Poison, Queensyrche, Sepultura, Skid Row, Slash's Snakepit, Slayer, Status Quo (1982's headliners), Terrorvision, Therapy?, Thunder, W.A.S.P., Whitesnake (1983 and 1990's headliners), White Zombie, Wildhearts and ZZ Top (1985's headliners).

Although AC/DC headlined three times (1981, 1984 and 1991), Metallica made the most awesome ascent- from fourth on the bill in 1985, to third in 1987, second in 1991 and top in 1995. The loudest group at Donington was Iron Maiden in 1988. The banner of 'Monsters Of Rock' has also graced tours of Europe and South America, headlined by the likes of Ozzy.

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