Gibson and Myspace.com are sponsors of Download Festival's Third Stage – a 2,500 capacity tent which will see performances from rock's hottest up-and-coming acts, alongside familiar names such as Killing Joke and Skindred. The sponsors are already offering an up-and-coming band the opportunity to play on-stage - but now gamers can get in on the act, playing the game in front of thousands of hardcore rock fans.
Guitar Hero, published by RedOctane and available now exclusively on PlayStation 2, comes complete with a replica Gibson SG controller, with which players thrash out 30 fully licensed classic rock songs. The game's interactive music technology replicates the feeling of playing a guitar like never before, requiring digital dexterity similar to playing the real thing – using fret buttons and a strum bar instead of strings. The guitar even comes with a tilt sensor, so players can hold it vertically for additional bonuses.
Guitar Hero performances will take place every day on the Third Stage between the main acts – and members of the public who register in advance will can reserve a performance. There may be limited opportunities for walk-up performances during the day.
"Download is the greatest rock festival in the world, and we're thrilled to be able to partner with Gibson and Myspace.com to offer Guitar Hero players the opportunity to play the Third Stage," says Kelly Sumner, CEO, RedOctane. "The only part of the rock star experience missing in Guitar Hero is the live crowd – and for three days only, Gibson and Myspace.com will be providing it. For any Guitar Hero players heading to the festival, it's something which can't be missed."
"We're hoping the opportunity to play the Third Stage will encourage Guitar Hero players to move from a virtual Gibson SG to the real thing," continues Kelly Sumner. "There is nothing like the thrill of playing to a huge audience – and we're sure they'll appreciate the performances as much as those Guitar Hero players lucky enough to get on stage."