‘Government-Approved’ Pilot Festival To Cater For 10,000 Download Fans


Big news for festivals this week with the announcement that Download Festival set to return for 2021, according to reports. Although at a reduced capacity, Download will be back this year for a government-approved festival at Donington Park, this June. The pilot festival will kick off in the UK on June 18th for a weekend-packed lineup of around forty acts.

In collaboration with the government’s scientific events research programme, Download is set to be the first one-off pilot camping festival. Camping will take place at the music event, dubbed, Download Pilot, is set to take place with 10,000 people. The wearing of face masks and social distancing will not be required at the event and attendees can even look forward to ‘moshing’.

With around forty acts set to be announced on May 28th, tickets are priced at £120 plus booking fee for a full three-day pilot. Ticket holders for next year’s event, and those who still have their ticket from the cancelled 2020 event, will be given priority to purchase on June 1st, with remaining tickets going on general sale June 3rd.

All tickets will be weekend camping tickets only, with no day tickets releasing and people must stay on-site for the duration. As this pilot festival is for Government scientific events research, attendees will need to consent to take part and must be over 16.

Festival Republic director Melvin Benn said they are delighted to contribute to Phase II of the Government’s Events Research Programme. he huge success of their Sefton Park event lay the foundations for the first three-day pilot camping festival.

Benn said the pilot will “help us understand and study the safe return of large-scale festivals with no social distancing or facemasks over a full weekend… the return of the full festival experience we have all been waiting for and a much-needed return to work for musicians, backstage crew, caterers and many more that form part of the UK’s exemplary live music industry.”

Conditions for entry have been set with festivalgoers required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to and from Donington Park. Once inside, they will not need to be socially distanced or, required to wear face coverings, and must adhere to rules set out by the festival organisers.

Attendees must have proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the festival. As part of the wider scientific research on the trial events, the Download Pilot attendees will also be asked to take a PCR test before and after the event to gather further evidence on the safety of the festival camping experience, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings. They will also have to provide contact details for NHS Test and Trace to ensure everyone can be traced in the event of an audience member receiving a positive test after the event.

The Download festival pilot follows the trial event which saw indie band Blossoms play to 5,000 fans at Liverpool’s Sefton Park on May 2nd. Some of rock’s biggest acts have graced the stage at this festival, with KISS and Iron Maiden penned in for the cancelled 2020 festival.