Download Festival went ahead at the weekend with 10,000 attendees  

Virgin Radio

21 Jun 2021, 09:52

The summer music festival schedule may have been thrown into doubt following the delay to the easing of restrictions in England, but a test event took place at the weekend which gives us all hope. 

Download Festival, or to give it its slightly revised title, Download Pilot Festival, went ahead at Donington Park from 18th to 21st June, as the very first major camping event of its kind since lockdown. The three-day event took place as part of the second phase of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme. 

Not only were there some amazing acts playing, such as Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Enter Shikari and Bullet For My Valentine, but the festival was hailed by organisers as a resounding success, with bosses convinced that it proved similar events will be able to go ahead.

10,000 fans rocked out at Donington Park with no social distancing and no masks. Crucially for a rock festival, moshing was very much allowed too.

Attendees were required to take a lateral flow test and report a negative Covid-19 result before travelling to the site, share details with NHS test and trace and show proof of a negative result to enter the festival. They must also submit a second PCR test five days after the event.

Managing director of Festival Republic, Melvin Benn, who joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky last week for a chat about the festival situation, told i, “The pilot went extraordinarily well. Not a single person arrived on site with a positive Covid test. Everyone was incredibly compliant and were reassured that the people they were moshing with were Covid-clear.”

He added, “More than anything it demonstrates a desire to do whatever is needed to get back to normality.

“People want to work, play, gather and have fun. There is no question in my mind that large numbers of people can gather safely provided they are all adequately tested.”