DOWNLOAD PILOT: 10,000 Rock And Metal Fans Attend U.K.'s First Post-COVID Festival (Video)
June 19, 2021
Ruptly, BBC Radio Leicester and BBC News have uploaded separate video reports on Download Pilot. The 10,000-capacity, camping-only festival is taking place June 18-20 on the hallowed grounds of Donington Park as part of the U.K. government's scientific Events Research Programme. Check out the videos below.
While festival goers do not have to be socially distanced or wear face coverings once inside the festival, they are required to follow existing government guidance when travelling to and from Donington Park and adhere to rules set out by the festival organizers. Attendees must take a lateral flow test on the morning of the event and receive a negative result to enter the festival. As part of the wider scientific research on the trial events, the Download Pilot attendees are also being 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 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.
With tickets priced at just £120 (plus booking fee) for the full three-day festival and initially being offered as a thank you to existing Download festival 2022 ticket holders, this loyal community of rock fans are also being rewarded with the closest to a festival experience possible, with camping and the return of moshing.
Organizer Melvin Benn told BBC News: "Despite the weather, it feels joyous," referring to the fact that Download Pilot kicked off with torrential downpours on Friday. "It's been two years since we stood in this field. We had to cancel Download 2021 [in March]. We didn't think anything could happen. But the government wanted to extend the research program and they wanted a camping festival, so they wanted me to put that together. So here we are, three and a half weeks later, in the rain and happy to be in the rain."
The very first major camping event of its kind, the specially created Download Pilot event will form part of the second phase of the government's scientific Events Research Programme. This groundbreaking study will look to build on the evidence base gathered from the successful first phase and apply findings on a greater scale with greater crowd numbers than before. The attendance at the Download Pilot will provide additional evidence for government, event organizers, and consumers on the logistical and practical considerations of reopening events safely, including multi-day events.
Working closely with the government to adhere to safety guidelines, this Download Pilot, as the first 10,000 capacity camping festival event, will play an important role in paving the way for the return of large-scale music events and festivals as the U.K. emerges from the past year's restrictions. As a government scientific Events Research Programme event, festivalgoers need to consent to take part and must be over 16.
Full lineup of bands announced:
Friday, June 18:
FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES NECK DEEP SLEEP TOKEN BOSTON MANOR HOLDING ABSENCE HOT MILK MALEVOLENCE DEATH BLOOMS
Saturday, June 19:
ENTER SHIKARI WHILE SHE SLEEPS CREEPER STONE BROKEN TWIN ATLANTIC YONAKA THOSE DAMN CROWS A VUKOVI TIGERCUB WARGASM THE HARA BLEED FROM WITHIN AS EVERYTHING UNFOLDS CONJURER LOTUS EATER
Sunday, June 20:
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE FRANK TURNER & THE SLEEPING SOULS SKINDRED THE WILDHEARTS TRASH BOAT MASSIVE WAGONS ELVANA JAMIE LENMAN LONELY THE BRAVE HIGHER POWER LOATHE CHUBBY AND THE GANG EMPLOYED TO SERVE CASSYETTE SAINT AGNES STATIC DRESS
Download Festival is taking place this weekend with a smaller crowd of 10,000 people instead of the usual 100,000. The event is part of the UK government's live event trial seeing if large scale gatherings are possible despite Covid-19.