Download to host three-day pilot festival – where 10,000 will be allowed to camp and mosh | Ents & Arts News

Download Festival will hold a three-day pilot event next month, with 10,000 people expected to attend.

The event will be run as part of the government’s research programme, which is assessing the best way forward with events once COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

Download Pilot will take place at its usual home of Donington Park in Derbyshire, and will have a capacity of up to 10,000.

The pilot will play host to 10,000 fans. Pic: Download Festival
The pilot will play host to 10,000 fans. Pic: Download Festival

The usual event, which draws more than 100,000 people to Derbyshire, was cancelled for this year, over fears the lockdown roadmap may not go to plan.

Nobody at Download Pilot will be required to socially-distance or use a face covering for the duration of the event, which will run from 18-20 June.

Festival goers will be allowed to “mosh”, but to get inside the event, attendees must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 lateral flow test, as well as consent to testing on the way in and out of the venue.

Download is a rock and metal music festival, and in the past has hosted headliners such as Kiss, Aerosmith and Iron Maiden.

Melvin Benn, the head of Festival Republic, which runs Download, said: “Following the huge success of our Sefton Park event, we are delighted to contribute to phase two of the government’s events research programme with the creation of the first three-day camping festival which will be the Download pilot at Donington Park.

“This massive next step 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.”

On Tuesday, Liverpool council revealed that from its pilot events, there had been no links to any COVID-19 outbreaks, bolstering confidence in the new system.

However, critics argue that the pilots are being used to justify the introduction of controversial vaccine passports.

Tickets for Download Pilot will go on sale next month, initially to people who have been to the festival before. A line-up will be revealed on Friday.

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