Download Festival was recently held in the UK as a pilot event with no masks or social distancing required — and it reportedly went off without a hitch.
Over the weekend, Download welcomed rock and metal fans back to Donington Park as the UK’s first major camping festival since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event drastically slashed capacity to 10,000 people versus the 111,000 attendees recorded in 2019.
Prior to the event, Download shared:
Everybody on site will have taken a lateral flow test before entry and received a negative result and will have taken a PCR test too. That means you’ll be able to mosh, dance, hug your fellow Downloaders, and rock out without a mask or social distancing. Frankly, we can’t think of anything that sounds more awesome after 15 months away from our hallowed ground.
The organizer of Download Festival said the pilot was “100% evidence” that large-scale events can indeed take place safely amid the pandemic. Organizers also praised attendees for their compliance with testing requirements.
Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, said: “In fairness, the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) are on board with the message which is that these things can happen and they can happen safely.”
The pilot festival is one of many events to generate COVID-19 related data in order to help the UK government make decisions on social distancing and other restrictions moving forward.
More details on the study here.
A look back at an EPIC Sunday at Download Pilot! 🔥
Thank you for being a part of something incredible and playing your part to help reopen live music! 🤘#DownloadPilot pic.twitter.com/j8gdyHQlhP
— Download Festival (@DownloadFest) June 21, 2021
Sources: DJ Mag, BBC