Last month, Download Festival head honcho Andy Copping hinted that he might be seeing a few of us sooner than we might think. Oh how right he was. Mr Copping and the team at Live Nation and Festival Republic have been given Government permission to stage the UK’s first camping festival since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Download Pilot will take place from the 18th – 20th of June at Donington Park with a capacity of 10,000 people. Ticket priority will be given to those existing ticket holders for the normal Download Festival who rolled their tickets over to next year for Download 2022. Download Pilot forms part of the second phase of the Government’s Events Research programme, looking at the effects of large scale events on COVID virus transmission.
Those in attendance will have to present a negative lateral flow test before being allowed access to the hallowed Donington turf. Attendees will also be asked to take PCR tests before and after the event to observe any effects of virus transmission caused as a result of the event. Once inside Download Pilot – it’s festival business as usual. No masks, no social distancing, camping as usual and you can dance and mosh to your hearts’ content. The line up for Download Pilot (likely to consist of all British bands) will be announced on Friday 28th May 2021.
Tickets for Download Pilot go on sale, priced at £120 for the full three days of the festival, on the 1st of June. There will be a 48 hour priority booking period for existing Download Festival ticket holders, with the general sale for any remaining tickets beginning on the 3rd of June. There will be no day tickets, with attendees expected to camp for the full duration of the event. Tickets and further info will be available from https://downloadfestival.co.uk/download-pilot.
Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn has been part of the team working with the Government on the Events Research programme, and had this to say:
“Following the huge success of our Sefton Park event, we are delighted to contribute to Phase II 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.”
Rock Sins hopes to be able to cover the Download Pilot event, and so we hope to see some of you there in a few weeks time, moshing for science!