Campers are arriving at Donington Park today (June 18) for the Download Pilot, the UK’s first camping festival since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 10,000-capacity event, set to be headlined by Bullet For My Valentine, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Enter Shikari, sees the legendary rock festival make a small-scale return for a three-day camping pilot as part of ongoing research into the safe return of live music.
Organisers say that “moshing is allowed” for the event, which runs until Sunday (June 20). “This massive next step will help us understand and study the safe return of large-scale festivals with no social distancing or face masks over a full weekend…” said event organiser Melvin Benn, who also organised a series of pilot events in Liverpool over the May Bank Holiday weekend, where the likes of Fatboy Slim and Blossoms played to a crowd without any COVID restrictions.
Ahead of the music beginning today, fans are arriving in their droves to a rainy Donington. See photos and reactions from the return of camping festivals below.
— Download Festival (@DownloadFest) June 18, 2021
Excited beyond belief
WE ARE FUCKING GOING HOME 🤘🏾🎶🖤⛺️🍻☔️🔥🔥
— Rachael (@RachaelHTFC) June 18, 2021
— Download Festival (@DownloadFest) June 16, 2021
— Flipping the Record (@FliptheRec) June 18, 2021
— Ryan (@ryan_simmonds) June 18, 2021
— Am 🌓 (@Amandwin) June 18, 2021
— Charlotte Wade (@CharlotteWade10) June 18, 2021
The Met Office is predicting clouds on the festival’s first day today, with temperatures between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius and a 20 per cent chance of precipitation.
Tomorrow (June 19) is set to be similar, with temperatures peaking at 18 degrees Celsius and a 10 per cent chance of rain. Sunday June 20, however, is 50 per cent likely to bring rain from 10am until 7pm.
Check out the festival’s full weather forecast and set times here.
Just 15 people tested positive for COVID-19 following the Liverpool Sefton Park event, with initial data suggesting that holding mass events without face masks and social distancing poses as little risk as going to a shopping centre or restaurant.