Download Festival, the world’s premier rock event which takes place right on our doorstep at Donington Park, has announced major improvement plans for this year’s festival. All of the changes are bound to please the locals who live near the site, with new drainage systems, alternative traffic routes, improved disabled access, a 400 strong ‘Dog Squad’ to aid festival goers, and a stage relocation bring among the new developments put in place to better meet the needs of fans.
Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn commented, “As a festival we’re always looking to improve the experience for our customers – it’s always at the forefront of any planning we do, so the feedback we received on last year’s festival has been invaluable. We introduced the dog blog this year which has enabled us to really listen to the Download fans and take on board all suggestions, and in turn implement plans that will see this year’s Download be the best yet.”
Important to the local area, Download have reviewed traffic management plans and are working closely with local authorities to produce alternative travel routes following the implications of the unforeseen closure of the M1 in 2016. A new route from the North and three new routes from the South will aim to better control festival traffic, to ease congestion for locals and festival goers alike, minimalising traffic in the event of a major road closure.
Ticket holders driving on and off site each day will now park in a relocated car park. Most vehicles will aim to be parked on hard standing ground, allowing for greater ground resilience against wet weather. New trackways will be put in place where needed to allow ease of vehicle movement and to improve conditions underfoot for people walking through the campsite. An increased number of free onsite shuttle buses will also be available for the Main Campsite customers across the weekend from the West Car Park.
The relocation of the disabled campsite will see improved ground conditions and provide ease of access for disabled customers. The improved location will allow for customers to park nearer to their tents in an area with an increased amount of hard standing ground, and pathways with a better central toilet and shower facility that is easily accessible. Access roads between the car park, campsite and Main Arena will see the maximum solid ground routes available, and customers will have a dedicated arena entrance with access to the internal roadways in the arena.
400 members of a newly appointed ‘Dog Squad’ will be stationed across the car parks, campsites, village and arena to aid festival goers with any onsite issues throughout the weekend. This elite group of festival helpers will become an integral part of the Download customer service team. Information on how to volunteer and become a part of this year’s Dog Squad is available here.
24 hour security will remain in operation across the site, and more Zone Managers will be put in place for each field. These new representatives allocated by the festival will attend daily briefings with Site Management to ensure the most up-to-date information is provided to fans.
The Avalanche Stage (Third Stage) is this year being relocated to allow easier access between stages. Located behind NXT Wrestling, the Avalanche Stage will also be a shorter distance from the Main Stage and the Zippo Encore Stage. The area around the Zippo Encore Stage will also be opened up, allowing for improved crowd movement and flow.
The Quiet campsite will be positioned further from the East Midlands Airport runway, with the North East corner of the current campsite undergoing development over the next 3 years to provide a better-withstanding ground.
The Download Festival Dog Blog has been active on the website since the start of the year, allowing customers to email in questions or suggestions. So far over 300 people have emailed with suggestions that have been taken into consideration for this year’s festival. The Dog Blog is still active and is available to see on the website. So if you’re living near to the festival site, why not let your opinion be heard too.
Download Festival takes place on 9 – 11 June 2017 at the spiritual home of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire. Tickets are on sale now at downloadfestival.co.uk/tickets.