Download Festival will take place as a pilot event for the U.K.’s Event Research Programme (ERP). The renowned three-day gathering will take place from June 18th-20th at Donington Park in Derby.
As with previous outings planned in partnership with the ERP, the purpose of the test event is to gauge COVID-19 transmissions resulting from mass gatherings. Findings will be used to determine feasibility of large-scale events in the future.
10,000 guests with negative lateral flow and PCR tests will be allowed to participate without masks or social distancing. Afterwards, researchers from Public Health England will monitor possible transmissions.
Download Festival’s March 2021 event was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Their participation in the U.K.’s phased reopening program comes with risks as well as the potential of a positive outcome of the ERP.
Previous pilots found 15 out of 58,000 people tested positive in the wake of trial events. That being said, ERP research suggests that mass events are as safe as shopping or eating at a restaurant.
Download Festival is a British rock gathering that has taken place annually at Donington Park since 2003. Organizers report about 100,000 attendees per year under ordinary circumstances. The 2022 edition has already been announced for June 10th-12th with over 90 acts confirmed.
Organizers have yet to put tickets on sale for the 2021 event. Additional information can be found on the Download Festival website.