Download Festival announces mindfulness initiative Mind The Dog for 2019 edition

Details of meditation classes, breathing exercises and more have been revealed by the festival’s organisers

Download Festival has announced a new initiative known as ‘Mind the Dog’ for their 2019 instalment at Donnington Park.

In between watching bands – including headliners Def Leppard, Slipknot and Tool – festivalgoers will be offered activities that care for both their physical and mental health.

Organisers have also pledged to increase the number of recycling and water points, as well as putting new Download refillable metal water bottles on sale.

“Download has gone from strength to strength in its sustainability and accessibility offerings,” said Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn in a press release.

“We have been awarded 4 star Creative Green Result by Julie’s Bicycle for the second year running, and level gold from Access Is For Everything last year, which is the highest possible award for accessibility – so it only made sense to offer an on-site programme for mental health, as well as physical.

“By introducing Mind The Dog this year, we are hoping to provide a mindfulness haven in The Doghouse across the weekend, with meditation, sound baths, and more. I couldn’t be prouder of how much Download has accomplished already.”

Free activities will run from Thursday, June 13 until the end of the festival (June 16), and range from morning meditation classes soundtracked by live music, sound baths, breathing exercises and more.

Rou Reynolds, vocalist of this year’s Avalanche Stage Sunday headliners Enter Shikari, has backed the initiative, saying: “We often go through life on autopilot, getting caught up in the stressors, the anxieties, the intensity of it all. We’re rarely consciously in control of our turbulent mind. Mindfulness allows us to regain control as we learn to observe our thoughts instead of getting caught up in them.”

He continued: “It has been an incredible help to me and I couldn’t recommend it more. Not only does it help with anxiety and depression, but it also improves focus, emotional intelligence, compassion, tolerance and objectivity and has even been proven to help boost your immune system. Big up Download for introducing this programme to the festival.”

A full list of the mindfulness activities and their times can be viewed on the Download festival website.

Download Festival takes place at Donnington Park on 14-16 June, and features acts including Smashing Pumpkins, Die Antwoord, Rob Zombie, and Slayer’s final ever UK show.