"No one is tougher than you guys"
After days of adverse weather, Download Festival 2019 has seen music fans sharing images and tales of soldiering on through extremely muddy scenes.
The Donington Park festival officially kicks off tomorrow, and boasts a line-up including the likes of Def Leppard, Slipknot and Tool. Fans can also expect appearances from Smashing Pumpkins and Slayer’s last ever UK gig. However, campers and early arrivals have been experiencing extremely wet conditions before the action has really started – as well as travel disruption yesterday.
Many fans have taken to Instagram to share photos and videos of waterlogged camping areas and ankle-deep mud, with many dubbing the event as ‘Drownload’ or ‘Brownload’ as a result.
A number of festival-goers have since decided to go home as a result of the downpour and conditions.
“So we travelled home last night,” said Kelly Dawson, who paid £600 on her round trip. “We got in at 4am. Gutted is an understatement for how I feel about leaving. We couldn’t have afforded a hotel, we couldn’t afford to drive home and then back up today.
She continued “We made the very difficult decision to leave. And to all those who have made the same decision, I’m so sorry you felt the same way. We wanted to save ourselves, our clothes, our belongings before they got drenched and ruined.
“We only had a single skin tent (our fault completely) which honestly didn’t help but I’ve seen that even double skin tents have been having issues.”
Fellow fan Samantha Gibben added: “We had a perfectly watertight tent. Nothing was leaking. But left because of the mud. It’s that bad less than a day in.
“I’ll never survive. My hips were dislocating from slipping on the mud as we walked in even with wellies. I can’t handle it.”
However, on the whole it seems most fans have become accustomed to the mud and rain at Download Festival and are soldiering on.
“Hey Downloaders,” wrote the festival on Instagram, warning of new travel routes after “serious disruptions”.
“Gosh, yesterday was tough,” they continued. Amazing that all of you here got in and set up despite the biblical rain we had! A big thank you to all of you for keeping up the amazing Download spirit. No one is tougher than you guys.”
Meanwhile, Download Festival recently announced the new ‘Mind The Dog’ initiative – promoting mental and physical health.
“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,” said Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn.
“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.
Check out the latest Download weather forecast here, and check back at NME for the latest news, reviews and more from Download Festival 2019.