Download Festival has shared a selection of official footage from last weekend’s test event, which saw 10,000 rock fans returning to Donington Park as part of official government research into the safe return of live music.
The event saw fans being encouraged to start mosh pits and party like the pandemic never happened as they enjoyed headline sets from Bullet For My Valentine, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Enter Shikari.
Download has now shared official footage from last weekend’s event, which captures the sheer euphoria of fans returning to Donington for the first time in two years.
It also includes brilliant snippets from the performances, such as the moment when Frank Carter launched himself into the crowd.
We came, we tested, we MOSHED. Here’s some highlights from an incredible weekend at #DownloadPilot. 🖤
— Download Festival (@DownloadFest) June 22, 2021
— ENTER SHIKARI (@ENTERSHIKARI) June 20, 2021
Describing the event, Download boss Andy Copping told NME last Friday (June 18): “No masks, no social distancing, these people are going to be moshing, stage-diving, dancing, hugging, kissing, shagging, losing their minds. The beauty of it is that they’ve all been tested, everybody’s in good spirits, they know what they’ve got to do, but they’ve been given the opportunity to go out and behave in a way that they could prior to COVID.
“Yes, it’s a test event and it’s important, but we want people to have that interaction. If we can prove that the infection rate of the people who came to Download hasn’t gone up or moved significantly, that’s going to set things up for all the other events taking place later this year. This is going to be a big, big thing for the entertainment industry.”
Festival organiser Melvin Benn said that the pilot is “100 per cent” evidence that festivals can go ahead this summer.
“What is extraordinary about it is the level of compliance around the testing and requirements we have is absolutely extraordinary. In a way that you would expect when you are in the middle or towards the tail end of a pandemic, that level of compliance is extraordinary,” he said.
Reviewing last weekend’s event, NME wrote: “It’s proof of just how different this event is to regular Download; 2021’s event is a much-needed celebration of the future and, hopefully, a taste of things to come.