Return Of Festivals – 10,000 capacity festival for next month

Updated: Line Up Announced

download main stage
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Festival Republic will run a Download Pilot, a 3-day camping only festival at Donington Park, Derby as part of the second phase of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme.

‘Download Pilot’ will take place on 18-20 June 2021

Festival Republic’s MELVIN BENN: “Following the huge success of our Sefton Park event, we are delighted to contribute to Phase II of the Government’s Events Research Programme with the creation of the first three-day camping festival which will be the Download Pilot at Donington Park. This massive next step will help us understand and study the safe return of large-scale festivals with no social distancing or facemasks over a full weekend… the return of the full festival experience we have all been waiting for and a much-needed return to work for musicians, backstage crew, caterers and many more that form part of the UK’s exemplary live music industry.”

40x UK bands over two stages: Headliners: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Enter Shikari and Bullet For My Valentine. Other acts include Frank Turner, Creeper, While She Sleeps, Twin Atlantic, Yonaka, Employed to Serve, Neck Deep and more.

download pilot line up 2021

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 1 June for the longstanding loyal existing Download Festival 2022 ticket holders, before general on sale on Thursday 3 June, with tickets priced at just £120 (plus booking fee).

No social distancing and no masks

The very first major camping event of its kind, the specially created Download Pilot event will form part of the second phase of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme. This ground-breaking study will look to build on the evidence base gathered from the successful first phase and apply findings on a greater scale with greater crowd numbers than before. The attendance at the Download Pilot will provide additional evidence for government, event organisers, and consumers on the logistical and practical considerations of reopening events safely, including multi-day events.

Working closely with the Government to adhere to safety guidelines, this Download Pilot, as the first 10,000 capacity camping festival event, will play an important role in paving the way for the return of large-scale music events and festivals as the UK emerges from the past year’s restrictions. As a Government scientific Events Research Programme event, festivalgoers will need to consent to take part and must be over 16. There will be no day tickets available with all festivalgoers expected to camp on-site for the duration of the event. Full details will be available via

Testing before and after the event

Researchers from Public Health England will be overseeing the study. They will be gathering data on transmission risk, the suspension of social distancing and face coverings over several consecutive days. This data will help to ensure that events later this summer can go ahead safely.

If you test positive, don’t worry – you’ll be refunded.

Attendees must have proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the festival. As part of the wider scientific research on the trial events, the Download Pilot attendees will also be asked to take a PCR test before and after the event to gather further evidence on the safety of the festival camping experience, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings.

Full line up of bands announced:

Friday: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Neck Deep, Sleep Token, Boston Manor, Holding Absence, Hot milk, Malevolence, Death Blooms.

Saturday: Enter Shikari, While She Sleeps, Creeper, Stone Broken, Twin Atlantic, Yonaka, Those Damn Crows, “A”, Vukovi, Tigercub, Wargasm, The Hara, Bleed From Within, As Everything Unfolds, Conjurer, Lotus Eater.

Sunday: Bullet For My Valentine, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Skindred, The Wildhearts, Trash Boat, Massive Wagons, Elvana, Jamie Lenman, Lonely The Brave, Higher Power, Loathe, Chubby and The Gang, Employed To Serve, Cassyette, Saint Agnes, Static Dress.

Big Green Coach is providing safe coach travel to the event from Birmingham, Birkenhead, Bradford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London (Victoria), Manchester and Sheffield, straight to the heart of Donington Park. Visit for more details.

Photo credit: Abbie Shipperley