Festival Republic has confirmed that a three-day, 10,000 capacity, camping-only festival will take place this June as part of the second phase of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme. In the true spirit of rock, the “Download Pilot” will take place on June 18-20 2021 at Donington Park. Tickets go on sale on June 1 for the longstanding loyal existing Download Festival 2022 ticket holders, before general on sale on June 3. The full line-up will be announced on May 28.

The specially-created Download Pilot event will form part of the second phase of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme. The programme 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.

With tickets priced at just £120 (plus booking fee) for the full three-day festival and initially being offered as a thank you to existing Download Festival 2022 ticket holders, Festival Republic has confirmed that there will be no social distancing, no masks, camping and the return of moshing.

Whilst festivalgoers will not be socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once inside the festival, they will be required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to and from Donington Park and adhere to rules set out by the festival organisers. 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. They will also have to provide contact details for NHS Test and Trace to ensure everyone can be traced in the event of an audience member receiving a positive test after the event.

Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, said: “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.”