The organiser of Download has announced major site improvement plans for the 2020 festival, which takes place from June 12-14 at Donington Park.
Following feedback from fans, the festival’s Village has moved closer to The Arena and will be located on the hardstanding tarmac lake, which will be home to the largest ever festival merch superstore for weekend campers.
The festival has become even more sustainable on site with 100 per cent Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil biofuel to be used that will reduce carbon emissions by a 60 per cent. Alongside new locations for all campsites, walking distances have decreased, and with the new Castle Donington Bypass, there is the addition of an East Car Park.
Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, said of the new developments: “Download is a festival like no other, the audience is as essential as a headliner and we’re excited to bring these site changes to the 2020 festival for better customer experience. The new location of The Village is incredibly exciting as we have made use of the hardstanding tarmac lake. What’s equally exciting is the merch superstore that will be located here, with plenty of options to commemorate the weekend. The new Castle Donington Bypass has allowed us to introduce a third car park for those coming from the North, and all these site changes have reduced walking times across the site.”
Download Festival has reduced walking distances for festival attendees by moving campsites, car parks, the transport hub and The Village. When campers were looking at almost an hour walk to campsites from The Arena, the new campsite locations mean that Downloaders can reach their tents in the furthest campsites from The Arena in just 25 minutes.
The newly located general campsites will also see a fan rebrand, and Downloaders have until March 9 to suggest what each of the six campsites should be called. Furthermore, Greenpeace’s Eco Campsite will also return for its third year, with 100 per cent of tents taken away in the previous two years.
Download Festival has reacted to public feedback, relocating The Village after the severe weather conditions of last year, to the hardstanding Tarmac Lake. Home of The Dog House, Hair Of The Dog bar, food stands, and the Mind The Dog Mindfulness programming that will return in 2020, plus just minutes away from the Access Campsite, access customers can go from their camp to The Village without leaving solid ground.
The Village will also be home to a new massive 900 square meter merch superstore for the first time, and in The Arena, the serving areas of merchandise stalls have increased by 13 metres, plus additional staff on hand to aid in providing size choices whilst waiting. The lines were too long last year, and this should help speed up the process. New for 2020, the Guest Area will also have its own merch stand.
Bars will once again be operating with reusable cups, and Co-op’s reverse vending machines return for a third year. All water bottles sold at the bars and traders stands will be made from renewable plant-based bottles, and all water refill points in The Arena have been completely redesigned with high flow meaning that a litre bottle can be refilled in just three seconds, compared to last year which could have taken up to 12 seconds.
Vegan food offerings will increased by 40 per cent to give more than 30 vegan vendors to choose from on site and a total of more than 40 vegetarian stalls to tuck into. Gluten free traders have also increased to a total of 30 stalls across the site, an increase of 42 per cent from 2019.
For 2020, Download Festival has introduced a new East Car Park, which alongside the West Car Park, will be dedicated to weekend campers with easy access to campsites either side of the site. The East Car Park will also be easily accessible by those travelling from the North of England via the newly created Castle Donington bypass. The South Car Park will be dedicated to day ticket holders and improved conditions within the car parks aim to better handle weather conditions. The increase in car parks also means Downloaders no longer have to walk for miles with their weekend belongings, as if parked in the East Car Park, they can reach the nearest campsite in just two minutes.
Image: Paulo Nuno