UK Festival Award winner, Download Festival has today announced major site improvement plans for 2022, including unparalleled accessibility improvements and sustainability initiatives.
Download Festival prides itself on listening to its loyal fanbase. The Village has moved even closer to the Arena and will now be located on hard-standing ground. This is not just water-proofing the site, but the move also means it will be located just minutes away from the Access Campsite with access customers now able to go freely from their camp to The Village without leaving solid ground.
In 2022, Download is partnering with Trees for Cities, while also introducing a new Circular Camping option, offering clean, upcycled tents and camping equipment. Alongside new locations for all campsites, walking distances have decreased, and with the new Castle Donington Bypass has made the addition of an East Car Park possible for the very first time. 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. Additionally, the new car parks mean that festival-goers can look forward to bridge-free access to the festival and campsites.
Melvin Benn, Festival Republic MD says: “It’s 58 days from today until the opening of the campsite gates. It will be a massive 1092 days between Tool closing on the 16th of June 2019 and Heriot playing those first guitar chords on June 10. It is time for the Download Community to REUNITE!”
Download Festival have reacted to public feedback, relocating The Village and moving it to hardstanding ground to create a more all-weather environment. With the new location just 350m from the Access Campsite, the closest it has ever been, access customers can now go freely from their camp to The Village without leaving solid ground and enjoy the full Download experience more than ever before. 2022 is expected to be a record-breaking year for Download and its loyal access customers, with the festival’s highest ever number of access customers set to attend the event.
Festival Republic have worked with Attitude is Everything since 2001. Download Festival signed up to the Attitude is Everything Live Event Access Charter and currently holds the Gold Award within the charter. The Accessible Campsite remains on the same hardstanding location. The Accessible Campervan space has moved to a flatter more accessible location and the space for campervans has increased by 42% to over 100 spaces for 2022. Returning in 2022 will be British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters on the Main and Second Stage platforms, provided by Performance Interpreting, Camp Accessibility Ambassadors, Wheelchair Charging tent and much more.
Festival Republic work to reduce the environmental impact of their venues and festivals to ensure they are responsible global citizens, taking care of the communities where they operate, and doing their part to curb the most harmful impacts of global climate change. To sequester the CO2 emissions from audience travel, Download are partnering with Trees For Cities. An additional £1 car park pass donation will fund tree-planting projects in both Derbyshire county and Leicestershire county in the coming planting seasons.
The festival’s recycling and composting rates rose from 46% in 2018 to 59% in 2019 with zero waste going to landfill, all water bottles sold at the bars and traders stands will be made from 100% recycled PET, supporting the recycling industry, and Co-op’s reverse vending machines return for a third year. All water refill points in The Arena have been completely redesigned with high flow meaning that a litre bottle can be refilled in just 3 seconds, compared to 2019, when it could have taken up to 12 seconds. That’s four times faster!
Additionally, when planning travel to the festival, Big Green Coach’s services are now completely carbon neutral and Download’s Liftshare car park is once again open to Downloaders choosing to reduce their carbon footprint by sharing their car journey. At the last full-scale Download in 2019, the Liftshare carpark sold out with 157 cars taking part and £20,000 was raised for local schools through car park pass donations with Ecolibrium & Solar for Schools to install solar panels.
Download is also introducing a new Circular Camping option, offering clean, upcycled tents and camping equipment allowing fans to enjoy the festival sustainably without packing any heavy camping gear. Circular Camping will be located in the Green campsite, next to the Eco Camp, which is back for 2022 for a third year with 100% of tents taken away in 2018 and 2019, and being delivered by Be Your Environment Community Camping (BYEco). More info on Circular Camping available here.
For 2022, 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 the 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. As The Village is now a central hub between campsites, this can be reached from the majority of campsites in 15 minutes or less.
Excitingly, the newly located general campsites will also see a fan rebrand with Downloaders able to suggest what the campsites should be called. More info to be revealed soon.
Home of The Dog House, Hair of the Dog bar, food stands and much more, The Village will see an exciting revamp of its programming to celebrate its brand-new home. On Thursday, in a festival first, Download will host their first ever live podcast sessions in The Dog House, featuring some of the most-exciting podcasters of recent years. Kerrang Radio’s Sophie K, BBC Radio 1 presenter Alyx Holcombe and Alternative Press journalist Yasmine Summan will be taking to the stage with their trailblazing podcast On Wednesdays We Wear Black, the only alternative music podcast about lifestyle, who have created a diverse space for unrepresented voices with the alternative worlds. Also joining the podcast line-up is Sappenin’ Podcast, which will see hosts Sean Smith, former vocalist of The Blackout, and music journalist Morgan Richards dive into the worlds of music, sports, film, TV, comedy and more with their unfiltered chats.
Download is also ramping up its late-night entertainment and bringing even more DJs sets and later nights to The Village. The festival will continue the party well into the night with some of the UKs most exciting DJs and exceptional talent taking to The Dog House stage each night from Wednesday, including BBC Radio 1’s Daniel P Carter, Kerrang! Radio’s Jon Mahon, DJ and producer Zoe London and many, many more. The incredible Mind The Dog Mindfulness and wellness programming is also set to return this year.