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TravelGuides – ‘It’s going to be weird’: Download festival opens with no social distancing | Download festival

TravelGuides – ‘It’s going to be bizarre’: Download festival opens with no social distancing | Download festival

Moshing is definitely the ultimate stage of the journey again to normality in a put up-lockdown world. Hundreds of sweaty individuals slamming into one another with full physique contact won’t enchantment to everybody, however it’s unimaginable not to recognize how monumental a step it’s after greater than a 12 months of being informed to keep two metres aside.

“After being distanced for so long, it’s going to be weird. But I’m going to be straight in there. You’ve got to throw yourself in at the deep end,” stated Shay Fagan, 22, one in all 10,000 rock and heavy metallic followers arriving on the Download festival on Friday keen to return to the mosh pit.

The festival, the UK’s largest rock occasion, usually welcomes about 80,000 individuals to Donington Park in Leicestershire every June, however this 12 months it’s working at diminished capability as a pilot of enormous-scale occasions forward of subsequent month’s full reopening in England and Wales.

All attendees had been required to submit unfavourable lateral circulate and PCR Covid take a look at outcomes earlier than arrival, however as soon as contained in the festival gates there have been no social distancing or face masks required.

There was additionally no leaving , with all attendees required to camp for the complete period of the three-day festival.

“Once you’re in, you’re in. But I normally stay for the full five days anyway,” stated Fagan, who has attended the festival six occasions.

To get her Download repair final 12 months when the occasion was cancelled, she and her mates camped out in a again backyard for a mock festival.

“It’s been really sad without gigs. I haven’t seen any live music since February 2020,” stated her buddy Connor Pritchard, including he would be straight into the primary “wall of death” – a type of moshing the place the group splits in half and runs at one another.

“It’s a little taster of what life could be again,” stated Hayley Mackay, 28, who had travelled up from London. “We were a little apprehensive because when we were queuing up it felt like so many people, but we feel like it’s going to be safe.”

Despite the wet climate she was thrilled to be ready to expertise stay music once more. “Put anyone on stage and I will listen to them. As long as I can dance, drunk in a field with with strangers I don’t care.”

Festivalgoers refuse to let a little rain spoil the party at the Download festival pilot in Leicestershire.
Festivalgoers refuse to let somewhat rain spoil the occasion on the Download festival pilot in Leicestershire. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

The occasion was organised in only a few weeks however contains a sturdy lineup of a few of the greatest rock bands within the nation together with Enter Shikari, Bullet for My Valentine and Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes.

With the top of restrictions pushed again by 4 weeks in England and Wales, thereis rather a lot using on take a look at occasions corresponding to Download Pilot to show that festivals and the stay music sector can open again up safely.

“It’s emotional and hugely exciting. And I’m confident that, providing you put people in an environment where they are all tested or vaccinated, people can enjoy music very safely,” stated Melvin Benn, the director of Festival Republic, which runs quite a few massive-scale occasions together with the Download, Wireless and Leeds festivals. “I pay tribute to the fans who are coming because they are putting themselves forward as test dummies, so to speak.”

Researchers will be utilizing CCTV cameras to monitor crowd density throughout the positioning, and to attempt to pinpoint any areas of Covid transmission – whether or not that be within the moshpit, the group, the queue for the bar or the campsite.

Benn stated he had pushed the federal government to enable a tenting festival within the occasions analysis programme, and after they agreed, Download was his first selection.

“The Download festival community is an exceptional community, the music is marginalised to a large extent, so the festival where they can gather means a huge amount,” he stated. “This audience needed that gathering probably more than any other.”

TravelGuides – ‘It’s going to be bizarre’: Download festival opens with no social distancing | Download festival

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