Apr 24, 2024 2 min read

Download Festival announces plans to avoid last year’s “unprecedented” traffic congestion

More than 600 people missed flights to their summer holiday destinations after getting caught up in congestion around the Download Festival at Donington Park in 2023. This year organisers are working hard to ensure that doesn’t happen again

Download Festival announces plans to avoid last year’s “unprecedented” traffic congestion

The Live Nation-owned Download Festival, which takes place at Donington Park in Leicestershire, has announced a new traffic plan after “unprecedented” congestion at the start of last year’s event caused hundreds of people travelling to the nearby East Midlands Airport to miss flights. 

“We knew it was something that we had to focus on for this year”, festival organiser Andy Copping tells the BBC, explaining that a specialist traffic management company has been brought in. “We feel that with their experience and their knowledge, any issues that we faced last year will be eradicated”.

Expressing his anger at the delays caused for people travelling to the airport and elsewhere locally during last year’s festival, leader of Leicestershire County Council Nick Rushton warned at the time that, if changes weren’t made in 2024, he would be “pressing that the damn thing is cancelled”. 

While an inquiry by North West Leicestershire District Council found that the 2023 edition of the event did not breach traffic licence conditions, organisers have nonetheless gone ahead with efforts to improve the situation. 

Among the changes, which are being overseen by Far And Beyond Events, are more efficient methods of getting people into car parks, including moving the location of positions where tickets are scanned before festival-goers can park further into the site. 

“We're looking at the way people drive into the car parks to get them off the road quicker, so that where you're having your car parking scanned, it isn't immediately where you drive in”, says director of Far And Beyond Events, Jess Shields. “We're pulling people into the site a bit further and taking them off the road that they were on for the last couple of years which I think caused a lot of backlog”.

“As you can imagine, we're under big scrutiny with the council and the local residents because of the impact we have”, she adds. “But we are working really hard to make sure that any of the things that could be improved upon from last year will be”.

Set to be headlined by Queens Of The Stone Age, Fall Out Boy and Avenged Sevenfold, this year’s Download Festival will take place on 14-16 Jun.

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