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‘Spiritual homecoming’ as 85,000 fans return to Download Festival 2022

todayJune 12, 2022 1

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Three years on from the last full festival, the 85,000 fans attending Download 2022 have likened being back at Donington Park to a “spiritual homecoming”. Travelling from around the world to be here, and with good weather, for most people it has been “like being in heaven” after so long without an event.

Changes had been made to the site for this event, with the organisers trying to give more space to camping and easier access to the Village and main arena. They also sought to make parts of the site unlikely to turn to muddy lanes by placing more on hard standing. Parking also changed.

Some of it has worked and some of it hasn’t, according to fans. While most appreciate why changes were made, many were frustrated at having to walk large 30 minute distances from some campsites to the main arena.

Read more: East Midlands Airport reroutes more flights over Download Festival drone reports

Others have suggested that there have been insufficient toilets on some campsites but plenty in the main public areas. One person remarked that unusually there were more loos for women than men, who had been forced to queue on occasions.



Ashley McArthur was glad to be back at Download

But even while some people had gripes, they were good natured and constructive. Ashley McArthur, who had come to the festival from Glasgow, summed it up when she said that the whole thing had been a great antidote to the pandemic.

She said: “The change of atmosphere from being locked down and having the freedom here has been great and people are really making the most of it. It is wonderful to be back and feel like you belong to a community.”

It was Ashley’s fourth Download Festival and she hadn’t been for some time before 2019 when the last one was held. She added: “I can see so many changes. The whole festival is about being eco-friendly and sustainable now which is also great.

“I get on a bus to travel back to Glasgow on Monday morning – there were two coachloads that came down from there – and it was one big party – it might be a bit more subdued going back but we have all had such a great time.”

Jake Jackson, who was at the festival with mates from Peterborough, said: “It’s been a great few days. The weather, the music, the food – it’s all been great. I have been before a couple of times and came to the pilot event last year and I cannot believe how much everyone is so pleased to see each other. It’s a real spiritual homecoming.”

Derbyshire man Jacob Field and his friend Camille Bullough travelled with friends from Manchester to be at the festival. Jacob is trying to visit as many major festivals as possible and neither he nor Camille had been to Download before.

They arrived on Friday and said they had really enjoyed themselves, especially seeing headliner Kiss on Friday night. They thought the trek from the campsite to the arena was “too far” but Camille added: “Despite that, we have had a really good time and of course the weather has made the difference.”



It was also a thumbs-up from the many ‘pirates’ at the event

Jinny Davies travelled from Harlech in Wales to be at Donington Park. She said: “There is so much to do and listen to, it’s been like being heaven over the past few days to just chill and enjoy yourself. I am with some friends, who have gone missing at the moment but it doesn’t matter because there is always someone to speak to. Everyone is so friendly.”

A large number of fans dressed as pirates on the final day in honour of pirate metal band Alestorm. Josh Atkins, from Chelmsford, said: “We have to honour those we love. It’s been a great festival and this was just icing on the cake.”

Over the three day festival, which ends with Biffy Clyro headlining on Sunday night, there have been more than 100 bands, also including Saturday night headliners and veteran rockers Iron Maiden.

Most fans have been camping since Wednesday or Thursday and are expected to leave before lunchtime on Monday morning. A fan forum also works with the organisers to look at what went well and what might need changing for future events after the event.

Written by: thehitnetwork

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