Investigation launched as local council boss says Download Festival traffic was “absolute disaster”

Following the massive traffic delays getting into this year’s Download, a Leicestershire council boss has stressed that “something’s got to change” for 2024 – otherwise there’ll be questions over the festival’s future.

Investigation launched as local council boss says Download Festival traffic was “absolute disaster”
Kerrang! staff
Andy Ford

With an investigation into last month’s huge traffic problems being launched, a local council boss has stated that Download Festival’s future could be up in the air if things don’t improve in 2024.

The sold-out Donington Park event expanded to a four-day 20th anniversary celebration this time around, and with thousands of fans attempting to arrive on site on June 7 and 8, local congestion became so severe that “600 people actually missed flights” at the nearby airport, according to the head of Leicestershire County Council, Nick Rushton. Meanwhile, some festival-goers reportedly took up to seven hours to get on-site due to blockages on the likes of the M1, A50 and A453.

The council boss described the situation as an “absolute disaster” and warned that it could have an impact on the festival going forwards: “Donington are pretty good operators but they really messed up big time this time,” he told BBC. “Something’s got to change for next year otherwise I’ll be pressing that the damn thing is cancelled.”

Of course, next year’s Download will be returning to its usual three-day format, with campsites opening two days beforehand – so this year’s “unprecedented” traffic issues should hopefully be avoided. “I think with a bit of controlling and not doing a four-day festival it should be a lot better next year,” added Nick Rushton.

Read this: The big review: Download Festival 2023

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