Council rejects Download Festival noise and traffic complaints after investigation

Download Festival
The event saw heavy traffic that caused 'chaos' according to some festivalgoers. Credit: PA Images

This year's Download Festival did not breach noise and traffic licence conditions, a council investigation has decided.

An investigation into the impact of the Download Festival, which took place in June, was carried out by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) following more than 200 complaints about noise and traffic chaos.

Significant roads near the festival were gridlocked - leaving thousands of people stuck in long queues.

One woman told ITV News Central at the time that she was stuck in traffic for 14 hours without food - she has type 1 diabetes meaning it's important for her to control her blood glucose levels.

After the investigation was announced in July 2023, NWLDC said it has reviewed all conditions on the licence and "found the festival did not breach traffic management or noise control measures, the cause of the majority of complaints".

It added: "One minor condition breach was identified relating to access to toilet facilities off-site for people on High Street, Castle Donington."

Going forward, there are recommendations to organisers that "some conditions are tightened, including those around community consultation and traffic management plans", which aim to reduce the impact the festival has on nearby roads and communities.

Council leader Richard Blunt said: "We’re very proud of the international reputation of Donington Park as a race circuit and venue, and welcome the annual pilgrimage of rock and metal fans to the Download Festival, but know events of this size impact our local communities.

"Following concerns raised this year we have worked with partner agencies including Leicestershire Police, Leicestershire County Council and National Highways to ensure the conditions of the licence were met, and to understand if there are ways to reduce disruption.

"Given the age of the licence we have suggested the event organiser and licence holder look to change some of the conditions to prevent the scenes and complaints we received this year."

Andy Copping, executive president of UK Touring, Live Nation, said: “Download Festival has committed to a full review and overhaul of operations with a brand-new production team to not only meet these conditions, but to exceed them and elevate the event experience for attendees, local businesses and the local community.”

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