Download Festival, the world’s premier rock event, has announced major improvement plans for this year’s festival, pushing to make it the most accessible and greenest Download ever. Viewing platforms across all stages and British Sign Language interpreters lead the way for accessibility improvements to better meet the needs of Download fans, and after receiving a 4-star Creative Green Certification from Julie’s Bicycle, Download continues to raise the bar with its commitment to environmental protection with the introduction of its first-ever Eco Campsite. Download Festival takes place on 8 – 10 June 2018 at the spiritual home of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire.
Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn says:
“Download Festival is built upon an ethos of inclusivity and it’s incredibly important to us that as many people as possible are able to enjoy the festival to the fullest. The appointment of accessibility ambassadors has provided us with invaluable feedback so that we’re able to implement practical improvements to site the that we hope will dramatically improve the experience for all. Being awarded a 4 out of 5-star Creative Green Certification is a huge milestone for Download Festival, and in this current climate I can’t help but feel proud of what we are doing to protect the environment including the introduction of Greenpeace’s Eco Campsite.”
Access viewing platforms will now be available at all stages across the festival as well as in The DogHouse, Download’s resident party stop located in the Village, meaning great accessible vantage points for the fans’ favourite bands whether they’re on The Dogtooth Stage or Main Stage. Download Festival is incredibly proud to welcome British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for the first time on the Main and Zippo Encore Stage platforms, provided by Performance Interpreting, a unique company providing deaf performers to the music and entertainment industry. Castle Donington Volunteer Centre will return to Download for the fifth year, to provide an almost 24-hour free shuttle service between the campsite and Village, along with Campsite and Public Transport Hub for Access customers. This year will see a 50% increase in the shuttle bus vehicles due to significant demand in 2017.
Marie Pascall, Director of Performance Interpreting says:
“Performance Interpreting are proud to be providing the first ever BSL Access Team at this year’s Download Festival. We will be providing a team of 8 qualified interpreters over the 3-day event, including deaf and hearing coordinators to ensure Deaf rock fans have an unforgettable experience. Rock music can be extremely challenging to interpret, embodying the energy, power and raw emotion of these almighty rock legends is an ambitious achievement. Bring it on!”
Continued improvements are being implemented at the Access Campsite. Those camping in the accessible campsite will now be able to drive right up to their pitch to drop off their equipment, where a team of ready and willing helpers are on hand to unload customers’ cars. A wheelchair charging tent with 50 charging points will be available for the first time, and the possibility of adding extra, and there will even be a 50% increase in the number of toilets in the Access Campsite as well as the check-in facility doubling in size to help make the process as comfortable, smooth and efficient as possible.
Laura Mina, Festival Republic’s Senior Access Coordinator comments:
“We’re continuously improving accessibility for our customers, and we’re predicting a 31% increase in Access arrivals at Download Festival following changes we implemented last year, an increase from 1450 to over 2000. We work tirelessly to ensure we deliver the best possible experience for our Access customers and this year is no exception.”
Download Festival is dedicated to improving its understanding, commitment and improvement towards environmental sustainability, and since 2016 Download has participated in the Creative Green Certification which is an external assessment by Julie’s Bicycle, a charity who support the creative industries to act on climate change. Download achieved an incredible four out of five stars due to last year’s environmental ethics and welcomes everyone to read full report is available to read online.
Last year at Download there was a decrease in overall carbon footprint by 96 tonnes of CO2e compared to 2016, and for 2018 we have introduced carbon balancing by adding £1 to the cost of all parking passes which will be donated to the charity Energy Revolution, who invest in renewable energy projects. This is on top of current travel initiatives with Big Green Coach, Liftshare and shuttle buses to encourage the reduction of traffic coming to the site.
In 2017, overall waste decreased by 61% compared to the year previous. Download Festival introduced reusable cups last year where half a million single-use cups were saved, and the Deposit Return System has seen an amazing 100,000 bottles collected and recycled since 2016. There has even been an increase of campsite recycling points, and food traders are not allowed to use single-use plastic cutlery or food containers to ensure 2018 is the most environmentally friendly yet. Did we mention plastic straws have been banned since 2016 too?
Following this, and new for 2018, Greenpeace are hosting a brand-new campsite called Eco Camp in a beautiful part of the Donington Estate, which is home to ancient oak trees and native wildlife, and can host up to 3000 fans who value spending time in the great outdoors just as much as listening to their favourite bands. Staying in the campsite is available at no extra cost for fans who have purchased a valid weekend camping ticket, but they must pre-register in advance and sign up to the set of eco-principles which include respecting the natural environment and fellow campers, being responsible for their rubbish and taking camping equipment home. During the festival, Greenpeace will nurture a community of like-minded people to get inspiration about how to live in a positive way and only their experiences and memories will remain.
Victoria Chapman, Sustainability Coordinator at Festival Republic says:
“Download fans have been shown to be extremely environmentally conscious and I am delighted that this has been reflected in the achievement of a 4 out of 5 star award, in only the second year of undertaking Creative Green Certification.”
Download Festival introduced the Dog Blog last year, to directly communicate with fans and gather feedback. This blog has been active on the website since the start of the year, allowing customers to email in questions or suggestions, and so far over 300 people have emailed with suggestions that have been taken into consideration for this year’s festival. The Dog Blog is still active and is available to read here.
Download are also proud to officially introduce brand new bookers Kamran Haq and Sean Ryman to the family. Both joined last year and work alongside Andy Copping, keeping ears firmly to the ground, handpicking the most exciting emerging talent around the world and bringing them to the stage.