Downloaders heading to 20th anniversary sell out festival in Derbyshire urged to follow driving advice

Fans at the 2022 festival.Fans at the 2022 festival.
Fans at the 2022 festival.
With a sell-out crowd expected for this year's 20th anniversary Download Festival in the East Midlands, National Highways is advising festival goers to follow the signposted routes and not their sat navs to get to the site as smoothly as possible.

Tens of thousands of rock fans will be descending on Donington Park in the East Midlands next week (7 June) to mark the 20th anniversary of the Download Festival.

With a sell-out crowd expected and an additional day of music included this year, National Highways is advising festival goers to follow the signposted routes and not their sat navs to get to the site as smoothly as possible.

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Camping once again opens on Wednesday 7 June but there is an extra day of live music this year which starts the following day rather than on the Friday as usual.

With just one ‘arrival’ day before the event gets under way, it is anticipated that more people will be heading to the camp site on the Wednesday and roads will be busier.

Headlining this year’s festival, which runs from Thursday 8 June until Sunday 11 June, are Metallica, Bring Me the Horizon and Slipknot. The popular annual festival at Donington Park attracts some 100,000 people.

National Highways will be dispatching extra traffic officer patrols and is working with the event organisers to keep the roads moving as smoothly as possible.

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Donington Park is located next to East Midlands Airport, four miles west of junction 23a of the M1 and five miles from junction 24.

National Highways Network Resilience Planner, Phil Shaw, said: “We expect the M1, A42, A50 and A38 to see significant increases in traffic over the festival period, particularly when everyone arrives on the Wednesday and again when they leave on Monday.

“If you are attending the Download Festival, when you get within a few miles follow the road signs and the instructions from the organisers rather than your sat nav as they will guide you on the correct route to the correct car park.

“Our advice to all motorists is allow extra time for journeys in that area over the weekend, particularly if you are catching a flight from East Midlands Airport.

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“With more warm weather forecast, drivers should also have plenty of water or cold drinks for both themselves and their passengers and make sure they take regular breaks.”

Advice on travelling in the summer is available on the National Highways website here:

National Highways will use electronic message boards on nearby motorways to advise people of any delays.

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For live traffic updates follow the @HighwaysEMIDS Twitter feed. The National Highways 24/7 customer contact centre team can also provide up-to-the minute information on 0300 123 5000.

Drivers are also urged to make sure they have carried out simple vehicle checks before setting off. Things to consider are:

• Tyres: Ensure tyre pressures are suitable for the load and check the condition of tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear across the whole tyre including sidewall. • Engine oil: Check oil levels regularly and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual.• Water: Always keep your screen wash topped up with a good ratio of water and screen wash to maximise the cleaning efficiency so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen easily. • Lights: If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. In addition, your vehicle may fail its MoT.• Fuel: Before setting out make sure you have enough fuel to get to your destination. Running out of fuel can put you, your family and other road users at risk unnecessarily.