Fans abandon Download Festival before it begins due to poor weather

Tom ButlerSenior Editor
Yahoo Celebrity UK
Festival goers brave the muddy fields during day 1 at Download festival 2019 at Donington Park on June 14, 2019 in Castle Donington, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
Festival goers brave the muddy fields during day 1 at Download festival 2019 at Donington Park on June 14, 2019 in Castle Donington, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

Pack your wellies if you’re off to Download Festival this weekend as it’s going to be a muddy one.

Several days of heavy rain means that rock music fans are in for a dirty weekend at Donington Park, as they congregate for “UK’s premiere rock festival” featuring headline shows from Slipknot, Def Leppard, Tool and many more. The site opened to punters yesterday, with three days of live music kicking off today.

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However the treacherous conditions on the East Midlands site have already prompted some people to abandon the festival entirely, with the BBC reporting a number of injuries including a slipped disc, a dislocated hip, and cases of hypothermia.

Festival goers brave the muddy fields during day 1 at Download festival 2019 at Donington Park on June 14, 2019 in Castle Donington, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
Festival goers brave the muddy fields during day 1 at Download festival 2019 at Donington Park on June 14, 2019 in Castle Donington, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

John Hawkins, from Grimsby, left the site Thursday morning after suffering a slipped disc, reports BBC news. “I spent the next 24 hours crying in my tent," Hawkins said. "It's not [been] communicated there would be such a distance between the car park and the campsite." The 34-year-old decided to leave the festival after a fruitless, hour-long search for a toilet "that wasn't flooded or looking like something out of a horror movie".

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"I was looking forward to my first festival experience, but all I got was mud, cold and pain," he added.

Festival goers have been sharing photos and videos from the site on social media, and it looks pretty sodden underfoot.

Festival organisers shared an update on the show’s official Twitter account thanking all the early arrivals who made it to the site on Thursday for braving the “biblical rain”.

“A big thank you to all of you for keeping up the amazing Download spirit,” they shared. “No one is tougher than you guys.”

The weather looks to be improving on the site now, with festival organisers putting down hay in a bid to soak up some of the ground water. Revellers on site have been sharing more pictures showing some sunshine which will hopefully firm up the ground.

However, having just endured a week of wet weather, it looks like wellies will be essential footwear for the duration of the festival.

Festival volunteers add dry hay to cover up the muddy patches as they brave the muddy fields during day 1 of Download festival 2019 at Donington Park on June 14, 2019 in Castle Donington, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
Festival volunteers add dry hay to cover up the muddy patches as they brave the muddy fields during day 1 of Download festival 2019 at Donington Park on June 14, 2019 in Castle Donington, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

Day tickets to Download cost £79.50 plus a £9.70 booking fee.

Download is an annual festival that started in 2003, and it has played host to some of the biggest names in rock including Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Korn, Soundgarden, Motörhead, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Kiss, Judas Priest, Status Quo, Mötley Crüe, Journey, ZZ Top, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Faith No More, and Guns N' Roses.

The 2006 festival was rocked by controversy when riot police had to storm one of the campsite after some festival goers barricaded a road preventing fire engines to access the site and put out a fire.

In 2012, wet weather caused the festival to delay opening the main arena on the Friday resulting in the cancellation or postponement of certain performers.

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