What this all means for the summer will soon be revealed, as those 10,000 in attendance return their post-event PCR tests and the data around any potential COVID spread is crunched.
“Getting this event away, and hopefully with no major infection issues, it will literally open things up for all those other events towards the end of the summer,” Andy Copping told Kerrang! upon the announcement of Download Pilot. “There’s a huge amount of festivals going on – literally hundreds of events big and small – and they’re all sat waiting to see what comes out of Download Pilot, which will hopefully open the door for them.
“If we can come of it without any significant increase in infection, then all of those other events will be able to take place and hopefully without too many compromising restrictions.”
In the midst of the weekend, Latitude festival – run, like Download, by Festival Republic and Live Nation – confirmed it would be going ahead, albeit with more details on exactly how to follow. Bloodstock festival will have been looking on with particular interest. Scheduled to take place four weeks after the UK’s rejigged ‘opening up’ date finally comes to fruition, it will be the major festival that closest resembles what we saw this past week in shape, size and structure (and not just because Download borrowed their main stage). Reading & Leeds – both sold out at their full capacity and set to welcome in the region of 150,000 people across the two sites on the August bank holiday weekend – will be studying Download Pilot’s playsheet perhaps even closer.
It’s over to the scientists, then. Ultimately, they will have the final say on all of this. But Download Pilot proved that, in the face of a hugely challenging year and extensive pre-event responsibilities and requirements, live music can return. It will return.
For the moment, we came, we rocked, and we all played our part. Now, we cross our fingers.
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