The first major Download Pilot Festival in the U.K. will take place this weekend, with 10,000 fans camping out in Donington Park as part of a government program to explore the possibility of bringing back large-scale live music events. Although the Download Festival will return in full in 2022, this “pilot” version of the festival boasted one of the highest attendance rates for music events in the UK, while researchers continued to gather data to help determine when and how the country’s music industry could return in full. And here we are, three and a half weeks later, in the rain and happy to be in the rain. “In other reports, smiling festival-goers posed in ponchos, talking about how excited they were to see live music again. At this event, festival-goers had to abide by rules of social distancing and wearing masks to arrive and enter the festival, but they were allowed to remove their masks and attend concerts without social distancing once they were there. They were also asked to take a PCR test before the event and after they collected more evidence for investigators about festival attendance and camping policy. So, yes, it took a long time. “Concerts are the heart and soul of what we do,” adds Ben Barlow of Neck Deep. Lucas Woodland of Holding Absence explains, “We haven’t played a concert since December 12, 2019. “Despite the weather, we’re optimistic,” organizer Melvin Benn told BBC News. British researchers are exploring ways to hold events that prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus by gradually increasing the number of people who can participate. One of the conditions for participating in the pilot event was a mandatory lateral flow test, which had to be administered on the morning of arrival, with a negative result for participation. But the government wanted to expand the research program, and they needed a camping festival, so they asked me to organize one. “It had been two years since we had been to that campground. There was heavy rain waiting for the festival-goers, but it didn’t seem to be able to spoil their mood. “I haven’t felt this alive in almost two years.
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