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Traffic warnings ahead of Download Festival with 75,000 expected to descend on Castle Donington

Legions of rock fans are travelling to Leicestershire’s Download Festival this weekend – the UK’s biggest rock and heavy metal music festival.

The event, in Castle Donington, runs from Friday, June 14 to Sunday, June 16, while the campsite itself opened earlier today Wednesday (June 12).

Leicester Time: Traffic warnings ahead of Download Festival with 75,000 expected to descend on Castle Donington
Picture: Visit Leicester

Download teams are anticipating around 75,000 to come to Donington Park over the coming days, to see bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Avenged Sevenfold and Fall Out Boy headline.

Also on the bill are the likes of The Offspring, Sum 41,Corey Taylor, Royal BloodandLimp Bizkit, with many more huge acts set to play the festival.

Highways bosses have issued advice to those attending this year’s festival to try to prevent a repeat of “unprecedented” congestion before last year’s event.

There were major delays on nearby roads in 2023 including the M1, A50 and A453, as people were stuck in queues for hours.

Some East Midlands Airport passengers missed flights because of the traffic jams.

It warned the M1, A42, A453, A50 and A38 were expected to see significant increases in traffic from Wednesday 12 June, when campsites open, and when people leave on Sunday night and Monday morning.

Download’s organisers said they had developed a new traffic plan in place following last year’s problems.

However National Highways has urged people driving to the festival to allow extra time for their journeys.

It has also told motorists to follow signs to the festival, rather than rely on sat-navs.

Drivers have also been advised not assume the route or entry point they have used in previous years will be the same.

There will be more parking fields than in previous years with an increased number of access gates, National Highways said, and people will be able to scan a QR code on their parking passes for live updates on car park availability and capacity.

Pick-up and drop-off points will not be in the same areas as the camping entrances to reduce congestion, officials said.

National Highways also said it would deploy extra traffic patrols to try to keep vehicles moving.

It advised anyone with a flight to catch at East Midlands Airport to allow more time for their journey and urged non-festival traffic to avoid the area.