Sunday, July 25, 2021

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The Download Festival pilot is ‘100 per cent evidence’ festivals can go ahead

The Download Festival pilot is “100 per cent” evidence that festivals can go ahead, the event’s organiser says.

Melvin Benn, managing director of the Festival Republic group, has hailed the three-day government test event at Donington Park for the “level of compliance around testing and requirements”.

A reduced capacity of 10,000 fans saw the likes of headliners Bullet For My Valentine, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Enter Shikari after showing proof of a negative PCR test, and the festival boss doesn’t see why music events can’t be attended at full capacity without social distancing and masks.

Melvin said: “It’s extraordinary really. It’s really fantastic. I am very heart-warmed by it all.

“What is extraordinary about it is the level of compliance around the testing and requirements we have is absolutely extraordinary.

“In a way that you would expect when you are in the middle or towards the tail end of a pandemic, that level of compliance is extraordinary.

“It is coupled with a level of normality that is equally extraordinary when you have been out of it for so long.”

Quizzed on whether it’s impossible for larger-scale events to take place, he replied: “It is evidence that this is not true. It is 100% evidence that it is not true. This is a very clear demonstration that you can do it.”

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