MAJOR preparations are under way as 100,000 people ready themselves to descend on North West Leicestershire for the UK’s biggest rock festival.
Police chiefs revealed they were now meeting with the organisers of the Download Festival on a regular basis in a bid to iron out any issues and keep disruption to a minimum when music lovers arrive at Donington Park for the event, which runs between June 13 and 15.
Helena Bhakta, North West Leicestershire Local Policing Unit Commander, spoke to the Mail about the force’s preparations.
She said: As many people can appreciate, particularly if they live in and around Castle Donington, the Download Festival is a significant event not only for the local community but also the police.
“Our planning for this year’s event started as soon as last year’s event finished, and at North West Leicestershire we are heavily involved in planning for the festival.
“We meet regularly with Live Nation, who are the event promoters, as well as North West Leicestershire District Council, and we are working hard to deliver a safe event that causes the least amount of adverse impact on the local community.”
Last year 100,000 people swamped the area for the festival, a number that is set to be matched if not beaten this year.
The 2014 festival will see rock gods Aerosmith and Linkin Park take to the stage to wow the crowds.
A spokesman for the festival said: “We are very proud of the contribution that Download Festival is able to make to the local community, which benefits residents all year round.
“On the whole the festival puts around £3 million back into the local economy each year, through the revenue of local amenities, transport, tourism and accommodation (to mention a few).”
A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “Major roads and motorways in the area are likely to be busy.
“All routes to the festival will be well signposted, but people travelling in the area should plan their journey in advance and check the latest travel conditions before they set out.
“We are making sure that we can provide as helpful information as we can to enable people to make their journeys.”