Download Festival has launched an investigation into traffic levels after “unprecedented” and “not acceptable” congestion at the site this year.
The event said on Wednesday an increase in vehicles by festivalgoers along with issues over travel routes to car parks on the first two days of the Leicestershire rock festival in early June is believed to be behind delays on the roads.
In a statement, organisers Live Nation Entertainment said: “Following this year’s Download Festival and a number of traffic management debrief meetings, we recognise that the level of traffic congestion was unprecedented and not acceptable due to the effect it had on our customers and the local community.
“An investigation has been launched to understand what went wrong on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 June 2023 in the surrounding areas of the festival.
“The higher attendance and increased number of vehicles accessing the site on the first two days and the routing to some car parks are believed to be the main contributing factors.
“As organisers of the festival, we have committed to a full review of the traffic management plan and information that was provided to ticket holders relating to the route to designated car parks.”
Earlier this month, the roads near Donington Park saw increased traffic and National Highways reported the M1 and A453 had “severe delays”.
The nearby East Midlands Airport also said it was experiencing “higher than usual traffic” on the roads as people tried to catch flights.
John Probyn, Download Festival manager, apologised at the time and said organisers were trying to “minimise” delays.
Also announced in the review was an improvement in “community engagement” and meetings with local businesses and residents for next year’s festival.
Live Nation Entertainment, who are also behind Reading and Leeds Festivals and Suffolk’s Latitude Festival, said the event will continue with its usual format by opening the campsites two days before opening to “spread” the arrival of attendees.
National Highways network planner Phil Shaw said: “After any major event such as the Download Festival we routinely carry out a review to see if any lessons can be learnt.
“This will take place with the festival organisers and other partners once the festival season ends.
“We will be looking at how the event impacted our roads and how we can avoid some of the issues encountered by road users next time.”