Fans Fire Up Download

Police and event organizers are sifting through CCTV film and appealing for witnesses as Live Nation‘s Download Festival ended with fans starting fires in the campsite area.

Officers called to the site as the U.K. festival was ending at midnight June 11th met with some resistance. At least a dozen people were arrested for a variety of offenses including assault and damage. So far, there’s been no reports of any serious injuries.

“There were 75,000 people per day at the event and, up until last night, there had been no major incidents over the weekend. The trouble involved a small number of otherwise fantastic customers who attended this massively successful event. This type of trouble is very rare and is completely out of character for Download fans,” festival chief and Live Nation U.K. managing director Stuart Galbraith said in a statement issued through LD Communications the following day.

“This was the smoothest festival, in terms of organization, logistics and lineup, that we have ever run at Donington Park featuring over 100 bands including Metallica, Tool, and Guns N’ Roses as our headliners.”

Superintendent Paul Smith of Leicestershire Constabulary’s North Area said the festival had been relatively trouble-free all weekend and this incident marred an otherwise peaceful and enjoyable event.

“The disorder involved a number of people and it is not clear at this early stage what sparked the trouble,” he explained.

“A full investigation is already under way to establish exactly what happened and to assess the extent of crime and the identity of any offenders.

“Officers and organizers are speaking to people who are still on site to take witness statements to help piece together last night’s events. We know that most people were not involved in the trouble, but they may have important information so we are appealing to anyone who witnessed the disorder and anyone who may have been the victim of crime to come forward and talk to us as soon as possible.

“Some people may have recorded events on their mobile phones and this evidence could prove vital to our investigation. Anyone who has footage or information is asked to get in touch with us.”

Download Festival organizers are working jointly with local police and are currently looking at CCTV footage in order to identify the culprits. Discussions are under way regarding the implementation of preventive measures against individuals for future events.

Acts on the June 9-11 bill included Tool, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, The Prodigy, Deftones, Korn, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, Clutch, Within Temptation, Lacuna Coil, and Hatebreed.

– John Gammon