How to get to Download Festival as organisers aim to avoid repeat of traffic chaos

DONNINGTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11:  (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) General view of festival goers on Day 2 of Download festival at Donnington Park on June 11, 2022 in Donnington, England.  (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
-Credit: (Image: Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

Download Festival is just days away, with the gates set to open to rock fans in their thousands. Last year saw traffic chaos and organisers are keen to avoid a repeat.

The event, in Castle Donington, runs from Friday, June 14 to Sunday, June 16, while the campsite itself opens on Wednesday (June 12). Download teams are anticipating around 75,000 to come to Donington Park over the coming days, with travel a key issue for many.

New travel plans are in force for 2024’s event to avoid similar issues seen during last year’s festival. Some motorists were reportedly stuck in queues surrounding the festival for up to 15 hours, so here’s how you can get your rock on later this week.

READ MORE: Download 2024: What you can and cannot bring to the Donington Park festival

Car share

The most sustainable method in getting to Donington Park is car sharing, according to organisers who say it is “fun, easy and cheap”. Those who are looking to offer their empty car seats or hitch a lift with a fellow rock fan are urged to sign up to the Download Liftshare app.


With new travel plans in force for 2024, those travelling by car or by minibus are urged to follow a guide which has been sent to all ticket holders. This will urge drivers to follow National Highways’ previously issued advice which calls on drivers to ignore sat navs and instead follow signage to Donington Park.

New guides are in place this year to avoid a repeat of major queues for last year's Download Festival -Credit:Traffic England
New guides are in place this year to avoid a repeat of major queues for last year's Download Festival -Credit:Traffic England

Drivers are being warned in advance that even with new guidance in place for this year, the M1 , A42, A453, A50 and A38 are expected to see “significant increases” in traffic. The worst of the traffic is expected on Wednesday and Thursday (June 12 and June 13).

Download organisers have also said that advance parking for the festival is now closed. “Limited” spaces may still be available on the day for no-shows, but rock fans are said this is not guaranteed.

Car parking

Download has three car parks set up for the event. All three will be open to the public from 9am on Wednesday, but specific ticket holders can only park in certain car parks. Download says:

  • West Car Park - quiet and ‘Mini Moshers’/motorbike car parks and weekend guests

  • North Car Park - weekend and eco camping

  • South Car Park - day tickets and arena only tickets


Those getting to the Leicestershire-based festival by train will arrive at either East Midlands Parkway or Derby. Bus transfers from these stations for the festival will be available with more details online.

Shuttle buses from both East Midlands Parkway and Derby train stations will also be in operation across the week. Traffic depending, Download teams say these should take around 20 minutes to arrive at the festival.


A designated taxi rank will be set up for those coming by taxi to Download. Those using taxis must instruct their drivers to drop them off and pick them up from this location and nowhere else.

Drop off/pick up

As part of this year’s efforts to reduce congestion in and around Download, the drop off and pick up zones will be separated this year. Both will still be located in the festival’s Transport Hub area which also boasts the taxi rank.

Road signs will direct drivers to the correct area and these should be followed, with drivers once again urged to ignore sat navs. Drivers should not pick up or drop off festival-goers on nearby roads.

Organisers have said this is because roads surrounding the festival “can be unsafe” and have “unstable verges”. Some also offer no pavements. A series of ‘No Stopping’ orders will be in place around the festival to ensure drivers use the Transport Hub.

Download Festival organisers have said that live traffic updates will be posted on its travel updates page from Tuesday (June 11). More information can be found on the Download website.