Music fan 'affected by food poisoning' month after eating at Download

Daniel Fitzsimmons, 27. On his first day at the festival, Daniel ate a pulled pork Yorkshire pudding from one of the food stands at the event.  By the next day, Daniel, 27, began suffering gastric symptoms including diarrhoea and nausea. Due to falling ill, Daniel returned home from the three-day event a day early and contacted his GP for advice. More than three weeks on, Daniel, who attended the festival with his partner, continues to suffer from a bad stomach and has ongoing diarrhoea. Hes also struggled with work as a production engineer due to urgency.
-Credit: (Image: No credit)


A music fan has told how he is still suffering from suspected food poisoning almost a month after eating from a food vendor at Download Festival. Daniel Fitzsimmons, 27, claimed he started feeling sick and had diarrhoea after eating a pulled pork Yorkshire pudding at the Leicestershire event, in Castle Donington.

He was forced to return home from the three-day music event a day early and even had to contact his GP for advice with the suspected food poisoning.

Now three weeks later, Daniel hs claimed he continues to suffer from a 'bad stomach', has had ongoing diarrhoea and has struggled with work as a production engineer due to urgency to use the toilet.

He said: "I'd been looking forward to Download for a while, as my favourite band Limp Bizkit were performing. Sadly, however, I didn't get to see them as I fell ill the first day after eating a pulled pork Yorkshire pudding.

"It was covered in mashed potato and gravy, and while it wasn't great or very hot, I didn't really think much of it at the time. It was only when others started complaining of being unwell that I began thinking it could be the food."

Daniel, of Attleborough, Norfolk, says the event 'didn't give off the best impression' because there was lots of mud and overflowing toilets.

He said: "The festival really didn't give off the best impression anyway, due to all the mud and overflowing toilets. But to then become sick was the final straw for me and I left early.

"I'm still not right and I feel like everyone that's suffered deserve some answers, at least to help prevent it happening again in the future."

James Grange, 28, also attended the event and started vomiting and had diarrhoea after eating a burger on the first day of the event. He was picked up from the festival two days early and was forced to call NHS 111 for advice on his journey to his home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

James' symptoms continued for several days and he claimed he was still suffering from ongoing diarrhoea and nausea and felt light-headed now.

The customer service advisor said: "I'm not usually one to get sick and I think I have quite a robust stomach. But shortly after eating at Download, I was very unwell.

"The burger I had did taste a bit off and was only lukewarm, but I didn't really link it all together until I heard of everyone else falling ill."

James said the toilets at the festival were 'disgusting' and he believes this made the situation worse. He said: "I suspect the whole situation was made worse by the disgusting state of the toilets which I complained about - and the fact that the hand sanitiser ran out and wasn't replaced.

"The hygiene in general was very poor at this year's festival, which I feel is unacceptable for such a large event. It's really worrying how many people were affected and something needs to be done to stop it happening again."

Jatinder Paul, a specialist public health lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Daniel and James, has encouraged anyone else who became ill at the event to come forward.

He said: "The reports we've heard of the problems at Download Festival, and the first-hand accounts from Daniel, James and others, are deeply concerning.

"To hear that the organisers closed down two food stands indicates the scale of the issue. It's been further reported that more than 500 people attending the festival have been affected by illness.

"The scale of the problem is concerning and really not something you'd expect from such a high profile event. Gastric illness is serious and the impact of it should never be downplayed. In some cases, it can lead to long-term health complications.

"Live Nation has confirmed it's now investigating the outbreak and it's vital that if any issues are identified, lessons are learned to ensure something like this doesn't happen again. We'd also like to speak to anyone affected to help with our own enquiries."

Download Festival organisers Live Nation have been contacted for a comment.

North West Leicestershire District Council told LeicestershireLive previously that it had worked with Live Nation to investigate two vendors, which were then closed down. The vendors have not been named publicly. A spokesperson for the authority said it would “continue to investigate the outbreak”.

Paul Sanders, head of community services at NWLDC, told LeicestershireLive: "We carried out ongoing food hygiene safety checks on site throughout the five days of the festival to ensure that all vendors were up to the required standards.

“Where we find improvements are required, we provide advice and carry out a further visit to ensure the improvements have been made. We worked with the event organiser to investigate two food vendors, both of which were closed by the event organiser over the course of the weekend.

“We are aware of reports of people feeling unwell and will continue to investigate. Anyone continuing to feel unwell following the Download festival should contact their GP in the first instance."