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We are committed to ensuring Download Festival is a place to celebrate connection in all its forms: not just to music, arts, and culture, but to the environment and each other. This charter sets out Download Festival’s commitments to that.



As a festival and as a team we deeply value diversity and inclusion. We recognise and celebrate diversity in our audience and the team that brings Download Festival to life. We will not tolerate discrimination because of someone’s disability, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity in any form. Discriminatory words or actions have no place at Download Festival.

Disability/D/Deaf access and Neuro diversity

Festivals bring together music fans of different backgrounds and from all walks of life. At Festival Republic/Live Nation (FR/LN) we are committed to doing everything we can to promote a culture of inclusion and accessibility for all of our customers. We aim to provide, and constantly improve on, accessible infrastructure and services, delivered in a way that respects the needs of each individual and does not exclude anyone.


We celebrate difference and believe that there is strength in diversity. We welcome all people equally, on, behind and in front of the stage. We have a comprehensive diversity training programme at Festival Republic that is available to each employee.


We recognise that there is a widely reported gender imbalance on the performers at Download Festival. Less widely reported is the same or greater imbalance in some of the producing roles but it is equally on our agenda.

Only 14% of songwriters and composers signed to publishers and fewer than 20% of artists signed to record label rosters are female* and it is in this context that the challenge of achieving equal gender representation needs to be viewed. However, we have been proactive with our Rebalance programme. In 2017 we created the Rebalance programme to offer opportunities not just for artists but for studio engineers and producers. This started as an initial 3-year projection and has now been extended for a further 3 years. The project has provided studio time, mentoring and gig and festival slots to 33 people, many of whom have gone on to sign label deals or work permanently within the industry.

In addition, since 2018 we have committed to increasing the percentage of female identifying stage managers at our festivals, from 11% in 2018 to a total of 32% on average across our events in 2021. This far surpasses the industry average and we are looking to do the same in many more roles across our festivals. In 2021 we also contracted the first all-female stage crew at Download Pilot Festival. We are not passive about the work that needs to be done.

Mental Health and Safeguarding

We have a huge number of agencies that work at Download Festival to keep everyone safe. Festival Republic and Live Nation have developed a safeguarding policy that outlines our statement of intent towards the well-being and human rights of children, young people and vulnerable adults, and outlines the strategies that we have in place to safeguard customers and staff from abuse, which includes harm and neglect.

Together, as a team, we strive to offer a 24/7 all-inclusive safeguarding system meaning whatever support or treatment is required, it can be provided as quickly as possible within the festival site. We believe that no one should experience abuse of any kind, and that we have a duty of care to protect customers and staff as much as is practicable and proportionate. This is regardless of age, disability, gender, race, domestic situation, religion, belief, or sexual orientation.

Helping us deliver our Safeguarding policy are:

  • Change, Grow, Live – a reliable point of contact in the Campsite Village. The CGL Team provide a friendly and welcoming face, a listening ear and provide an advance and info service, which covers all things drugs, alcohol, sexual health and wellbeing.
  • Samaritans – the volunteer team are expertly trained at listening and providing comfort to those in need.
  • The Welfare Crew - For when that friendly face isn’t quite enough, our welfare team provide a warm and comfortable place to stay for however long someone may need. They work hard towards the right outcome depending on the case. This might be providing professional advice, involving the parent(s) and guardian(s), linking in with our partner agencies or enabling everybody to feel safe and happy once more to enjoy the duration of the festival.
  • Open Road – Providing our Safeguarding coordinators
  • Elite EMS – Providing medical care for anyone in need.
  • In the past we have worked with also worked with Safe Gigs for Women to raise awareness for unwanted attention at gigs and we plan to work with them again this year.
  • The Chaplaincy – Active throughout the site, the Chaplaincy team provide a friendly face and listening ear for festivalgoers.



As set out in our Green Nation Sustainability Charter,we recognise our responsibility to preserve the live music experience for generations to come and have a tremendous opportunity to inspire climate action at Download Festival.

We acknowledge the impact that our business has on the environment, are committed both to telling the truth about the scale of the climate and ecological emergency, and to taking urgent action.

Our primary impact areas are transport and energy, as well as waste, water, food and beverage, and the effect of the festival on the flora and fauna of the site. Each of the festival’s environmental impact areas have been assessed in the context of their impact on, and the contribution to reaching the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals1.


Download Festival measures its carbon footprint annually, and in 2019 received four out of five stars in the Julie’s Bicycle Creative Green Certification and we strive to achieve five.

We employ a dedicated sustainability team who work as an integral part of the festival planning process, developing a sustainability action plan for the festival and ensuring these actions are undertaken on site.

We know that we cannot tackle climate change alone, and as such we support climate positive initiatives in the broader music industry. Download Festival is part of Vision 2025, contributed to the The Show Must Go On Reports in 2020 and 2015, and has signed up to Music Declares Emergency.


Download Festival is working towards a target of 50% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. This is in line with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, which we are still committed to despite the national pledges at COP26 being forecast to exceed this level of warming. We will review our progress annually in step with a science-based approach.

We support North West Leicestershire Council’s Net Zero Carbon Roadmap and Derbyshire County Council’s Climate Change Strategy and will work in partnership to help reach their goal of achieving net zero carbon district (NW Leicestershire) & County (Derbyshire) by 2050.


The energy we use is the main contributor to the on-site GHG emissions at Download Festival. Our strategy is to first reduce our required usage, and then to replace our energy sources with renewables.

Energy Reduction

  • Through our membership of Powerful Thinking we are constantly working to reduce the power consumption at the festival to a minimum.
  • We monitor fuel consumption annually, to determine the potential to reduce generator sizes and related fuel volumes.
  • We require that LED festoon and tower lights are used to reduce energy consumption, and that onsite suppliers plan power distribution efficiently.

Replace with Renewable Energy

  • Our aim is to use 100% renewable energy from either biofuel or mains supply by 2030, and this year we are fuelling Download with 100% Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), from a 7% share of total fuel in 2019.
  • HVO is a renewable biodiesel made from used cooking oil, which emits 90% less carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) when compared to using regular white diesel.
  • We use the mains power that is available on site to power our production offices.
  • We assess our biofuel’s provenance, endeavouring to use European sources that are from a second-generation waste product such as used vegetable oil, not palm derived.
  • Battery storage solutions and solar hybrid generators are utilised at Download Festival in suitable areas, and we calculate the emissions savings they generate.


We strongly recommend and promote low-carbon travel options to get to Download Festival.

We partner with national coach provider Big Green Coach, work with carshare company Liftshare, and provide shuttle buses from Derby train station to provide lower-carbon alternatives to single-occupant car travel. All car parking passes at the Festival include a £1 donation to Trees For Cities to fund local tree planting projects which contribute to mitigating the emissions from audience travel.

In 2018 and 2019, we balanced emissions equivalent to 733 tonnes of carbon equivalent with Ecolibrium, donating a half of the solar panel installation costs at Redlands Community Primary School in Leicestershire via Solar for Schools.

The Heavy Metal Truants are a charity bike ride who cycle to Download from London every year since 2012, raising money for Nordoff Robbins, Childline, Teenage Cancer Trust, Save the Children and others. In 2019 they raised an amazing £101,000.


We are committed to implementing closed-loop waste management systems at Download and work to support the development of a circular economy.

We apply the following waste hierarchy, as set out in the Waste Regulations 2011:

  • Waste Reduction
  • Reuse
  • Recycling
  • Energy Recovery
  • Disposal

Plastic Reduction

To mitigate the environmental impacts of plastic pollution, Download Festival does not sell any virgin single-use plastic. This includes sampling containers, cutlery, plates, cups, bottles, serve-ware, sachets, stirrers and straws. We implement a sourcing policy that prioritises:

  • Reuse over single-use.
  • Renewable over finite resources.
  • Products with the highest recycled content available, including at least 30% where alternatives are not available.

Download Festival has implemented the following measures to reduce single use plastic at the festival:

  • We provide water refill stations across site, and encourage fans, staff, and artists to use reusable bottles. These are also available for purchase onsite.
  • No pre bottled water is provided as standard to crew or artists.
  • All bottled water sold at Download Festival contains a minimum of 30% recycled content in line with the UK Plastic Pact, supporting the plastic recycling industry.
  • All soft drinks are served in either a recycled plastic bottle, a paper or reusable cup, or a can where permitted.
  • We operate soft drink post-mix outlets and bars are required to decant mixers from multi-serving bottles to reduce the number of bottles.
  • Plastic cutlery and straws have been banned since 2009, and only EN 13432 certified compostable materials are permitted for food service containers.Bulk condiment bottles are required to be used instead of single-use sachets.


We aim to achieve at least a 50% recycling rate by 2030, and to go beyond North-West Leicestershire and Derby County Council’s recycling rate. Download Festival is zero waste to landfill, as all festival waste is either recycled, composted, or used to generate energy from waste. We aim to reduce the amount of waste sent to incineration by 90% by 2030.

Download Festival has a waste management plan, have tracked our waste and recycling since 2009 and receive annual reports from the recycling facility.

We recruit a passionate group Green Messengers to help spread the word about our recycling initiatives, including:

  • Our recycling reward scheme, offering customers prizes for recycling in the campsites.
  • The three-bin system we implement site-wide, allowing separation of recyclable, non-recyclable, and compostable waste.
  • Our deposit return scheme on cups and water bottles, incentivising recycling in the arena.
  • Every Can Counts promote can recycling in the campsites, with games and rewards.
  • The Co-op reverse vending machines, where customers are rewarded with supermarket vouchers, and plastic bottles are recycled into uniforms for Co-op colleagues.
  • Campsite recycling points and bags distributed to campers, allowing them to collect and dispose of their waste and recycling.
  • Engagement campaigns including our Zero Waste Festival Goer initiative to encourage campers to take pledges for the environment such as taking their tents home.
  • Collaborations with charities and not-for-profit groups including local scouts, guides, the Salvation Army, Help for Refugees, Melbourne Festival, Beyond Belief, Whistlewood Common, Wigston College and others to repurpose tents and camping equipment that campers do not reuse themselves.

Since 2018 Download has hosted an Ecocamp, home to 1000+ eco-conscious Downloaders who leave no trace and camp with a conscience. In 2022 we added a pre pitched Circular Camping option from upcycled tents.


  • We measure the amount of water consumed at Download Festival.
  • Self-stopping taps are in operation at the Festival to minimise water wastage.


We advise our food vendors and caterers to follow minimum standards with regards to food sourcing.

  • Eggs to be free range, fish sourced according to the MSC Good Fish Guide, and meat to be RSPCA Assured.
  • We encourage using vendors local to the festival and ensure a number of dedicated vegetarian and vegan options are available to festivalgoers, aiming for 20%.

We are committed to developing awareness of the carbon footprint of food, in 2022 we are working with The London School of Economics to develop a food carbon calculator to inform customer choices.

We are reducing the carbon footprint of food consumed by our crew by not serving high-carbon food, and having at least one meat-free day per week in crew catering.

We are committed to collecting and redistributing any surplus food from the festival, and work with the Trussel Trust to help us do this.


We are committed to engaging with our customers, staff and artists on environmental issues, and to collaborate with local and national environmental causes and organisations. Our recent projects include:

  • Pledges of positive action for the environment taken by festivalgoers, artists and staff as part of our Zero Waste Festival Goer campaign,
  • Giving a platform to climate change campaign groups including Greenpeace, Every Can Counts and Music Declares Emergency.
  • Empowering our staff and artists to play their part in improving the sustainability of the festival, by educating them on the initiatives we put in place across site.


Our annual donation to Trees For Cities is directed to funding tree planting projects near to Download, in both Derbyshire and Leicestershire, giving back to the local area that our festival calls home each year.