We caught up with Andy Copping, the Executive President of Touring (UK) at Live Nation, to delve into the remarkable success of Download Festival 2023. With its 20th anniversary celebration and a stellar line-up of bands, the festival sold out more than a month before the festival began. So, how did they do it?
What factors contributed to Download’s success this year?
“With it being our 20th anniversary, people felt the need to come and celebrate that with us. Going to four days and having such a strong and varied bill meant there was something for everyone. Beyond the music, the various programming across the site such as District X, the Megastore among others, it was very special this year.”
How has Download evolved and grown since its inception?
“We have worked hard to move the festival with the times and that has not been easy, but I believe we hit the right spots. The Download fans have grown with us too and have remained fiercely loyal – that brings a huge amount of pressure on me and the team. The expectation on us to deliver a great festival is always very high, and we never want to let the fans down. Download continues to reinvent itself.”
What unique elements did you introduce this year that set it apart from previous editions?
“I would say that the entertainment in the village and campsites has improved tenfold. The entertainment before the festival and after hours is as important as the regular main arena stages and we’ve seen the fans really respond well to that – they seem to love it!”
How does Download engage with its audience?
“We are in constant communication with our fans throughout the year and we listen to what they say (good and bad!) – it is the only way we can evolve and improve. Without the fans we are nothing. I believe having this open dialogue has been a massive factor to our success.”
In terms of attendance and ticket sales, how did Download 2023 perform compared to previous years?
“Our attendance this year was huge and we saw a large influx of both new fans and fans that hadn’t been for a few years. I believe the diversity and breadth of our bill across all the stages made Download 2023 a festival not to be missed.”
Can you share some key highlights from Download 2023?
“The weather, the production – especially the Metallica video and sound towers, they were epic! The bands, the fans – it was so good.”
From its evolution over the years, embracing new elements and innovations, to the unwavering loyalty and support of the festival’s devoted fans, Download Festival has established itself as a pinnacle of the music festival experience. The strategic efforts to engage with the audience, listen to feedback, and adapt accordingly have undoubtedly played a pivotal role in maintaining the festival’s popularity and ensuring its continued growth.
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