Page last updated at 08:24 GMT, Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Festivals bowing to fan pressure

Download fans have helped shape the site of this year's event

The organisers of the Download rock festivals say they are giving fans more say in how it and their other events are being run.

Live Nation is to introduce a range of new measures at this year's Download, set for Donington Park on 12-14 June, after feedback from online forums.

They include cutting the distance between stages and campgrounds and improving the toilet facilities.

Fans applauded a disabled camping area, which will return this summer.

The promoters, who also run London's Wireless concerts in Hyde Park and have a hand in T in the Park and the Reading and Leeds festivals, say they now plan on rolling the forums out to include fans at each of the events.

Vice-president of music at Live Nation, Andy Copping, said: "Our festival partners have looked at how we've adapted and moved forward with Download and now want to use those same systems and set up forums specific to each festival."

Site planning

Now in its seventh year, the three-day event is one of the biggest dates in the UK's hard rock calendar, attracting up to 60,000 fans each day in 2008 to see headliners Kiss and Lostprophets.

Download festival
Bands like Slipknot are rumoured to be playing 2009

Live Nation says discussions with fans have even helped keep the three-day rock music event at its home in Donington - which is in line for massive redevelopment after applying to host Formula One's British Grand Prix from 2010.

Mr Copping said: "We were talking to them about the way that the site is laid out because of the slight changes brought about by the Grand Prix.

"We're also looking at upgrading our food facilities and access to the actual festival from the campsites."

Reading needs to increase the size of the tents... last year I missed some bands

Mr Copping admits that festivals are being forced to listen to their fans, many of whom will inevitably scale back their spending on music this year.

He added: "You can't just find a bit of grass, put up a stage, put bands on and expect people to turn up.

"They expect far more these days, if they're going be spending a hundred pounds a ticket, you've got to offer them a really good deal."

Live Nation claims environmental issues are top of the agenda for some fans this year and it is looking at ways to improve waste management at the site.

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