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Download: Fans leave muddy festival after heavy rain

Download entrance Image copyright Jamie Graham
Image caption Some campers lasted less than a few hours before they decided to leave the site

Music fans have been leaving a festival before a note has even been played - after torrential rain reduced the site to a "mud-bath".

Thousands descended on Download festival's campsite at Donington Park on Wednesday.

One man, who left after injuring himself, described scenes of "impassable muddy sludge everywhere".

Fans braving the mud have rechristened the event "Drownload", posting pictures of drenched ground online.

John Hawkins, from Grimsby, left the Donington Park site Thursday morning after suffering a slipped disc.

"I spent the next 24 hours crying in my tent," he said.

"It's not [been] communicated there would be such a distance between the car park and the campsite."

The 34-year-old said he made the choice to leave after searching for a toilet "that wasn't flooded or looking like something out of a horror movie" for an hour.

"I was looking forward to my first festival experience, but all I got was mud, cold and pain," he said.

Image copyright Nathalie Kerr
Image caption Festival staff have been trying to drain the site

Samantha Gibben, from Stockon-on-Tees, dislocated her hip and left after six hours.

"I was just sliding everywhere," she said.

"The village was more or less inaccessible for anyone who couldn't walk and the campsites were very slippery already."

Miss Gibben said wheelchairs were getting stuck and friends who stayed overnight had hypothermia.

"The stick-it-out attitude is no excuse for not looking after yourself and putting your health first," she said.

Sullivan-Wren Sheriff, 28, from Nottingham, opened up a three-bedroom house to those leaving the campsite.

A young man who took up the offer "wasn't in a good way so I said I'd pick him up to make sure he gets a wash and some clean clothes".

"There's a lot of people in their late teens/early 20s who have travelled miles and it would be a shame for them to not fully enjoy the experience."

Image caption Campers began arriving at the site on Wednesday

Roads on Wednesday were gridlocked as campers arrived at the site in heavy rain.

Organisers tweeted: "A big thank you to all of you for keeping up the amazing Download spirit. No-one is tougher than you guys."

The three-day music event will be headlined by Slipknot, Tool and Def Leppard, and many festival-goers are defiant to deal with the mud.

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