A man cycled from Rickmansworth to Leicestershire as part of a fundraiser before partying in the rain at a pilot festival event.

Music fans braved the rain to participate in the Government’s three-day live events pilot during the Download Festival at Donington Park, Leicestershire that kicked off last Friday (June 18).

At the heavy metal event, capacity was significantly reduced from 111,000 to around 10,000 – but fans had a glimpse of normality as they did not have to wear masks or socially distance.

Despite the rain over the weekend promoter Andy Copping said there was an atmosphere of “euphoria” at the event – but one fan had more obstacles than just the rain to enjoy the festival.

Alexander Milas, from London arrived at the festival after completing a 120-mile charity bike ride from Rickmansworth, and said the weather would only improve the event.

He cycled with fundraising group Heavy Metal Truants, who have raised more than £1million for charities including Teenage Cancer Trust and Save The Children.

Talking about partying in the rain, he said: “In a way it makes it better. It is amazing how that brings people together. The sheer misery and joy of being around a lot of like-minded, really wonderful people. I feel like it is perfect because it’s like ‘Weather be damned, we are going to have a great time’.”

The brave cyclist also praised the rock metal community, stating: “It’s literally all of us standing shoulder to shoulder to trying to do some good.

“I can’t think of many other musical communities that can produce the same focused effort. We feel really proud of that”.

Watford Observer: Festivalgoers on the first day of the event (Photo: PA)Festivalgoers on the first day of the event (Photo: PA)

Headliners include Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Enter Shikari and Bullet For My Valentine, with more than 40 UK-based bands in the line-up across two stages.

Festival organisers announced in March that they were cancelling the event for a second consecutive year due to the pandemic.

Watford Observer: Festivalgoers on the first day of the event (Photo: PA)Festivalgoers on the first day of the event (Photo: PA)

However, Download was given the green light in May to proceed as a Government test event, following a number of smaller pilots and the Brit Awards in May – the UK’s first major indoor live music event in more than a year.

Fans were seen arriving on site at Donington Park in Leicestershire and setting up tents while wearing raincoats and waterproof ponchos.