Download fans complain of thefts as Frank Carter has gold chain swiped during performance

 (Matt Higgs/LD)
(Matt Higgs/LD)

Music fans who attended Download last weekend have hit out at security after there were multiple reports of stolen phones, cash and other personal items.

The rock and metal festival took place in Castle Donington, Leicestershire, between Wednesday 12 June and Sunday 16 June.

Community development manager Paul, 37, told The Independent that both he and his partner were victims of thefts while attending the event.

Paul, who preferred to keep his surname anonymous, said this was his fifth or sixth time attending the festival and that his previous experiences had been “out of this world”.

“The people are lovely and the atmosphere is welcoming and inclusive to all,” he said. “You feel like you’re a part of something bigger... everyone looks out for each other.”

However, Paul said that he woke up on the first day of the festival to find his card was missing. Someone then spent £60 before he could cancel the card, due to poor reception on-site.

His girlfriend Faye, 31, then had her phone stolen from her pocket during American punk-rock band The Offspring’s performance on Saturday: “At first she thought she dropped it, then we started a search and that’s when about six people also noticed their phones had gone missing,” he said.

“Moments later we found the case discarded on the floor and that’s when the penny dropped.”


Paul said he and his partner immediately went to the information desk to report the theft, where they saw another woman “in tears” as her phone had also been stolen.

Faye complained that the member of staff they spoke to failed to take proper contact information in order to be able to identify her phone, were it to be recovered.

The couple claimed that they encountered a number of other fans whose belongings had been taken during the festival.

Even Frank Carter, who played the festival with his band The Rattlesnakes, had a gold chain of sentimental value swiped while he was crowd-surfing.

Video footage shared on Facebook by fans shows the singer mid-performance when he suddenly jerked and attempted to turn around while still crowd-surfing.

“Which one?” he asked. “Which one of you f***ers”.

 (Matt Higgs/LD)
(Matt Higgs/LD)

The song then stopped abruptly as Carter returned to the stage: “Which one of you c***s stole my f***ing chain,” he demanded.

He continued: “I know, I’m fuming. I’ve had that chain for 10 years. And do you know what, I’ve sacrificed it to the mosh pits of Download. If 24 carat gold doesn’t buy us some f***ing love... I’m fuming.”

Paul started a Reddit thread encouraging other victims of theft to share their own stories, with over a hundred comments in response as fellow fans spoke of having their phones or money swiped.

“Don’t let your guard down like I did,” he advised to future festival-goers. “A zip pocket isn’t enough.”

“You think you’ll feel it if someone tried to rob you, but you won’t,” Faye added. “The thieves that come here do so to make money off your stuff, so the best way to stop them is not give them a target. Take a cheap ‘burner’ phone, use a digital or disposable camera for actually taking photos.

“Little padlocks on zips are good, inside pockets are better. Bury it deep in an awkward bag or in a coat within a bag, anything that makes it difficult to reach.”

A spokesperson for Download told The Independent: “Download Festival has a robust 24-hour security operation during the festival alongside Leicestershire Police who are on-site.

“Whilst we are unable to comment on individual cases, we urge victims and witnesses of any crime to report these immediately to the Police. Leicestershire Police can be contacted at or by dailling 101. Download Festival has a zero-tolerance policy for crime on-site.”