Download Dog

Bringing the dog home to Download Festival

The Brief

NEWSUBSTANCE were engaged by Festival Republic / Live Nation to design, fabricate and install a large scenic installation piece – The Download Dog – for Download Festival 2016 providing a compelling and immersive realisation of the iconic festival emblem.

Event Statistics

Attended by close to 110,000 people the acclaimed Download Festival took place across three days in Donnington Park – the spiritual home of rock!

— Client

Festival Republic / Live Nation

— Location

Donnington, UK

Created with Sketch.
Created with Sketch.


The Outcome

The Download Dog was formed from multiple sections of both CNC’d and hand sculpted polystyrene within which a structural metal skeleton was embedded in addition to a free standing aluminium truss support. The sections were then plastic coated to give further structural integrity before being scenically finished to a cinematic standard. A large, curved aperture at the rear of its neck allowed public egress with a prescribed channel offering festivalgoers a route through to the Dogs mouth to be photographed within its giant jaws.

The sheer size of the Dog meant it broke and shipped in two 40ft trucks arriving to site in 12 sections that were bolted and pieced together across a one day build. Recessed into the eye sockets were six LED floods providing a punchy 4000 lumens per unit to create piecing red eye balls glaring out onto the main arena. Standing 6.5m high to the top of his ears the Download Dog was a bold commission by Festival Republic and Live Nation, providing a compelling and immersive realisation of the iconic festival emblem.

I wanted to celebrate the Download Dog, and build a proper piece of art to do that. The response from festivalgoers has been fantastic and vindication of our decision to create a new Download family member. NEWSUBSTANCE are a truly talented outfit – agile, creatively switched on and a pleasure to work with. Their pursuit of excellence in getting this project aesthetically right against tight deadlines and in challenging conditions was breath of fresh air. A huge thank you to them!

Melvin Benn, Director of Festival Republic