The temperature is rising, sweaters have been banished to the back of the closet, and the roads are overrun with cyclists. All this indicates one thing – summer is imminently upon us! And with summer comes summer festivals, a time to kick back, relax and enjoy a grand amalgamation of good food and good music. This year I have my sights (and my wellingtons) set on the benevolent Boomtown fair.
Boomtown Fair is the UK’s most creative escapist boutique festival, celebrating DIY theatrical performance like no other. With over 2,000 tickets sold in the first week, and intrepid new areas to explore such as Old Town, an area encompassing old school bars and disco’s playing music from the 50′s onwards (ah the nostalgia), this year is shaping up to be this season’s hot ticket for sunshine skanking and mind blowing bass.
Combining music and arts with an ongoing theme running through the event each year, the incredible Boomtown Fair has been running for 5 years and as its legend has it was once a small but prosperous retreat now changed into a land of lawless rebels, with only the town official’s to uphold its former glory.
This year Boomtown will be held from Thursday 11th until Sunday 14th August 2011 and although the festival is not just about music (it also offers entertainment over the four days such as comedy, arts, cabaret, spoken word and theatre) the line up is definitely one not to be missed.
The stages offer music from all over the world from different cities and cultures, consisting of ska, party bands, gypsy, folk, reggae, dub and country and western, and the boomtastic line up sp far includes:
MAIN STAGE LINE UP SO FAR:
GOGOL BORDELLO / BABYLON CIRCUS / BAD MANNERS / THE SELECTER WITH PAULINE BLACK / [DUNKELBUNT] / THE TOASTERS / GOLDIE LOOKIN CHAIN / THE APPLES / THE KING BLUES / BABYHEAD / SMERINS ANTI SOCIAL CLUB
DANCE STAGE LINE UP SO FAR:
DJ ZINC / BLACK SUN EMPIRE / FOREIGN BEGGARS / TODDLA T & SEROCEE / MS DYNAMITE / THE BUG & FLOWDAN / REDLIGHT & MC DREAD / EMALKAY / RATPACK / STENCHMAN / ED SOLO b2b JFB / HIGH RANKIN / FEED ME / PYRAMID / WARRIOR ONE / RACK N RUIN / TAYO / SQUIRE OF GOTHOS / KOAN SOUND / THE MCMASH CLAN
LIONS DEN (REGGAE STAGE) LINE UP SO FAR:
CAPLETON / BARRINGTON LEVY / CUTTY RANKS / TIPPA IRIE AND FAR EAST BAND / GENTLEMANS DUB CLUB / SOOM T AND JAHTARI / CONGO NATTY / TOPCAT / ABA SHANTI / IRATION STEPPAS / BONGO CHILLI / SOLO BANTON / BENNY PAGE / JINX IN DUB / DADDY FREDDY / FRIENDLY FIRE BAND / JACKY MURDA / KENNY KEN / LION DUB AND DAVID BOOMAH / PRINCE FATTY / THE RAGGA TWINS / THE HEATWAVE / YT / LAID BLAK / MILLION DAN / MR BENN / DUBKASM / ONLY JOE / CAPLETON / THE DROP / SERIAL KILLAZ
I know, impressive right? Plus the main arena layout has been re-designed in conjunction with Audio Funktions perfected 6 stack surround sound system (as used in the Arcadia field at Glastonbury Festival), to create perfect controlled sound at any point within the arena. With such a range of variety, there is something for everyone and every mind set at Boomtown and there is even something for the kids.
Boomtown provides a kiddies area with its own area for babies and toddlers and children up to the age of 12, with plenty of activities for the kids to do like workshops and games, and also a chill out area for the parents. There is also a specially designated family camping area with showers, washing facilities and toilets along with plenty of catering options and all the normal facilities you’d expect at a festival. These is also a massive emphasis on eco-friendly initiatives and promotion of sustainable and ‘green’ living in the Hold it down town arena (including a solar powered stage, permaculture workshops etc).
Along with on-site recycling, the festival is also participating in the Liftshare scheme, which is a social enterprise that helps individuals to travel more sustainably by sharing their journey. Their online network matches people with similar journeys so they can travel better together – saving money, cutting their carbon footprint, having fun whilst making the world a better place.
Boomtown also has more additions to the ever popular fleet of Boombuses! Already scheduled to depart from Bristol, London, Brighton, Manchester and Sheffield, more hotspot locations have been added to the timetable including Southampton, Norwich, Cambridge and Cardiff. For more information on existing Boombuses please visit http://www.theticketsellers.co.uk/tickets/boomtown-fair/10014826?wlid=3945 or for newly added Boombus locations please see the facebook pages for more details http://www.facebook.com/#!/boomtownfair1
As for the accommodation, there are a number of campsites available as well as a huge main site, so you can be sure that there are enough facilities to cover the whole area and the mass of festival-goers. If tents don’t take your fancy, the festival also allows hire of tipis which can sleep 6 to 8 people as well as keeping you warm and dry. Perfect if you want to hang out with your mates or have brought your whole wardrobe of fancy dress.
Speaking of fancy dress, Boomtown have recently announced their fancy dress theme and are looking for all festival goers to tap into their inner identity and unleash the beast from within to really let their hair down! Boomtown welcomes all sorts; Dentists, doctors, nurses, butchers, bakers, candle stick makers, soldiers, sailors, vicars, tailors, lollypop men and ladies, buskers, jesters, bankers, blacksmiths, postmen, patients, politicians, teachers, traffic wardens, librarians, mechanics, misfits, punks, pimps, tearaway teens, burley builders and grumpy grannies…as no town is complete without its citizens!
Daniel Bruce, 23, a student studying making at London Metropolitan University, attended Boomtown fair last year and said,
“it was simply an amazing weekend, the music and atmosphere was second to none, and the efforts that went into the site design really transports you to another world of fantasy and escapism. It was surreal, money well spent, count me in this year!”
So, no doubt you want to become a boomtowner eh? “Where do I sign up?” I hear you bellow? With Super Early Bird and Early Bird tickets selling out in record time this year, only the full weekend tickets are available. However these full weekend camping tickets are still only £93 and for 4 days and nights of unadulterated fun spread out over 22 inventive stages and areas in a perfect setting, this is a steal!
Still if you don’t have all the cash to hand, Boomtown offer an adult full price deposit ticket priced at £47 – the balance must be paid in full before 31st July. A teen 4 day weekend ticket (ages 13 – 17 inc) is priced at £50 and children (12 and under) go free. This year also sees Boomtown opening its gates, for the first time, on a Thursday for festival goers to get their Boomtown bearings whilst enjoying a light sprinkling of musical entertainment in a selection of the smaller venues on the outskirts of the town.
To buy tickets and bring on the bass, visit www.boomtownfair.co.uk where you can also find out a whole heap more about this year’s festival as there is simply so much going on it is difficult to do it justice in one article.
As for the location, in adding to the element of excitement, it is kept a secret and the ticket holders don’t find out the location until nearer the date. However I can tell you it will be 40 minutes from London.
Why not check out the Boomtown fun that was had last year?!
Angie is our resident features writer on location in London, specialising in festivals, food and nutrition, and with a keen interest in ethical fashion.