Boomtown – A Reflection. 2 Of 2 Parts
If you missed it last week, here's Part 1 of our 'VS' review, portraying two different experiences of Boomtown Fair by two people that have never and may never actually meet…
We got to Boomtown early on Thursday to avoid the worst of the queues and get good pickings of a camping spot. We ended up camping in the far corner of Downtown, which was hell when it came to carrying all our stuff across the site, but worth it when the festival was in full swing as Downtown was where the majority of the music to my taste was at. On Thursday night there wasnt really too much going on in terms of music, but after a venture round we stumbled upon the Hidden Forest, a stage based around a lost island with true beach party vibes, and some Jungle from Kelvin 373 and Greedy which really set the mood for the weekend of what could easily be titled messiest festival in the UK.
Once wed got bored of partying on the beach and with shoes full of sand, we went for our first meander around town and stumbled upon Spaceport, one of Boomtowns many small venues, where we came across a pair of guys blending together a fantastic array of Broken Beats and Psytrance, who we were later informed were called Monk3ylogic and were told to keep an eye out for at Arcadia on Friday night. Once the music ended at the unfortunate time of 11pm (clearly some council doings there) we continued our meanderings around the smokey backstreets of Downtown and socialised with smiling strangers, which was happening constantly over the weekend, until it was time to call it a night.
A lot of Friday was spent soaking up what could have been the last of summers rays down at the campsite and planning who wed like to see during the night ahead. Night time is definitely when Boomtown is in its element. Lights, smoke, people, fancy dress. The whole place transforms from a field of sleeping people to a bustling town of wonders and delights, and of course music for anyones aural preferences. We started the night by going to see Monk3ylogic at Arcadia again, and boy was it a good way to kick off the night. Myself and a couple of my group then stayed to watch the Arcadia Spectacular show which was short but full of energy with tonnes of fire (you dont need a jumper during this show), bass and alien dancers picking their victims out of the crowds.
Once the spectacular show was over we spent the rest of the night wandering the festival, exploring Uptown and its plethora of mini-venues, dancing away to the sounds of electro-swing and ruining my favourite hoody on the helter-skelter. The variety of things to do/see are really what makes Boomtown what it is. One minute you can be watching Burlesque dancers through a shop window, the next you can be getting your beard trimmed at the barbers, dancing on a float or even participating in a dance-off. After managing to miss the rest of the headliners for being absorbed by Boomtowns wonders, we headed to Circo Baile for the special guest and man am I glad I made the effort. Having never seen Andy C before, I felt like a kid in a candy store. Im going to admit now that Im a bit of an Andy C fan boy – I admire his passion for music and the way that hes been doing what he loves since the ripe old age of 13. I was taken on a truly epic, fully immersive 2 hour journey by one of the best drum and bass DJs there is.
Food was something that there definitely wasnt a shortage of at Boomtown: Ostrich, Hog roast, Chinese, Fish & Chips You name it, Boomtown had it. But Im going to give an honourable mention to the Paella stall in Downtown, that meal was divine! I wish Id found you guys earlier than Sunday afternoon
On Saturday were intending on going to see Serial Killaz and the secret headliners at the incredible Lions Den stage, but the heart-attack-inducing hill put us off and we stayed Downtown once again and went to catch the end of DJ Die, opening the laser ridden Arcadia stage. In all fairness, to try and combat the hill, Boomtown had installed a rather comical conveyor belt that dragged the willing at a snails pace up the side of the bowl, but unfortuntely the 15 wristband fee wasnt for me and I had to look on as my friends were effortlessly pulled up into the heavens. As the sun sank behind the hills we ventured back out to Downtown and headed to Poco Loco for the incredibly energetic High Focus Showcase. Not long after kick-off the tent was full to bursting, with the sweaty hip-hop vibes literally spilling out onto the street as more people got wind of the show. En-route to see Hot Cakes we popped into the sweat box that was the Old School Garage to get our fix of bouncy UKG, having forgotten about it on our previous nights adventures.
Come Sunday we took the advantage of the pass-outs and took half of our stuff to the car to avoid the pain that came with camping at the furthest side of the festival. During our daytime adventures we, rather tentatively, took to the Bump Roller Disco. Now, Roller Blading is something that I'm really really not good at but the atmosphere and encouragement from those that were good, and the laughs between those of us that could barely stand up made it a great experience. What's more, is that for 3 you could spend as long in the arena as you liked, skating away to great music from some underground DJ's and having a good ol' laugh ! As we were already Uptown we took the opportunity to venture to the Lions Den to see Collie Buddz, where the crowd was obviously eager to hear their classic Come Around, which was a perfect soundtrack to those winding down their weekend. Not ones to call it a night we ventured down to the Boombox for a good ol skank to some jump-up-come-jungle from Micky Finn before popping the short distance to Arcadia for Zinc and Calyx & TeeBee.
Unfortunately this proved a bit of a waste of time because it seemed as though the council had a say on Sunday nights sound
levels, which meant you could hear the kid next to you talk to his mate about what he had for lunch more clearly than the music itself. With the crowds not content with the music ending at 11 that night, over in the Hidden Woods an impromptu bin drumming session took the last of the revellers into the early hours of Monday morning which is just evidence of the sporadic and boundless nature that Boomtowns best known for.
I had a truly exceptional (albeit surreal) time at one of the most well thought out and designed festivals Ive ever been to and Ill definitely be making the commute to next years escapade, that's for sure.
Below are some more pictures from the weekend, all be it of a rather low standard but hey ho!
These jumpers were amazing. Wish I'd had more spending money…
There were some hella' good tunes coming from the Police Rave Unit all weekend…
Joining The Circus
What to do for British politics?
Solidarity with Ukraine
URL vs. IRL
Do DJs Today Need Social Media to Be Heard?
I Hear (Borusiade Remix)
Mother of MarsShop Now
Hologram TeenShop Now