Neither words, pictures, or sounds can do justice to the epic which is the annual Boomtown fair. If you haven’t been to Boomtown it will be a truly unforgettable experience. What really impresses me every year at Boomtown is how immersive the festival is. On walking through the gates you will begin your transformation into a citizen of the fantasy world which is the annual Boomtown fair. Become something different, be who you want to be and do what you want to do. The choice is yours.
You might begin your journey in the Town Centre which appears to be a run-down town hall. this year headlined by Sleaford Mods, Enter Shikari and Limp Bizkit. You may notice a curiously positioned entrance way to the side of the stage, above the entrance a sign says the ‘job centre’. Curious citizens such as myself wander in an out of the building in a sense of dazed bewilderment. Why did I just fill out a job application? Did that fella in a suit and tie really just throw a clipboard at me? A few paces away from the Job Centre was the ‘inconvenience store’. So inconvenient that we had to bribe our way in. When we did get in a few drunk employees started force feeding us onions. I got told off for wearing a bucket hat and as punishment I had to wrestle another shopper.
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, ever thought of joining a cult? I did just that this year and was lead through downtown in a conga line and bowed before a great tree made of twisted scraps of metal. For those of you in pursuit of something more luxurious, perhaps you can rise to the top of paradise heights, the hotel complex at Boomtown. If you fortunate enough a hotel resident might slide you a tip if you beg them too. Then spend those hard earned Boomtown dollars on a stay at the hotel, if you ever make enough of them.
If you don’t get to freaked out by the police, or cowboys and manage to make it up to the revamped Lions Den stage. You’ll notice a giant pagoda, complete with waterfalls and flamethrowers. This year the stage was graced by perhaps the biggest act to ever play Boomtown, Gorillaz. The Lions Den hosts an eclectic mix of the weird and wonderful during the day it is the biggest reggae dancehall, dub and roots stage in the U.K. But when the sun goes down something happens. This year die antwoord happened on the Sunday night! A fast, heart pounding set of hip-hop mixed with electronic dance music made them a perfect act for Boomtown.
Head down from Lions Den and you’ll reach the menacing Sector 6 a huge power station blasting Drum and Bass through the night. Look closely and you’ll see on the right of the stage the phrase ‘Paradise belongs to us’. It certainly feels like that when you’re there. This year the Sunday night offered a special surprise, Drum and Bass legend Andy C.
It is Sector 6 and it’s big sister Bang-hai tower that you’ll get the most spectacular visual experience the festival offers. With bespoke animations and clips displayed on the screens to subvert your consciousness. Displaying advertising for various services at Boomtown to sinister slogans such as ‘MDMB, do more, risk it all’. It a shame the sound is not quite up to scratch on these two stages. But I digress.
Heading away from the main stages you may find some of the more psychedelic happenings. From the visual feast which is the psyfroest who this year hosted the psychedelic world music collective, Shpongle. Carry on up the hill and you may find tucked away the Tribe of Frog. This area definitely isn’t for the faint heated with its never ending pounding rhythm of psychedelic trance.
It is the at the top of Boomtown where you can reminisce of the historic roots of festival culture. The windmill stage provides a more relaxed vibe to the rest of the festival with bands playing a mix of Jazz, global fusion and soul. There is also arts and crafts on offer where this year we made a shrunken head. Or perhaps you’re more interested in finding your spirit animal with some shamanic journeying. If you need a break then whistlers green is where you should be heading.
All in all Boomtown far surpasses what other U.K. Festivals have to offer. Year after year it delivers and it’s population begins to grow. Who knows what will happen next with the CEO of Bang-Hai industries revealed as the man behind the mask. Will the artificial machine intelligence, A.M.I. Become the new master of puppets at Boomtown fair. You’ll have to wait till next year to find out what will become of this now radical city.
What’s that? Do I know you friend?
See you in a field very soon.