BoomTown, where have you been all my life?
As I sit here and watch one fantastic video after another, I can’t help but feel the overwhelming urge to want to fall into my screen.
Riding in victoriously on it’s 8th year, Boomtown is an independent music festival that takes place each year in Hampshire, UK from August 11-14. It’s a glorious, glittering fairy tale place like none other: fit with over nine different districts, or small, themed villages within the fairgrounds, it’s a festival with heart that attracts all kinds. From pirates to pixies to gypsies and beyond, Boomtown’s credo is dedicated to honoring that basic human impulse that brings everyone together at festivals: acceptance.
“Our independence and diversity is a fundamental part of our identity, not simply promoting one style of music, art or performance but throwing open the gates to every kind of expression and celebration, something for everybody and the freedom to enjoy it as you want to! With a sense of unity, humanity and understanding between all people.”
While a lot of festivals tend to be very accepting—anything is game once you’re in—I have yet to discover many that encompass the diverse range of attendants as BoomTown. Girls with pink wings and glittery eyes run past a flock of cowboys in hats as tribal drums beat on; elegant, slender corseted silhouettes marching past fire breathers, and pirates causing mayhem with gypsy dancers in tow. What’s not to love?
Every nationality is celebrated; honored with a proverbial tip of the hat. Many of the musical styles featured in the festival—everything from electro-swing to bluegrass, reggae and more—are evocative of specific culture or places, yet somehow remain familiar.
Everyone is at home, and merry.
Meanwhile, there are over 500 artists set to take the stage—and a variety of stages to dazzle the eye. Featuring performances by UK legends like Bad Manners, Madness and Leftfield and Levellers, to artists like Damian Marley, the swing-loving Parov Stellar, Beardyman and more, it’s almost impossible not to get wildly excited (and nervous, too, because there’ll be that much more running between stages).
City districts range from glitzy, glamorous metropolis-esque spots like Mayfair Avenue (“Fat cats, bonuses, tax breaks. Symbols of greed can be seen everywhere, from the grandiose buildings to the streets almost literally paved with gold”) to more colorful hoods filled with bass and hip hop like the Barrio Loco, Boomtown’s celebration of Latino culture. Head down to ChinaTown if you’re feeling up for some ska or punk, with performances by Fun Lovin’ Criminals, The Slackers, Madness and beyond that’ll be sure to keep you going all weekend long.
Though there may be plenty of festivals coming up this year, Boomtown is not one to be missed. Get your tickets here to get in on all the action.