Once again Boomtown has shown the world how to really ‘produce’ a festival.

As Rome announced during the stupendously amazing Sublime with Rome show on Sunday night – “You guys really know how to have a party – we just ain’t got nothing like this back in the States…”

The point is that for a festival to stand out from the crowd these days it has to be so much more than a few hundred bands playing on a few stages for three days.

There has to be an energy and the ever-present chance of discovering something amazing.

And there also has to be an edge.

A festival with a 100% clean health and safety certificate hanging above the door would be a sanitised affair lacking in sparkle.

And you know what – Boomtown positively radiates sparkle. It oozes from its vary pores.

That’s not to say it’s perfect – no event is.

When the queues start to form and the sun beats down as guests wait for the best part of the day to get in it’s easy to see why tempers will flair. And, quite rightly, those caught in the heat of the day with little information and even less in the way of water or shade, vented their anger with the organisation in no uncertain terms…although often with good humour…

But the real question is now about how Boomtown can find a way of dealing with this issue next year. Once the dust (and there was a LOT of dust by Sunday) has settled we’d like to see a full report on what went wrong and what steps might be taken to avoid a repeat. More entrances and more gate staff, facilities outside the gate, premium early-doors arrival tickets are all options.

As for the festival once things got underway – well we’ve said it before and we hope we’ll keep saying it – Boomtown manages to tread that really fine line between anarchy and organisation that puts smiles on the faces of both festival-goers and the local licensing team.

It’s not necessarily a festival that’s about big name acts.

Yes, it has its fair share – and it always seems to be able to pull in a few real gems that you will struggle to see elsewhere – but by and large it is a festival curated by people who like to ignore the mainstream taste-guru acts in favour of bands and performers who simply know how to entertain.

The phrase ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ could have been made for Boomtown.

Something old like Back to the Planet – one of the original free festival stalwarts whose live shows have grown in energy and power and now far surpass anything you will hear on their original studio releases from those halcyon days of the late 80s and early 90s.

Something new – such as Loyle Carner, this season’s must-have voice of the new generation. A genuine talent who is quietly building a fan base that will serve him well for decades to come as he explores the soulful side of hip-hop and gains critical acclaim with each new release and each new show.

Something ‘borrowed’ like the many songs that have been taken from the original and posthumous Sublime back catalogue to create the backbone of the Sublime with Rome live set. A set that is an incendiary powerhouse of classic tunes made infamous by a band whose lead singer just missed the 27 club by a mere three months following a tragic and fatal heroin overdose, but whose legacy and influence lives on. A band who reduced grown men in the audience to literal tears of joy for having had the chance to experience their music live for the first time.

Or something blue. And what could be bluer than the original Blues Brothers Band…or indeed the cheeky repartee of the Wurzels for that matter?

However – and it is a HUGE ‘however’ – Boomtown is an experience way beyond the music. It’s an interlocking series of fantasy islands. Worlds within worlds that connect with a chaotic storyline and are narrated by mad characters who live in both fantasy on-line worlds and in the flesh around every twist and turn of this labyrinthine maze of hedonism and excess.

At the gates to the Wild West two horses rear their hooves and kick the sky in the middle of a crowded street bordered by the shutter-boarded facades of spittoon-strewn bars and cowboy raves.

In the midst of a world of house and drum’n’bass held in place by walls made of stacked shipping containers a lone and heavily made-up accordion player adds the melody to a fearsome explosion of electronic rhythms that sees the packed afternoon crowd bewitched and baffled in equal measure.

And through every door and in every hidden corner, and from every balcony and through every dusty window, there’s another of Boomtown’s many hundred actors – each playing a part in a narrative that escapes logical description.

Boomtown people are crazy.

This is not a festival for the faint-hearted.

Boomtown people are kind and generous.

This is a not a festival for the greedy or the thoughtless.

Boomtown is for the freaks and the fools and the people looking for a genuine escape.

This IS a festival to remember – and if you can’t…well it’s probably because you were having too much of a good time.

Oh – and did we mention Beans on Toast needs a bigger stage next year…a MUCH bigger stage.


Facebook Posts

2 days ago

Boomtown Fair

Who noticed Bang-Hai Industries' plans for mass re-development in Oldtown this year? Seems like some of the citizens weren't too happy about it...!

Did you speak to any BHI construction workers about their plans? Did you visit The Inconvenience Superstore - now under ownership of Bang-Hai Corporation...? Or were you a part of the #SaveOldTown protest?

📷 by Jody Hartley Photography

#BoomtownCH9 #BehindTheMask
... See MoreSee Less

Who noticed Bang-Hai Industries plans for mass re-development in Oldtown this year? Seems like some of the citizens werent too happy about it...! 

Did you speak to any BHI construction workers about their plans? Did you visit The Inconvenience Superstore - now under ownership of Bang-Hai Corporation...? Or were you a part of the #SaveOldTown protest?

📷  by Jody Hartley Photography

#BoomtownCH9 #BehindTheMask


Comment on Facebook

We would surely rather die than sell our souls to bhi! 👊

Kyle Gardner Tommy Lee Ryan Astwood Jade Curran Katy Curran renovations for dayz

David Kelk

Sam Garwood

Tell them to get their grubby little mits away from old town!!

Kyle Dalby 😐 bye bye 👋 old town

Depends if they build a new jolly dodger.

You lot wait, soon Oldtown will be tidied up and them filthy rotten scoundrels and pirates will be a thing of the past! Viva Bang-hai Industries!

Is it just me or was everyone in that shop an actual cunt?

I saw those bang-hai bastards alright!

I think change is good We stand with Bhi EVOLUTION NOT REVOLUTION (stolen from partridge) x

We protested against the gentrification of Oldtown. 😠

Doris Doolally, myself and the rest of the Olbitches held a protest at Doris Dodo's Olbitchuary Office on Saturday. KEEP OLDTOWN OLD! 👍

Adam Paterson this is what I was in about!

I told that head honcho bloke he reminded me of mike Ashley told him no to zero hour contracts NO

No but is it true lionsden is moving???

Bang hai can stay out of old town. It's perfect just the way it is!

Rage Against the BHI Machine.

I have it on good authority that the are planning to develop Lost Vegas. Out with the old in with the new

Emma Rochford seriously considering a near sober boomtown next year to enjoy all the quests n shit

Kieran MacKay called it

Yeah, I asked a hard-hat what music would they would play in Old Town if under Bang Hai order and he said 'Any music you like..' I wasn't convinced. He did however help me find a helpful lady in a top hat 😉🎩✊️💸


Adam Denison Emily Dyas you're famous!

Liam Brocklehurst, Sebastian Jerom Moederle-Lumb, Rob Smith, James Loggie, Josh Timmons, Elliot Hutchinson, Archie Pheby McGarvey, Grace Smith, Sophie Fearby, Harry Hutchinson

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7 days ago

Boomtown Fair

Re-experience Boomtown Chapter 9: 'Behind the Mask' with the official 2017 after-film...


During the 2nd week in August 60,000 people ​travelled from across the globe to the stunning National Park in Hampshire, UK ​to become a character in Boomtown's ever evolving story...

The result.... we made the biggest theatrical music experience on earth! xx


Track list:
Jus Now - Dun D Place
Ferocious Dog - Gallows Justice
Skindred - Kill the Power
Juanafe - La Makinita
Volatile Cycle, Barbarix & Block Dodger - Behind The Mask (Free download: bit.ly/CH9BehindTheMask)

Filmed, directed & edited by Clockwise Media Ltd. / Skewiff
... See MoreSee Less



Comment on Facebook

Zoe Apricot

Joe Quinn Kooky Corz

Unforgettable memories <3

Hannah WilderSam WrightNathan CoxKris GregoryOwen Gardner

Ashley Lewis Owen Powell Jamie Durban

Tom Mills Stephen Leedell Martin Zipfell

Jamie Avi Tom Thomas Saskia Louie Joel Marie Joe Fay Oscar

Nicola Hall Liv Grange Gracjan Slowinski

Liz Taylor Martin Coco Courtney Laura Howard Toby Prior

Dominique Clark

Ben Keedwell Bayley Howard Toby Park Danny Crook Lewis White

Rosie William Mubiyna Juanita Sydney Aaron Damian Jamez Mollie

Ben Higgs Sean Watters Jordan West Jon-Joe Mcgrath

Brucee Crutch Utah Amy Grocock

Jess Joury George Ralph Dunn

Samantha Carlisle Sophie Pfeiffer Toby Carlisle Will Scott



Robbie Reynolds James Sanderson

Shannon Lethaby

Todd Spiers

Harley Light Bootstrap Bill El Mole

Nick Clarke Gabriel Floyd

Harry Hibbert Henry Rawlinson

Gabbie Smith

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