Boom Town is still a relative newbie, starting just 5 years ago in 2009. It hit the crowded festival scene in a big way though, making a rip-roaring name for itself in just a couple of years, and becoming the fastest growing festival in the UK.
Boom Town’s aim is to combine music with performance and creativity. They do this by creating ‘a sprawling metropolis bursting with intrigue, vibrancy, theatre, fantasy, escapism, and camaraderie’. What they mean by this is that they create an entire town out of plasterboard and wood, complete with 9 distinct districts, and hundreds of live performers playing out a theatrical plot. With audience participation, a storyline unfolds around you as the weekend goes on, blurring the lines of reality and fantasy.
The festival’s 9 districts all have a different theme and cater to a different brand of music. The ‘residents’, i.e. the people camping near each area, are encouraged to get into the spirit of the theme and dress appropriately. This is as exactly as awesome as it sounds.
These are a few of the districts that make up Boom Town:
The theme here is gypsy pirate, so the place is littered with colourful caravans, gypsy belly dancers and at least one full sized pirate ship. The music to accompany this vibrant background is Gypsy swing, if your curious as to what that is, strap on your dancing shoes and click here.
Doing everything to be as Reggae as possible, the Boom Town brigade import several tons of sand to create their own beach and erect a giant jungle theme stage with Zionist lions flanking each side. This area is as Jamaica as it gets for a corner of a field in England.
This is where the hoity-toity festivalgoers get down. The dress code is Great Gatsby with tailcoats and pearls a-plenty in this area. The district is complete with roller-rink, a DJ booth inside a bank vault and a ballroom.
Other districts include Mexican theme Barrio-Loco, the Wild West, futuristic sci-fi dystopia DISTRICKT 5 and a children friendly themed Kidz-town for the younger generation of festival lovers.
The best part of the festival is discovering the underground areas that are hard to find. At my last run out, by following clues given to me by a man dressed as a 1920s gangster I discovered a speakeasy that was only accessible through a London style telephone box. This is just one of hundreds of little surprises hidden around the festival just waiting for residents to discover.
This festival is unique in its approach, creating a sanctuary away from reality once a year. For those looking to get their groove on in a parallel universe where nothing is quite what it seems, Boom Town Fair is the place for you.
For more details, including ticket prices and dates please click here.
Tune in tomorrow for part II – Tomorrow Land