A psychedelic wonderland; a world within a world where music and mayhem join together; a land where fantasy and reality collide; an eclectic mix of theatre, music, and the absurd. That’s right, there is quite literally only one place we could be talking about – Boomtown. Ahh Boomtown! An immersive and otherworldly retreat for those of us with playful childlike souls trapped in oversized bodies. And this year, the story continues as we turn the page to Chapter 11: The Radical City. And with 10 incredible chapters so far, each encountering new stories, characters and adventures aplenty, we could not wait to see what Chapter 11 had in store for us. And let me tell you… it did not disappoint.
After stepping through the gates, we were confronted with the seismic, sprawling mass of immersive theatre experiences, breath-taking spectacles and bedazzling sights. Here in Boomtown, distraction is the main attraction and the people are divided by the passage of time. But before we dive into the dancing, districts, and dizzying heights of Boomtown Chapter 11, let us first talk about 2019’s GREEN MISSION that has made this year’s Boomtown that bit more special. As the directors of Boomtown have said themselves, ‘It feels like the world has changed over the past 12 months and we’re waking up to the unbelievable and almost irreversible damage that human kind has had on the planet and every single species that inhabits this truly magnificent world of ours.’ Boomtown – along with many of us – have realised that we simply cannot continue to consume in the way we currently are. And from this realisation, the GREEN MISSION was born. Boomtown have spent the year completely rethinking every aspect of the event to radically reduce the impact that it has on the planet. They have pledged to put our imminent environmental crisis front and centre of their festival mission. With their new Zero Waste Space, NiftyBin sorting system, WaterAid refill stations and power usage-reducing initiatives, this year is proving to be the best, and most environmentally conscious year at Boomtown yet. No plastic bottles were sold, and only compostable coffee cups were used, and we are so excited to be a part of it.
Pitching our tents in Boomtown Springs, the theatrical residential quarter in the heart of the city, we got ready for the crazy weekend. Looking around at this tranquil, picket-fenced community, and seeing the hungover revellers relaxing by the makeshift swimming pool and pop-up restaurant, we got the feeling that things might be not quite what they seem… And after an hour of exploring this wild circus, our instinct definitely became a reality. Boomtown fair came alive and we came the conclusion that the music would probably never stop. So, with that being said, let’s get into the music.
As 66,000 people descend onto the site and fill every space with tents, costumes, and elaborate props, the biggest problem seems to be deciding which artists to go and see. With every genre of music, every type of dance music sub-category, and over 1000 acts performing across the weekend, you can image that this decision is the hardest. The best way to overcome this decision, it seems, is to pick a couple of unmissable acts and then just go with the flow. After all, the spectacle and circus-inspired chaos of Boomtown is enough to entertain you no matter where you end up. Split into many districts and separated into individual, unique towns, you never know what you will find around every corner. One minute you’re at the Relic stage, dancing in the open air to huge artists, and the next minute you’re deep in the woods dancing under a canopy of butterflies. Headlining Boomtown this year was Ms. Lauryn Hill, The Streets, and Prophets of Rage, each drawing huge crowds.
Every act, district, character and prop at Boomtown was designed with the cleverest attention to detail. Even without the amazing music, the experience would not disappoint. And all that is left to say is that we are so excited to see what Boomtown 2020 brings.