- June 21, 2019
Boomtown is one of the UK’s largest, truly independent music and theatrical festivals. The 66,000 capacity, the five-day experience combines a diverse multi-genre musical lineup with groundbreaking theatrical concepts and awe-inspiring circus spectaculars, in a totally immersive world that exists within a living, breathing, fictitious city.
From small beginnings, Boomtown was born in 2009, in and around the Bristol area, with just 1000 or so revellers on hand. Since then Boomtown has become nothing short of a sensation.
Each yearly instalment of the festival is referred to as a “Chapter”; a continuation of an evolving storyline. The festival site is split into several districts, and the storyline narrative is reflected in the design of the districts, streets and venues, which are populated by hundreds of actors playing various ‘roles’. In 2009, it was appropriately enough called ‘Boomtown Begins’. And the 2018 festival was entitled Chapter 10: The Machine Cannot Be Stopped.
Chapter 11 (‘A Radical City’) sees this most outrageous of festivals take things even further. Boomtown follows a storyline that evolves each year and is played out across all areas of the sprawling city that is made up of 12 uniquely themed districts. It’s a theatrically-led experience like no other where hundreds of actors bring the film-like street sets to life and alongside enjoying the extraordinary musical programme. They encourage the public to explore all the city has to offer, to become their inner character and be a part of the story themselves.
And as befits what is fast amounting to a crisis here on Planet Earth, Boomtown’s ‘green mission’ will encourage festival-goers to reduce, reuse, recycle as well as travelling in a more ecologically friendly way. The organisers have also pledged to plant a tree for every person attending, which means about 66,000 tres will be planed as a result!
This years’ headliners include The Streets, Lauryn Hill and Prophets of Rage, but there is as always an incredibly deep well of alternative talent, covering almost all genres known to man. There’s Chase & Status, Groove Armada, Slaves, Salt-n-Pepa, Gogol Bordello, Xavier Rudd, Kate Tempest; Bedouin Soundclash; Ozomatli ft. Chali 2na, This Is The Kit, Michael Franti and Spearhead; Bassekou Kouyate, Asian Dub Foundation, Neville Staple Band, Alice Russell, Johnny Flynn, Dreadzone, Kosheen with Sian Evans, Submotion Orchestra, Nubya Garcia, Napalm Death, Four Tet, Claude VonStroke, Eats Everything and much more.
Boomtown is also family friendly, with a dedicated family district called Kidztown that includes a main stage of its own, with a huge line up from artists playing across the festival. There is a high street with kid-sized immersive venues, 100s of interactive workshops, forest school, to inflatables and skate ramps. It has a family camping and car park, and facilities for all kids and families alike.
Independent in organisation and spirit, Boomtown is just the tonic for these anxious times. Tickets are still available although the festival has been selling out of late. So be quick!