Ahead of this year’s Boomtown, Hayley Joyes tells us the districts not to miss…
Boomtown is gargantuan city inside a festival that pops up for five days each August. You will probably need all five days – and nights – to explore and tick everything off your list. From secret forest parties, to cabaret shacks and fake favelas – Boomtown arguably gives Glasto a run for its money. As we prepare to get lost in the Boomtown city this weekend, we’ve prepared a rundown of our favourite districts.
Barrio Loco is a Boomtown stalwart. The vibrant structures, outdoor stages and fake tower block – complete with pirate radio antenna – represents the real UKG bass head. This year it’s an all-day – and night – garage party with UKG tastemakers 24 Hour Garage Girls who have invited all their garage pals to come and play. There are also live performances from Ghetts, Lady Leshurr and Foreign Beggars.
The resident town planners have now developed a boujee interactive camping experience. The Boomtique area is no longer, long live Boomtown Springs! So whether you book a pre-pitched glamping tent or bring your own, you can enjoy a little solace, charge your phone and take a hot shower. On-site there’s also a pamper team ready to braid, glitter and keep you fresh. That’s not all, alongside entertainment from Bearded Kitten there’s also a pool party so don’t forget your swimmers!
Formally known at the Wild West, this is the district of theatrical extravaganza! Interactive and embedded performers mingle with festival goers all to the tune of folk, jazz and American bluegrass. Much anticipated performances from Omar Souleyman and Billy Bragg run alongside the headline show by The Antiquated Theatre of Varieties, ‘A Grande Review The Lost Time After Boom’. The show embraces both the industrial revolution and Boomtown’s unfolding storyline – the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony meets Charles Dickens!
Over the years there’s been an increasing demand from the punk, metal and ska community for more space, hence it’s time for some well managed diss-order. This year, Diss-order Alley expand their footprint with a collection of unique indoor and outdoor venues including The Earache Factory. Curated by independent label Earache Records, this stage hosts legends Napalm Death, Earth Crisis and king of the funk-tribal-drums Max Cavalera’s anti-austerity band Soulfly.
This colourful enclosure constructed from towering shipping containers has only been going a couple of years. The 2018 line-up is a furious and future-focused combination of takeovers from the likes of Chicago footwork pioneers Teklife, intelligent dnb label Methlab, plus two legendary sessions from giants V-Recordings and amen gods Micky Finn and Aphrodite.
Including Boomtown Springs there are 15 districts across the festival. This year, the festival have introduced four brand new districts, one of which is Metropolis. This district forms the tech hub of the city with skyscraper TV screens and fake TV adverts nodding to Bang Hai industries (the fake corporate arm of the festival). The concrete jungle hosts a series of mini pop-up venues, a roller disco and a killer line-up that includes programming from Alfresco Disco, Sulta Selects and Bugged Out!. Don’t miss sets from the likes of Honey Dijon, Moxie and a massive 3-hour b2b between Josh Wink and Eats Everything.
Boomtown takes places from 9th to 12th August near Winchester.