This year is going to be my first ever time at Boomtown festival, a music festival which is well renowned for it’s stunning variety of ‘sets’ and different ‘worlds’. My first music festival was Reading and I haven’t been to a proper camping festival since, so I thought it would be wise to speak to an expert about Boomtown.
Enter music festival enthusiast Jessi from Where’s My Tent blog. If anyone is an expert on music festivals, it’s her. In fact, this will be her sixth year attending Boomtown Fair so she’s pretty much an expert on the festival too! Jessi has been kind enough to share five tips with me…
DON’T GO TOO HARD ON THE FIRST DAY
This rule applies for pretty much any festival. I know the excitement of finally getting though the gates and starting your weekend of adventure. However, this feeling is amplified when arriving at Boomtown, partly because of how amazed you’ll be seeing the incredible areas to explore and the detail of the staging, but also because the general vibe at Boomtown can be summarised as “party party party!!” It’s tempting to crack right on and get very drunk on day one.
But I can tell you some insider knowledge… because of the festival’s proximity to Winchester, they have some stricter sound rules on the first and last nights. All music will cease at the stroke of midnight on both Thursday and Sunday night. Sure, people try to carry on the party in relative silence, but it’s just not worth it. Have a few drinks, stay up til midnight exploring, but use this opportunity to get a few extra hours sleep once the music stops. Because on Friday and Saturday the site keeps partying through til breakfast time. Plus Friday is the best day to do a lot of my next tip…
EXPLORE THE STORYLINE
Boomtown Fair is unique, in that they put as much into the build of the festival, (including the artwork, the immersive actors, and the storyline) as they do to the line up. Honestly some of my best festival moments have been exploring the different districts at Boomtown. They genuinely build a temporary city. You can go to the Bank in Paradise Heights (previously called Mayfair, more on this on tip #5), the Postal Office in Oldtown, maybe visit the Boomtown Bobbies Police Station in the Town Centre, or head to a saloon in Copper County (previously Wild West). Meet pirates, cowboys, aliens, robots… Speak to them all!
I would definitely say make the most of the Friday daytime, before the music properly kicks off and before you have too much of a hangover, and go explore the storyline; this year called “The Machine Cannot Be Stopped”. There will be immersive actors all over site, talk to them, find out snippets of information, they may instruct you to visit another area of site or to find a particular person. Think of it as a mystery mission! Start by opening random doors, especially in Oldtown and Metropolis. Really get involved! I found myself once in a small Japanese themed room doing shots of Sake and singing karaoke. You will find some real memorable madness!
CHECK OUT WHISTLER’S GREEN
Whistler’s Green is Boomtown’s answer to Glastonbury’s Green Fields. It’s here you’ll find brilliant folk music, healing & craft areas, fantastic food, and a stunning view over the whole of Downtown. The area had an overhaul in 2017 and the Windmill stage and whole surroundings are now much bigger and better. It’s slightly out of the way of the main site, it can feel like a bit of a mission, but I would suggest you make plans to come up here for breakfast on Saturday or Sunday if there isn’t anyone particular playing you would visit for. It’s an amazing place to chill out, get a massage, learn how to whittle a instrument out of wood, and eat some incredible vegan (or not) food whilst looking out over the view of Downtown. It’s definitely worth a visit.
GET A JOB AT THE JOB CENTRE
In the Town Centre, you will find the Job Centre. Now, I don’t really want to give too much away here, it’s something to explore yourself, but I wanted to assure you when you see the long queue for it, that it’s worth waiting for! I will say that yes, you will have an interview and yes, you may be given a job, and yes you might get paid for it! There are many things that can happen in here, and there’s usually some great DJs doing secret sets.
Throughout the festival you can find ways to earn Boomtown dollars. Duel with a pirate in Oldtown, beg on your knees for money from the bourgeoisie in Paradise Heights, win the dance off in Barrio Loco… or simply visit the Bank to make a withdrawal. The Bank works as a trade. You offer something to the teller, they’ll give you some dollars. I “withdrew” $1000 by exchanging my pink feather boa one year.
How amazing does it all sound? I’ll definitely be getting a job at the job centre and I’m really intrigued about the fact that although it’s essentially a music festival, there’s a lot more going on from storylines and sets to actually getting a job and filling out tasks. It sounds like Secret Cinema meets Lost Village!
Now all I have to do is start researching my striking wardrobe for the festival…
Thanks so much, Jessi, for guest posting and you should all definitely check out her blog, Where’s My Tent. It will give you serious festival envy….