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…

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Guest Post | Music | 5 tips for your first time at Boomtown | Where's My Tent Blog

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.

BOOMTOWN DOLLARS
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….

 

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March is coming to an end and so it’s time to share with you all the music I’ve been digging this month.

Although I’ve just binged watch the new episodes of Made In Chelsea which introduced me to lots of ace music and one amazing band from this playlist dropped a brand new single yesterday, so I’m gutted I couldn’t include all these new songs I now love – but there’s always next month of course!

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Music | The March Playlist | Playlist
So immediately I’ve got a throwback to old favourites, Plain White T’s! I used to love these back in the day. They haven’t done much too recently, but they are still together and this single was released just last year. Here’s hoping there’s more to follow.

I love Mozaics sooo much and this song has been a constant favourite for me since I first heard it. I heard it randomly then almost never discovered the band because I googled and googled them and couldn’t find them, then their name was misspelled on the radio station website..it was a faff but I got there in the end.

There’s a few other random ones in here. Mine by Bizzi is totally not my normal type of music but I love it, and Nothing On You by B.o.B and Bruno Mars is another massive throwback but also a real feel good song. I also adore These Days by Rudimental, even though it’s played everywhere right now.

Anyway, enjoy, and let me know your thoughts…

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It’s that time of month again! Today I’m sharing with you all my February playlist, aka what I’ve been listening to this month.

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | Music | The February Playlist

I’ve got a few romance songs on this months playlist. I discovered what was once a favourite song of mine again, New Found Glory’s excellent cover of Kiss Me. Kings and Queens is a lovely one from Paloma Faith, despite the fact that I’m not a huge fan of her usually, and I’ve also continued to focus on a few more female artists with SAINTE and Plastiscines, the latter of which I discovered through Gossip Girl!

I’ve also got the newest Ten Tonnes track in there. I’m kind of behind with becoming a Ten Tonnes fan, but I discovered him when my ex and I saw him at an intimate BBC Introducing Night last year. Now I seem to see/hear him everywhere, from Radio One to, er, Made In Chelsea.

And I’ve also got an old school track from Good Charlotte too, just because it’s an all time favourite of mine.

And of course, I’ve ended with a lovely upbeat and inspiring song that would surely make anyone’s day!

Enjoy, and do let me know what you think!

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It’s nearing the end of January and my driving playlist is getting longer by the day. Since getting a stereo installed in my car again, I have found my love for discovering new music once more. Therefore, I thought it’s time I brought back monthly playlists. So, I present to you: The January Playlist.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Music | The January Playlist | Playlists | The Maine | Night Riots | The Chainsmokers | Pierce The Veil

On this list, I have a few random songs which were discovered via my Spotify Discovery, but for the most part, many of them I’ve been addicted to since before Christmas.

Waste My Time for example, is a great song which actually has a total different meaning when you listen to the lyrics. It’s upbeat and one of those songs you can’t help but sing along to at the top of your voice. I have no idea where I discovered this song however. I have an odd feeling it was something to do with Joshua Dun of twenty one pilots – perhaps he tweeted the lyrics or shared the video somewhere? I have no clue, but this is usually my go-to song most mornings when I drive to work now.

I also feel like Waves by The War On Peace was discovered by my mild-obsession of the great drummer, so perhaps it’s actually this track that I have him to thank for. Who knows.

This is almost always followed by The Maine’s unique cover of Hold On, We’re Going Home. Why? I have no idea. I never even liked the song until I heard this version but I really love it. It’s quite different and upbeat (compared to the original) and is constantly in my head.

Breaking Free by the Night Riots has been my go-to break up song. It’s an odd one. It talks about finally accepting a relationship is over and realizing that you can survive without that person; you may have once thought they were your savoir but all along they were just someone you loved or someone you used to date. But there’s still feelings there, of course.

I don’t know why this particular song stuck out to me when going through my break up, but when I listen to it, it reminds me of when my ex and I spent a couple of days in Brighton seeing The Maine and Night Riots live. There’s a particular instrumental part of the song which just transports me back to sitting on that bench by the beach, giving my ex boyfriend a cuddle and then relaxing and reading my book whilst he practiced longboarding around me. When I hear that part of the song, I can almost feel the sunshine on my skin and all the feelings I had back then – that everything was going to be okay – come rushing back.

Weird, but that’s the amazing power of music.

I’m still loving Paris by The Chainsmokers and although the new Fall Out Boy track is entirely different to what I’m used to hearing from them, it’s still a good one.

Anyway. That’s my January playlist; I hope you enjoy it!

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I’ve wanted to be (or be with, at least) a rock star for as long as I can remember and music is one of my biggest passions. I have the uttermost respect for those who have that talent to create music but unfortunately, despite a failed attempt at learning guitar when I was younger (I learned two songs on it before giving up on practicing), I don’t have that talent.
That said, I have always wanted to learn another instrument after my failed attempt of learning guitar and I’ve been leaning towards drums for a good few years now. I think I’m pretty good at rhythm and I do Pound Fitness, which I’ve been told doesn’t make you good at drumming at all but is still kind of similar.
So when AB Music Academy got in touch and asked if I wanted to give one of their trial sessions, I couldn’t say no. 
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Music | Drumming | ABMA | AB Music Academy
The company is based in Acton (in West London) and at their quant studio they offer both vocal and instrumental tuition, as well as hosting live events, performances and workshops. Students have also gone on to create bands, and the studio can also be used for recordings and rehearsals as well as lessons.
I headed down on Wednesday and found the studio easy to find in a quiet part of London. There were many train problems that day however, with a few delays, but if this hadn’t been an issue then the journey would have been relatively simple. 
Though Acton is a long way from Luton, anyone based in London will find the studio easy to get to and not too far at all. 
My taster session took place with co-founder Florin Pascu, who greeted me warmly and first spent some time telling me a little bit about the studio and what they offer there. He then taught me some basics of drumming, such as what parts of the huge drum kit I’d be using during my session (Hi-Hat, Snare Drum & Bass Drum), and briefly explained to me how to read some basic music.
Reading music sounds super complicated but he made it seem really easy. Of course we only went over a few basics so that I could learn a relatively simple beat, but I felt like I took a lot away from it and hadn’t expected to actually learn how to read a bit of music during my short taster session.
Next, I was given some headphones to protect my ears and Florin taught me how to hold the drum sticks correctly. He explained that when playing drums, it sounds best when your hands are relaxed rather than stiff.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Music | Drumming | ABMA | AB Music Academy

Then it was time to actually drum. We took it slow, getting used to using just the Hi-Hat first, before slowly adding the bass and snare drum. It took me a few goes to put it all together of course, but it wasn’t long before I settled into a rhythm. 
I found the best way was to not think too much and let my hands do what they’re supposed to; often I made a mistake when I was overthinking things. But of course this is natural being that I was learning a new tune.
By the time the half an hour was up I’d pretty much gotten it and felt really pleased. Even now I can remember the beat in my head and want to practice!
Florin even said that it was clear I could pick up the rhythm quickly and recommended I come back; so at least I wasn’t a complete failure.
Will I continue?
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Music | Drumming | ABMA | AB Music Academy
I think I definitely will. I enjoyed and learned enough in such a short time to feel confident that I can continue learning and will go far, but of course London is rather far for me to travel for regular drumming lessons.
AB Music Academy offer lots of great deals on bulk lessons however and I really love that they offer taster sessions which means you don’t waste a lot of money booking lessons when you’re not even sure how well you’re going to take to an instrument. It’s a really sweet deal.
I’ll be continuing lessons perhaps maybe monthly, but overall I was very impressed. I’ve held back from looking into lessons before as I thought I might find studio’s too professional or lessons too expensive, but this wasn’t the case here. My taster session was very relaxed and informal and when I messed up, Florin was encouraging as opposed to judgemental.
For anyone that has even a small interest or flicker of passion to learn an instrument, I’d 100% recommend booking a taster session (and hopefully regular lessons after that!) with AB Music Academy. 
I learned so much during such a short time and think it’s amazing that by spending just half an hour with the academy, I was already sold on the idea that drums are the instrument for me.
Would you ever pick up a new instrument? Let me know!
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