Imagine a world of complete freedom. A world where everything is topsy turvy and nothing quite makes sense. Like that dream world between sleep and wakefulness – it never quite seems real but suddenly you can touch it, hear it, smell it and touch it. BoomTown Fair is like your imagination, your wildest dreams and craziest nightmares have all exploded before your very eyes to create the most bizarre fantasy world, right in the middle of Winchester.
It’s a place that is simply impossibly to do justice to in words if the ones reading haven’t been there, but I’m going to do my best to try after only experiencing BoomTown Fair for the first time myself last summer. I don’t think I have ever been so utterly blown away by anything and have described it ever since as Disneyland for adults – but even that doesn’t accurately explain the incredible effort the team behind it all go to. The sets are majestic and the whole town comes alive in a variety of incredible ways – this is not just a music festival, this is whole experience and that is what I most looking forward to this summer.The experience of BoomTown Fair completely immerses you from the second you walk through the gate and begin the trek across the festival grounds themselves to find your camping spot. After camping on a 45 degree slope last summer, I am intent (haha geddit?) on making sure I get a good spot this summer, but even that position gave us an incredible view over Downtown and particularly the Arcadia Spectacular – which will continue to be a real highlight for me. This astonishing construction has to be seen in action to be believed – the music, the bass, the fire, the action – it all just blows your mind and I have never experienced anything like it. I can’t wait to get back in there.
Elsewhere, I’m looking forward to seeing how the Tribe of Frog forest party has grown for 2014 after experiencing the psy-trance beauty of it last year. The stunning light show on the tree canopy had us all transfixed by its beauty last summer and I’ve no doubt the magic of the woods will be back in force this year. Last year’s brand new Lion’s Den stage was my favourite place to be and I’m sure once again it will be hosting some of the finest acts that will have us all dancing long into the night again. In particular I am so excited to see headliners Jimmy Cliff and The Wailers – both incredible performers and sure to be the perfect addition to those summer days. But the one addition that really made my summer complete had to be the one and only Mr Boombastic himself – Shaggy! I can’t wait for him to bust out It Wasn’t Me and hear the crowd singing along – if you ask me, he belongs at BoomTown Fair.Last summer I spent hours just walking around the festival discovering new amazing places and stumbling across fantastic hidden entertainment and that is something I am seriously looking forward to this summer. BoomTown Fair is a festival you can truly get lost in for four days and that is what it is all about, leaving who you are at the gate and discovering a whole new you. The roller disco is definitely on my to-do list, along with the paint fight and without a shadow of a doubt I plan to throw myself into the madness of the Outrageous Carnival where I’m sure there will be some incredible costumes and more great music.
Other brilliant acts I’m looking forward to catching include The Skatalites, Tha Cat Empire, Babylon Circus, Eats Everything, Ms Dynamite, Treacherous Orchestra and especially The Secret Swing Society after their amazing performance last summer – those guys were so good, make sure you see them! While walking around the festival, I’ll be looking out for those amazing party vehicles and the tiny little holes in the wall where the real weirdos are hiding with their fantastic little shows. Last year I saw a group giving bizarre haircuts to people with grass for hair and I still can’t get over being beckoned into a dark room where the oddest little puppet show started up – just when you think things can’t get any stranger – they will! The only advice I can give to a first-time BoomTowner is to prepare to have your mind BLOWN!Last year I was firmly a Trenchtown girl, I could be found drinking in as much dub, reggae and jungle as I could find, but this year I’m not yet sure where my allegiances will lie, perhaps I will join the Barrio Loco party district. It all rests on the costumes and on the music for me, but I know I’ll be having a lot of fun exploring every district – see you there!