Boomtown Fair 2012

This year’s Boomtown Fair saw nearly 30,000 people descend upon the fields a few miles from sleepy, historic Winchester. Their home for four days was the epic, purpose built town including town hall, market square, downtown area and more hidden alley ways and secret passage ways than you could shake a stick at. The beautiful thing about Boomtown is that the set, eclectic mix of music and stages reflected the diversity of its residents just like a real town. However in Boomtown there is a unity that sadly lacks in many towns and cities across the UK, my hometown being a prime example. Neon-clad ravers, punk rockers with facial tattoos galore and hippies all in the same field having a big blue whale of a time.


One of the musical highlights of the weekend was the return of Capdown. Famous as one of the most hard working UK touring bands from the late 90’s – 2007 they took to the main stage and smashed it to the delight of a huge crowd bathed in the afternoon sun. Lead singer Jake was particularly honest with his banter; ‘normally at this stage in a gig its customary to say you all look beautiful but you all look like you have been getting on it at a festival for three days’. Other stand out performances on the main stage came from secret headliner Jimmy Cliff, Caravan Palace and Urban Voodoo Machine. Saturday night also saw the Bassline Circus tent breach its capacity as Slamboree took to the stage in front of an estimated 5,000+ people. Having a remarkable summer playing to a variety of audiences at festivals up and down the country Slamboree’s unique mixture of ‘Neo-Balkan Rave’ and live circus performance continues to leave crowds screaming for more.


Caravan Palace


This years inclusion of Arcadia Spectacular set the tone for the weekend with people returning night after night to witness aerial performers flying above huge crowds and backed by awe inspiring pyrotechnic and laser shows. For those of you who were they you will be pleased to know Arcadia have confirmed for next year as well!


After the daftness and carnage of Saturday night walking though the streets early on Sunday morning Boomtown was more like a ghost town with just a few weary faces searching out their morning coffee. That’s until DJ Ocelus took to the Boom box stage at midday breaking people in gently with his special blend of tailored mashups including anything from gypsy swing to Motown spiked with bass. Ocelus ended his set being accompanied by Happy Slap Boutique members who whipped up the crowd for a rave aerobics session that guaranteed to get rid of the Saturday night cobwebs.

Boomtown albeit in its infancy is truly one of the greatest festivals on earth, this year doubling in size. The time, effort and work rate of the 8,000 crew immerse the festivalgoer in a sensory wonderland. Funfairs, the wall of death, nightclubs, the town itself and an amazingly diverse lineup all culminate in, for me, the best weekend of the summer. If you haven’t already been go next year and enjoy all the fun of the fair for yourself.

Words & Images: Scott Salt


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