Gig Addict Speaks To Boomtown Fair Organisers

Boomtown 2018, Image: Charlie Raven

Boomtown Fair, a truly independent music and theatrical festival, will return to the Matterley Estate over 7th – 11th August 2019.

Expect 500+ acts performing across the 80 street venues, 27 main stages, interwoven between the 14 different districts. The festival brings to life the film set-esque streets with the continuation of the immersive storyline and interactive maze games, with 100s of actors enticing even the shyest out of their shell.

Boomtown Fair has established itself as one of Europe’s most creative and inspiring events on the festival scene. With its diverse lineups, crazy story-lines and immersing festival-goers within the narrative.

Chapter 11
A Radical City
Festival Dates
7th - 11th August 2019
 Matterley Estate, Hampshire
Lauryn Hill, Prophets Of Rage, The Streets...
Options Available
Ticket Prices
£199 - £265
Tickets sold by TheTicketSellers

Gig Addict speaks to Boomtown Fair spokesperson and Head of Music – Kaptin Barrett

Where do the roots of the festival come from?

Over a decade ago now, a really small team of us set out to create a one of a kind festival experience! We wanted to push the boundaries of festivals and bring together everything that we love; underground music, theatre and performance and creativity into something unprecedented. We really wanted to show the world what festivals meant to us. To share our passion with people of all ages and all backgrounds and bring our ever-evolving vision and unique all consuming festival experience to life in a fictitious city.

When did you decide to create the ongoing immersive storyline? Do you feel the immersive elements of the event separate Boomtown in a crowded festival market?

The storyline has always been there, it has just become more elaborate and prominent as the years have progressed. It evolves year on year and the creative, immersive and interactive elements of it that Boomtown is so well known for can’t really be found anywhere else in the festival scene.

How did you settle on Matterley Estate, Winchester as the festival home?

We searched high and low for the perfect place for Boomtown. It was a mission! We wanted a space that allowed us to create and house a sprawling city with the scope to grow. But it also had to be more interesting than just an open greenfield site… We completely fell in love with the rolling hills and valleys of Matterley Estate we’re actually one of the only festival’s in the country to be held in a National Park, and the fact that you get an incredible view over the bowl from the top of Whistlers Green, there are loads of spaces in the woodland to house our wonderful treetop structures as well as little hideaways, that all add to the feeling of exploration that we really want to encourage when at the festival.

Every year there are various rumours that circulate from the cancellation of the festival to relocation. Do you take these rumours in your stride, does it get to you when people start these false rumours? Has there been or is there any plans in the future for the relocation of Boomtown Fair?

We’ve heard all kinds of wild rumours from the very beginning, they normally revolve around us moving or selling the festival. We’ve gotten used to it by now but we still find it funny how far out of hand they get. What goes on behind the city gates in the run-up to the festival is always a closely guarded secret and so people love to pretend they have some inside scoop that nobody else does. We’d almost guarantee that if someone’s told you an inside story about Boomtown, it’s not true…

Will Boomtown be applying for the increased capacity for the coming 2019 event?

In a word no! We’ll be staying as we are for Chapter 11.

(48,400 public ticket holders, 16,599 artists, staff, crew, media, volunteers + traders and 1,000 free day tickets for local residents on Sunday)

What’s the idea behind the latest chapter in Boomtown Fair – A Radical City?

Sustainability is the priority for us. As a festival we have grown from 1,000 to 66,000 and with that growth are consequences for the environment. Above all we want to protect our planet and put measures in place to ensure that sustainability is at the heart of everything we do operationally. If we can lead by example, implement pioneering green initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of the festival and inspire everyone who comes to Boomtown to consider their role in reducing the waste at the festival but also at home that we would have achieved something pretty special. We can do great things as individuals but we can make a huge impact collectively.

With the likes of acts such as Gorillaz and Limp Bizkit, as well as the introduction of Diss-order Alley is Boomtown broadening the type of acts it books? Moving forward will Boomtown be booking more mainstream acts?

A lot of our favourite acts that have previously been out of reach, are finally getting on board with what we’re about and so this opens so many more doors for us. So long as they fit the bill we won’t rule out anybody, but we’re not going to start booking people simply to sell tickets. Touch wood we haven’t needed to yet and so hopefully we can keep it that way.

This year saw the successful introduction of Paradise Heights, Diss-order Alley, Boomtown Springs and upgrades for much-loved areas and stages, were you happy with all the new additions? Are there any plans for new areas or stages for Chapter 11?

We never stand still and Chapter 11 will be no different to Chapter 10 in that sense! It will be packed full of new experiences, stages, and themes. There will be a diverse and extraordinary line-up, a new storyline and theatrical shows. So yes there are many plans already in motion! Watch this space!

Any big acts in the bag for next year’s festival yet?

There’s a lot of excitement around the office for the programming for chapter 11, a real buzz! But, as always, you’ll have to wait and see where we take it the next year!

Tickets for next years event are on sale now and priced depending on your package

  • Thursday entry: from £199 to £244
  • Wednesday entry: from £219 to £264
  • Installment plan – Adult Festival Entry £245
    Pay £50 deposit now, followed by 3 automatic payments of £65 on 1st Feb, 1st Mar and 1st Apr.
  • Installment plan Adult Festival Entry Ticket includes Wednesday £265.10
    Pay £50 deposit now, followed by 3 automatic payments of £71.70 on 1st Feb, 1st Mar and 1st Apr.
  • Boomtown Springs including upgrades: £410.00

The festival continues its efforts with charity organisations, putting a strong emphasis on community and collaboration, Boomtown annually commits to raising money and awareness for numerous charities. In total, the event raised £152,624.67 with £31,751 going directly towards projects for the local parish communities which directly neighbour the festival site and to its main local charity partner Winnall Rock School.

Lak Mitchell and Chris Rutherford, Boomtown Co-founders:

“Supporting charities that share the same passions as we do is so important to us and it’s really exciting to be working alongside WinACC this year which is dedicated to combating climate change and inspiring sustainable living.  Chapter 11 onwards is all about sustainability. It’s a huge priority for us. Reducing the impact the festival has on the environment,  but also going some way to change the public’s perception on the importance of protecting our planet is vital. If we could help change their behaviour and understand that what we do as individuals will make a much larger collective impact, then we would have achieved something really special.”

“Being in a position where we are able to help raise money and awareness is a real privilege. Thank you to everyone who made a charitable donation when they bought their ticket, or visited a stall and for all the volunteers for giving their time and making Boomtown the experience that it is.”

The first Chapter 11 announcements will be released in December. Headliners announcement is the 8th February.

Boomtown Springs returns for its second year. A new interactive area that offers the chance for people to enter into a whole new realm of summer soirees, mansion and pool parties, fine food, access secret bars across the city and posh showering facilities as well other little perks. You can pitch your own tent in a spacious dedicated Springs area or chose a glamping option. Springs packages start from £395. Installment plans available – Pay £95 deposit, followed by 3 automatic payments of £100 on 1st Feb, 1st Mar and 1st Apr.

Everything like Camp Skylark, other pre-pitched camping and other treat yourself extras can also booked with your tickets, or can be added on to your order at a later date.

Boomtown Fair Review 2018
Boomtown Fair manages to re-capture the spirit of festivals. The attention to detail is second to none.
Line Up
Food and Drink
Entertainment Away From Music
Stage Design
Visual Delight
Food Options
Use of wooded areas
Music and acts can come across as repetitive
Some stages are too quiet
Fields Ahead