Some regular readers of the blog may have noticed that I’ve still come nowhere near to summarising this year’s Boomtown. For those who don’t know, that’s the festival I spend all year working on the music for, programming 12 of the stages and overseeing many more. The festival is far more than just the music however, there’s so much that is going on. From Whistler’s Green up at the top, where the most current names in jazz at the Windmill stage, or the intimate soul reviving music at Floating Lotus, sit amongst dozens of craft workshops; inspiring talks, films and discussions; farmer’s markets; healing tents; and many, many kids activities. To Paradise Heights, with it’s circus shows, casino and rather twisted theatrical faux luxury experiences, interspersed with ‘Tropical’, Soul, Funk or Swing beats and bands. In fact anyone who gets the impression that Boomtown is just a ‘rave’ festival is way off the mark. I was certainly surprised to see one of our more positive reviews claim we were ‘mostly Techno’ and ‘not live band orientated’ given the fact that our biggest stage had bands such as Gorillaz. Morcheeba and Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals on there, whilst the Town Centre claimed Limp Bizkit, Enter Shikari, Sleaford Mods, Soul II Soul and many, many more. That’s to say nothing of all the Metal, Punk and Ska bands in Diss-Order Alley (Soulfly, Dead Kennedys, Idles, Capdown, Earth Crisis – you get the general idea); or Copper County with it’s Folk, Americana, African, Syrian, Senegalese, Sudanese, Malian and Caribbean bands; Oldtown with all of the Balkan Fusion or Folk Punk bands; the excess amount of Reggae bands or the live Hip-hop all over. I mean let’s face it, although Pagoda Plaza was packed all weekend for the House and Techno and the Psychedelic Forest managed to maintain a whole Sunday with the likes of Charlotte De Witte, Enrico Sanguiliano, Extrawelt – it’s hardly our primary output, even for the DJs.

Anyway, I feel like I’m ranting off track here. My main point is it’s a tricky festival to understand if you’ve not been – and sometimes even if you have. I’m yet to be able to condense my own experiences into words, but this video at least goes some way into capturing a little of the magic. Enjoy, and do please share it with those you’d like to see join in next year.

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