Boomtown

9th - 13th August 2023

Location: Matterley Estate, Alresford Road, Near Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1HW

Size: 66,000

Website: www.boomtownfair.co.uk

Parent Reviews: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014

Please note: In 2022 Boomtown removed their children’s field and dedicated family facilities, so although children are allowed at the festival we are unsure it would still be considered ‘family friendly’.

 A pop-up city where the impossible is possible, and the abnormal is normal!

Held in the beautiful Matterley Bowl Estate in Winchester, Boomtown is a magical city in a city but once you’re there you could be anywhere in the world…!!

Founded in 2009, Boomtown has evolved from a humble village fair into a vast pop-up metropolis celebrating a dizzying kaleidoscope of musical and artistic endeavour. Rising from the Hampshire countryside for four days each August, it has become one of the UK’s most innovative independent festivals, offering its 60,000 citizens a fully immersive, theatrically-led experience like no other with hundreds of actors bringing the film-like street sets to life.

From mindblowing main stages to enchanting backstreet micro-venues, BoomTown’s nine fully themed districts vibrate night and day to a soundtrack exploring everything from ska, folk, gypsy, reggae, world, punk, pirate and disco, via electro-swing, jazz, bluegrass, bass, jungle and techno. It’s a city where imagination truly is the only boundary.

There used to be an incredible giant interactive treasure hunt throughout all the Boomtown districts, called The Maze. We wrote this post for an introduction on The Maze and how to attempt it with your kids. The Maze is not running from 2022, although there will be a large amount of interactive theatre. We hope that The Maze will return in the future.

All children under 12 at BoomTown festival are totally FREE of charge when accompanied by an Adult Ticket holding parent or guardian aged 25 or over.

There are restrictions on access to some of the DownTown Area (late night area) after 7pm for those aged under 16 as there are places that are not appropriate for children due to adult content and crowds.

BoomTown is big and MORE than a little bit crazy making it a choice for very up-for-it families rather than those just starting to explore the world of festivals with kids.

Family camping and facilities

In 2022 Boomtown decided to remove their dedicated children’s area and facilities. There is an allocated area in quiet camping with children’s toilets available.

Please note the age restrictions on access to the DownTown District (late night area) as Boomtown recognises that some of the louder areas of the site are unsuitable for Mini Boomers. The rest of the site will be accessible for those with children after 7 and entertainment continues well into the night elsewhere.

Access 

Boomtown takes place on the Matterley Estate in the middle of the beautiful Hampshire countryside.  The festival cascades over the interesting landscape of woodland, rolling hills and valleys and a natural bowl making hills inevitable.  The event is defined by areas with each area playing host to stages, venues, cafes, bars, chillout spaces and performance events.  There are 24 hour support services such as medical and welfare with circuit roads and trackways around the site which do drain well when wet, but please be aware that ground conditions can change quickly and the site can be uneven.

There are wide access toilets located around the site and viewing platforms at the main stages, there are also chill out spaces located around the festival with seating and a lot of the cafes and venues will have some suitable seats but keep in mind that this is a large-scale festival with 60,000 guests.

The Meadow

 The Meadow is the accessible camping area of the festival and is run by the fantastic GAMA Access Areas CIC team.

Boomtown aim to reduce the hassle for all citizens and each year The Meadow is growing in size to meet the demands of their audience. The GAMA team are involved in the site wide development of accessible facilities, as well as looking after of The Meadow camping area.

If you are planning on camping in The Meadow, please contact info@boomtownfair.co.uk – Don’t forget to mention if you have stayed at The Meadow before as this will speed up the process considerably.

Big hitting and underground gems in the following genres:

Line Up: SKA, SWING, PUNK, ROCKABILY, RAGGA, DUB, DANCEHALL, SERIOUS RAVE AND BASS HEAVY MUSIC

If you don’t like CRAZY then you may not dig Boomtown.

Camping:

Standard and Luxury camping options available

Tickets:

Ticket prices are tiered – so the sooner you buy, the cheaper your ticket.

Read our 2019 Boomtown review here

See our guide to The Boomtown Maze here

Read our 2018 Boomtown review here

Read our full 2017 Boomtown review here

2016 BoomTown family review from Sarah @afieldsomewhere   

 2014 review and 2013 review from another mum 

visit the Boomtown website www.boomtownfair.co.uk

Check out the BoomTown youtube channel and watch the videos to help decide if it is for your family.

A brief summary of Boom Town from one family:

citys-magic-banner

“Boom Town is split into 2 sites really. Uptown and Downtown.  Downtown can get messy at night. Proper mental.

Uptown, which is up a hill to keep away from the madness is calm, full of world, jazz and loads of reggae and new music to discover. And little nooks and crannies of weirdness. It’s also has a fantastic kid area.

In my opinion if you want a serene lovely perfect place so that your kids can be in fluffy heaven then get real. I never saw any trouble and the vibe was amazing. But Peppa Pig will NOT be performing.”