Boomtown

9th - 19th August 2018

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

Size: 60,000

Website: www.boomtownfair.co.uk


Boomtown: 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.

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.

WHISTLER GREEN AND KIDZTOWN

The fabulous Whistlers Green and KidzTown expand more and more each year. Featuring a whole host of stages, cafes, chill-out areas, activities, workshops and education spaces, the area offers a family-friendly haven to soak up sounds and enjoy some rest and relaxation away from the madness of the rest of Boom Town.

The Windmill Stage are where funk, soul, reggae and folk music are the order of the day. For laid back, acoustic roots vibes, the always-popular Floating Lotus stage hosts some brilliant musicians plus a late night chill-out café and Speakers’ Corner featuring welcoming talks, comedy and debate on social, political and environmental issues.

For those keen to turn their hand to new talents the workshops and skills spaces of Whistlers Green are the places to do it. From learning to play the ukulele or build a rocket stove, to magic tricks, aerial circus skills and trades such as blacksmithing and jewellery making. Or relax in the beautiful surroundings of the Healing Place with the Coyote Moon luxury spa with music stage, sauna, hot showers and a private garden.

KidzTown is a mini-festival within BoomTown. It offers a secure environment that can be enjoyed by the whole family, but foremost is a place where children and fun come first!

Plenty of fun-filled, experiential and educational activities are on offer from learning woodland skills in the brilliant Forest School to participating in the Sunday BoomTown Carnival.

At the heart of KidzTown is the Sandcastle Stage, where an eclectic line-up of music, dance and comedy will keep the whole family entertained.

For the babies, toddlers and parents there’s a range of facilities to make BoomTown life as comfortable as possible. A baby changing and breastfeeding area with bottle warming, and comfy cushioned yurt to hang out in with caring professionals to assist any needs. There are play sessions, soft play provided by Tumble Tots, story sessions, puppet shows, bouncy castles, craft making and lots more!

For the bigger kids inflatables, crafts, costume making, physical play, pizza making, puppetry, a kids stage with endless shows and interactive theatre, and of course, the famous Panic Circus with workshops, bubbles and circus skills. Plus this year a new forest school, with a focus on woodcraft activities and skills.

Join the Kidztown online community here and the Whistlers Green community here. Keep up to date with all Boomtown news – sign up to the BoomTown Chronicles via the website.

Family camping and facilities

There are two fields dedicated to family camping, both of which are located near to KidzTown and in quiet locations with their own showers and kid-friendly, composting eco toilets.

Separate family entrance – families need to get into the festival as swiftly as possible to get settled in your new home for the next four days! To assist you in this mission, BoomTown have a special entrance for families, which is close to the family campsites and KidzTown area.  Make sure that when buying your ticket you choose the family car parking pass option.

Families with campervans or caravans can pitch up in the dedicated family campervan/caravan field.  Please note, you do need to purchase a family campervan or caravan pass to gain access to this field.  These are priced at £60 + booking fee for a campervan or £65 + booking fee for caravan or large campervan.

Families who are staying in tents can camp in the family campsite.  You do not need a separate pass to camp in here, but it is stewarded to make sure that the campsite is reserved for families only.

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, DownTown, HillTop and Temple Valley, 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 in DownTown and HillTop 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 located at the Lions Den stage, 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 full 2017 Boomtown review here**

2016 BoomTown family review from Sarah @afieldsomewhere   

 2014 review and 2013 review from another mum 

visit the Boom Town website www.boomtownfair.co.uk

Check out the BoomTown youtube channel and watch the videos to help decide if 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.”