It’s that time of year again when those in the know start frantically preparing for the craziest weekend on the calender. For those of you not in the know or only recently made hip through word of mouth or excitable friends, Boomtown Fair is fast approaching. Boomtown is a unique experience and can be fairly daunting to the uniniated, so we here at Yack with our years of experience have decided to slap together a guide to help you have the most insane trip you’ll ever likely depart upon. Leave your sanity at the gates and welcome to Boomtown 2015 folks.
Can You Play With Madness?
Boomtown has quickly established itself as one of the highlights of the busy festival calender. Not only in thanks to the incredible pedigree of bands and music on offer, but also owing to the ridiculous level of attention and passion the festival puts into creating it’s own dystopian reality in which it’s citizens are invited to exist in during their time at the fair. Complete with an amazing backstory and narrative the fair constantly evolves allowing those brave enough the chance to join in with the crazy. Our first big tip for virgins and experienced Boomtonians alike is to embrace this madness. Struggling against it is pointless, resistance is futile, allow the festival to work it’s magic and transport you to a world far removed from that which you inhabited only days before.
Stay In Character
Following on from our previous piece of advice, if you truly want to get into character you first have to decide who that character is. I honestly feel out of place walking around Boomtown in plain clothes at this point. Whether you don a cape and become a superhero, go full whammy and kit yourself out in period dress or simply take the easy way out and adopt an animal themed onesie, leaving the old you behind is essential to truly immersing yourself in the Boomtown spirit.
Stop & Smell The Roses
Boomtown is a huge site that is growing every year, it’s already fairly exhausting to walk from one side to the other, especially if you have to travel uptown and scale the epic hill that crosses the divide. So with that in mind it’s best to pick the district where the majority of the music you refuse to miss is going to be happening and post up. The line up is just as unhinged as the mindstate of the many denizens so it’s extremely hard for you to even attempt to see them all, so pick your battles and enjoy your surroundings because the last thing you want to do is exhaust yourself and have to hit the sack, sleep is definitely not on the agenda at Boomtown.
In complete contradiction of our previous point we highly recommend that you don’t make too many plans. Boomtown rewards the adventurous and the curious. Behind every door is an event, every alley a happening, you’ll meet friends, freaks and weirdos in any place you look and this is highly encouraged. Whilst aimlessly wandering at any other festival will likely fill you with a deep fear of missing out, the opposite is true at Boomtown. A strict schedule will certainly mean you miss out on most of what makes Boomtown so beautiful. Chaos and opportunity.
The Bands Elroy, The Bands!
We’ve mentioned it before but the Boomtown line up is by far the most varied and jaw dropping offered by any festival in rotation today, it brings artists from a broad spectrum of genres together serving up a selection so delicious it’s hard to choose between these delectable delegates. That said we’ve picked out a few of the bands we will be doing our very best not to miss, provided of course we haven’t been well and truly sucked down the rabbit hole before their allotted set times.
Gogol Bordello perfectly encapsulate the Boomtown ethic and mysticism. A beautiful and lunatic mix of different cultures and styles coming together in an explosion hypnotizing in it’s splendour. It’s surprising they are not in attendance every year but after at least a two year absence expect Eugene Hutz and his frantic band of vagabonds to put on an unforgettable show.
For us at Yack, King Prawn are already a Boomtown highlight from years past. They put on a set that absolutely tore the Devil Kicks Dancehall apart. Completely guaranteed to leave you panting and sweaty serenading with funky rhythms and intricate lyricism. We will be in attendance skanking our goddamn socks off and highly recommend you do the same.
Capdown are festival royalty, they put on performances so riotous they leave the crowd dead on the floor when they decide it’s time to leave the stage. As politically charged as they are humming with ska-ndelous levels of talent Capdown will bring the roof down or pass out trying. Very unlikely to be acting their age at all these boys will be bringing a fury. Can’t wait for a saxophone backed skank session in the Devil Kicks. A special mention should be made to The Last Gang In Town team who tirelessly never fail to serve up a line up over at the Devil Kicks Dancehall stage that leaves us giddy with excitement each and every year. There’s not many mainstream festivals willing to book Demented Scumcats, but we are so glad this one does.
Less Than Jake
After a less than satisfying set from NOFX last year (that I bloody missed Mad Sin for) where Fat Mike basically gave Boomtown the middle finger, we’ve been burnt by the Town Centre stage before. That said Less Than Jake are very unlikely to provide the crowd with anything but ska punk classic after ska punk goddamn classic. I’m hoping they open with Boomtown and then proceed to bring Boomtown to it’s knee’s. It’s been far too long since we’ve had the pleasure.
The Bar Stool Preachers
Hailing from breezy Brighton town, the The Bar Stool Preachers are not just another ska punk band they’re a little taste of things to come. Capable of spinning a narrative with an honesty and passion that can tug at your heart strings whilst simultaneously serving up jerky, spasmic, utterly skankable riffs and beats, The Bar Stool Preachers will fit right in at Boomtown and will be at the top of our one to watch list. Plus that ginger guitarist is quite a handsome fellow indeed.
There can be no comparisons because nobody is serving up what Akala is, his intellectual and spiritual message is a breath of fresh air for most choking on the smog of the mainstream in hip hop. The man has been on debate panels, given TED talks, lectures and toured the country with his hip hop Shakespeare project. His is an inspirational and charismatic voice advocating self betterment and education. It helps that alongside this Akala makes intricate and tidy tracks laying out his thoughts and passions. There are fewer MC’s than can do what Akala can with even a jot of the skill, his Fire In The Booth series is unrivalled. This is a set that is sure to be as mind blowing as it is jaw dropping.
You can and should buy your Boomtown tickets here.
Check out Yacks coverage of Boomtown 2014 here.
Words by Matt Miles