Boomtown Becomes Inclusive - Not Just for Ravers!

Boomtown Becomes Inclusive - Not Just for Ravers!

by jessicajolly / Aug 16, 2018 / 0 comments
Date: 
Thursday, 9 August 2018 to Sunday, 12 August 2018

The EDM weekender that Boomtown once was has, in just a few short years, blossomed into a large scale music and performance art festival with something for everyone.

FOR PUNKS “Diss-order Alley” – This year’s event introduced an entire punk / metal section with three enclosed venues. One of them, The Earache Factory, transported you right into the best punk clubs 1970s Camden ever had to offer. The Dead Kennedy’s headlined Friday. Their set was sublime. Soulfly closed the venue Saturday, sending metal-heads into a singalong frenzy.

FOR FOLKIES “Copper County” – In year’s past the Old Town featured a few buskers and mid-level folk bands that usually had at least a tertiary relationship to the festival’s Ska / Reggae roots. Chapter 10 introduced another new district, Copper County, which featured folk, trad, and various offerings for anyone seeking guitaral stimulation. The Old Town theme this year was "Balkan Roots and Folk Punk". A standout in the lineup was Baba Zula, billed as “Turkish psychedelic” which basically means Jimi Hendrix in a Fez. Incredible stuff. With no Glastonbury to curate this year, Billy Bragg closed out the Old Mine stage, proving again that he is one of the best at earnest, political folk-rock.

FOR THOSE FEELING THE BLUES – Look around the line-up, particularly on the Lion’s Den, where the magnificent Ben Harper brought his Innocent Criminals from America to play for the 500 people willing to endure the rain. He didn’t let the poor weather lower his spirits, delivering a sumptuous set of soulful blues rock. There was also plenty of Louisiana-inspired sounds emanating from various Old Town venues. The best way to find the best music at Boomtown is simply to have a wander.

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK – Limp Bizkit headlined the Town Centre on Sunday night, to a jam-packed crowd of nostalgia-craved Millennials. Fred Durst and his brand ‘00s rap-rock may not have aged well, but their hits Nookie and Break Stuff were so energetic the roof actually broke during the latter. The band's covers of RATM's Killing... and Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit created a heavy metal party atmosphere that was perfect way to end a frenzied festival of fun.

The biggest name headliner for Boomtown 2018 was Gorillaz, who drew the largest crowd of the weekend. Unsurprising, given their mix of electronic sounds and pop-rock background created a wide appeal. But while their set entranced the eclectic crowd before them, the performance simply bled into the fabric of Boomtown rather than becoming a stand-out moment. What sets Boomtown apart from other festivals is the carnivalistic, theatrical backdrop, where a story is being told through the performances of actors spread throughout the site, and this is what one takes away from the event. So while Drum n Bass DJs may have birthed Boomtown and still dominate a majority of the stages, it’s the bands and the performing artists that have nurtured it into one of the biggest and best events of the summer.

Rating out of 11: 
9