BoomTown Fair reminds you of another world and time

BoomTown Fair 2011 review

published: Wed 7th Sep 2011

around the festival site (2)

Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th August 2011
The Bowl, Matterley Estate, nr. Winchester, Hampshire, England MAP
adult weekend £93, teen ticket (13 - 17):£50 - SOLD OUT
daily capacity: 5000
last updated: Thu 11th Aug 2011

Boomtown Fair 2011 delivered a heady mix of some of the best live music on offer and all the fun of the fair.

around the festival site (1)
Boomtowners were welcomed to an intimate gathering in Winchester featuring a line up of great bands and an assortment of top entertainment over the course of a (mainly) sunny weekend in August.

It is one of those festivals that reminds you of another world and time. In fact you could liken it to the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. From the moment you step through the gates a multitude of wondrous, beautiful beings are walking around dressed in costumes that belong to them. It's not simply a case of people dressing up for effect they are the characters within, for some it's a lifestyle.

The fact you have an imaginary town in the middle of the countryside alone is amazing enough but what I think makes Boomtown Fair stand out from other festivals are the believable characters that monopolise every street corner. The music that is incorporated into its environment fits perfectly. Whether you are an avid fan of Ska, Reggae or Drum and Bass.

Gogol Bordello
The main town centre stage featured bands such as Gogol Bordello on Friday night and Bad Manners on Saturday night. It was difficult to get a good view of Gogol Bordello as the crowd was so enthusiastic, it was literally rammed. The Gypsy punksters kept the crowd dancing with their lively, rhythmic electro folk whipping the audience into a frenzy.

Goldie Lookin' Chain had the crowd laughing and dancing in equal measures on Saturday evening, the Newport male voice choir serving up some classics such as your 'missus is a nutter'. Bad Manners featuring the dulcet vocals of Mr Buster Bloodvessel entertained the crowd in fine style later that night performing some of their memorable classics such as Lip up Fatty, and My Girl Lollipop with the energy of teenagers, all done very much tongue in cheek. Terrific crowd pleasers.

Iration Steppas
On Sunday afternoon the Iration Steppas were a big hit in the Lions Den tent with their dub/reggae dance music. This Followed on from a storming set performed by The Selecter on the main stage featuring the inimitable Pauline Black on lead vocals earlier. Sunday really couldn't have been any better. Other acts that impressed included Ms Dynamite in the Bassline Circus tent, showing off amazing vocal range and skilful rapping and the naughty but nice Sicknote, appearing after 1.30 am, (a bit late for this reviewer), but still well worth waiting up for, with their political and idiosyncratic take on the world we inhabit.

Boomtown has something for everyone. Kids Town is a magical wonderland for youngsters with a cornucopia of things to make and do and see.

around the festival site (3)
For big kids there is a variety of fairground rides, wall of death, invisible circus, comedy and you can even get married at the festival if the urge takes you. There are so many different section of the festival site to tantalise the senses including Mayfair Avenue featuring Funkington Manor and the Gentleman's Club.

On every corner you can be captivated by the very essence of 'fun' and a fairylike existence. The Invisible Circus people in particular provide the festival with an extra 'Wow' factor. No matter how large the crowd 'Invisible' is the word because when you watch the performers do their various routines everyone is captivated and they sit quietly almost 'non existent' everyone is drawn in from their normal everyday take on reality and life. A dreamlike festival for all ages alike.

However I would say that the only negative aspects of the festival would have to be the apparent staff shortages, which was evident when festivalers arrived. Some had to queue up to 4/5 hours. The other point I would like to make is the distinct lack of toilet cleaning on the Monday morning when people were leaving I felt that it still needed to be addressed despite the fact many may have already left. Both this issues definitely need to be looked at for next year's festival.

3 Daft Monkeys
Apart from that with an array of essential clothing and gift stalls and some seriously tasty food on offer Boomtown know what the people want and have the balance just right. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of Boomtown and would recommend it to all.


Bring on Boomtown 2012!
review by: Linda Pountney

photos by: Karen Roberts

Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th August 2011
The Bowl, Matterley Estate, nr. Winchester, Hampshire, England MAP
adult weekend £93, teen ticket (13 - 17):£50 - SOLD OUT
daily capacity: 5000
last updated: Thu 11th Aug 2011

latest on this festival

BoomTown Fair 2018
festival details
last updated: Fri 13th Jul 2018
BHI Introducing A.M.I.
video of the day
last updated: Wed 4th Jul 2018