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Boomtown 2018

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The Raveyard is another casualty this year. Their Facebook page just put the following statement:

 

Boomtown need to minimise the number of venues so they can put all their efforts into making it the best festival it can be so the Rave Yard is having a year off. They realise how much effort has been put in over the years and how hard this decision will be to hear. They thank us all from the bottom of their hearts for all the positive input made

Sounds like they are having a major shake up this year.

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2 hours ago, mr flow said:

The Raveyard is another casualty this year. Their Facebook page just put the following statement:

 

Boomtown need to minimise the number of venues so they can put all their efforts into making it the best festival it can be so the Rave Yard is having a year off. They realise how much effort has been put in over the years and how hard this decision will be to hear. They thank us all from the bottom of their hearts for all the positive input made

Sounds like they are having a major shake up this year.

It was my first year last year and was camped right next to the raveyard and thought it was one of the best of the woodland rave areas. Certainly in terms of aesthetics and seemed fairly busy. I'm surprised it's got the chop.

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Hello!!
Hope 2018 is going smoothly so far…
 
We just wanted to give everyone an update on where things are this end as we’ve been having a very busy and rather intense couple of months and wanted to bring you all up to speed. To get straight to the point, we have been taking a serious look at where we are logistically and publicly and after some long hard thinking we’re looking to press a big reset button. The festival took a significant hit last year with the extreme challenge of the build conditions and the continued knock on of that grueling experience for everyone involved.
 
As we approach our tenth year we are reassessing the model of the festival and the sustainability of it operationally and in terms of our licence conditions. We’ve taken a step back to look at where the festival is and realised that some crucial decisions have to be made to put us on track for a much more secure future and (slightly) easier challenge year on year.
 
We don’t think it’s a secret that this event is one of the most challenging shows to work on in the entire festival industry; we’re young and ambitious, totally independent and self financed so don’t have anyone external interfering with our creative visions and we all really love to achieve the seemingly impossible. All these things are massive factors in how we’ve got to where we are, and are hugely positive on one hand, but also, without a doubt cause us and everyone who works on this show a lot of additional and undue stress for many reasons, something we absolutely don’t want to be doing; it isn’t healthy for any of us involved and certainly not part of what we set out to achieve.
 
With all of the above in mind, some hard decisions have had to be made. Our budgets are frozen this year after being unable to get the additional capacity we were looking for, our operations and infrastructure need significant investment and we need to ensure that our crew, staff and public feel supported and valued, not just by putting on the best production but by making sure the basics are nailed and all the work that’s going in to make people feel comfortable and secure isn’t even noticed, it’s just there.
 
To achieve all of this some really tough decisions have been made. Budgets across every non-operational department, including theatre, set design, site art and music programming have been reduced to achieve the smooth operation we’re going to run this year. However, we still need to make further savings and have made the decision to lose a number of much loved and longstanding venues and stages from the festival. In doing so we can ensure absolute confidence from an event delivery point of view, as well as sound management and licensing perspective.
We are in a very serious position in that if we don’t get this right, there will be no future Boomtowns.
 
We are in the process of letting all the crews we are losing know but wanted everyone who works on the festival as up to speed as possible and aware of what’s going on with us at the moment. It’s tough and shitty but in the long run, this should be taken as a real positive, if we deliver the event smooth and safely we’ll secure the festival for many years to come…
 
We’ll send you another updates once we’ve got the licence hearing out of the way and we’re fully in the know of exactly what we can do with the festival this year.
 
All our love. xxx
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Thanks for posting.

Suppose the infrastructure and operation side of things is something that people often complain about. Hopefully this will allow it to be a lot slicker. I just hope it doesn't lose some of it's character and uniqueness as a result.

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3 hours ago, Matt - Ed Banger Records said:

So they’re reducing a lot of the festival, and have added a decent whack onto the price of the tickets? Seems a bit rough that. 

Even though I haven't been before, so don't know the culled areas, that's the way I read it too. If I were to be cynical then I'd say that they are guaranteed a sell out because Glastonbury isn't on, so why put the effort and expense in? Oh, there's me forgetting, one of the reasons is because they want us, the punters, to feel valued. Oh no, I got that wrong - it's because they are stressed out, which is something that they never wanted. Which is why they originally tried to increase the capacity! Oh hold on a minute, something isn't adding up here ...........

 

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9 hours ago, Matt - Ed Banger Records said:

So they’re reducing a lot of the festival, and have added a decent whack onto the price of the tickets? Seems a bit rough that. 

back in the autumn they put something up which said about last summer's chaos "we know what went wrong and how to sort it out".

My immediate thought to that was "they're going to sack half the staff".

I didn't think they'd really be doing it tho. Seems like they are.

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5 hours ago, Yoghurt on a Stick said:

Oh hold on a minute, something isn't adding up here ...........

their accounts add up very well.

I'm guessing they've realised that they'd like the same to keep on adding up for a long time into the future, too - instead of teetering on the edge of losing it all.

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5 hours ago, Yoghurt on a Stick said:

I forgot to mention - it isn't just us punters that they want to feel valued, it's their staff too - which is why they are sacking a bunch of them.

So, that's that then.

Having been to boomtown a number of times, i'd suggest that there's some staff who should not be in the positions they've been in.

(just to be clear I've not identified any individuals with that, just that it's easy to see that parts are operating far less slickly than they might otherwise do).

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It's a bit unfair to start making assumptions before the line up has been released.

Boomtown know that this year is a key one, as they're getting a lot of new punters with it being the fallow year for Glastonbury. I would hardly think they are going to make it a "Boomtown lite" when they know that if they smash it out the ball park, they're going to propel themselves up to the top few festivals in the UK.

People complain mostly about the logistics of the festival (queues, infrastructure etc) and the noise levels. Maybe less of the smaller stages will mean more volume on the main stages? And more money being pumped in to the infrastructure,  also means they are thinking about the punters. 

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9 minutes ago, mr flow said:

I would hardly think they are going to make it a "Boomtown lite" when they know that if they smash it out the ball park, they're going to propel themselves up to the top few festivals in the UK.

I agree.

I've no idea what their plans are, but as a lot of people who look at boomtown say "the line-up isn't for me", I'll take a guess on a greater number of more-widely known names on the more-major stages, and fewer venues that can often be "never heard of any of these".

10 minutes ago, mr flow said:

Maybe less of the smaller stages will mean more volume on the main stages?

I doubt that would be the case. It's not the noise from small soundsystems that travel a long distance to upset people living nearby.

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From what I have read about the festival a lot of the things that people love about it are the myriad stages, the near shambolic feel of it and the amount of effort that goes into staging it, I'll be gutted if my first year coincides with a scale back of expenditure so as to ring fence profit/maintain the festival for the future (completely accept that both need to happen) 

Don't get me wrong, I am really looking forward to the festival, and the line up isn't that big of a deal breaker for me, because I never see half of the things I plan to at these things. Just unfortunate that this scaling back also sees 10%+ rise in ticket prices & an increase in costs of Boomtique with a pretty vast reduction of provisions - either they made a hefty loss last year and are looking to recoup OR they are hoping to cash in. 

 

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2 hours ago, eFestivals said:

I've no idea what their plans are, but as a lot of people who look at boomtown say "the line-up isn't for me", I'll take a guess on a greater number of more-widely known names on the more-major stages, and fewer venues that can often be "never heard of any of these".

so, this goes against the main ethos of boomtown? One of the main factors used to be the lack of main stages and the importance/prevalence of tiny street venues. That's what made boomtown so special. Whilst I'm sure there will still be street venues, the fact they have got rid of one as popular as the rave-yard is a worrying sign as that has been one widely loved spots since i first went in 2013

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2 minutes ago, Matt - Ed Banger Records said:

with a pretty vast reduction of provisions

I reckon a big number of the micro-venues could go and never be missed, and if there's more of instant appeal on the bigger stages there's less of an audience for those micro venues anyway.

I'm sure they're smart enough to recognise the right amount to change things, so it doesn't lose what it was.

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1 minute ago, rhg_99 said:

so, this goes against the main ethos of boomtown? One of the main factors used to be the lack of main stages and the importance/prevalence of tiny street venues. That's what made boomtown so special. Whilst I'm sure there will still be street venues, the fact they have got rid of one as popular as the rave-yard is a worrying sign as that has been one widely loved spots since i first went in 2013

I'd guess the changes are about balance, rather that destroying what's been built. Don't forget, they've always chopped and changed stuff around anyway.

Don't forget, the majority of 'mainstream' peeps want at-least-some of what they know, and as Boomtown is looking to grow it's going to have to reach in their direction at least a little bit more I reckon. Relying on a 'party crowd' as it has so far is a bit risky, because the party becomes somewhere else sooner or later.

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34 minutes ago, eFestivals said:

I'd guess the changes are about balance, rather that destroying what's been built. Don't forget, they've always chopped and changed stuff around anyway.

Don't forget, the majority of 'mainstream' peeps want at-least-some of what they know, and as Boomtown is looking to grow it's going to have to reach in their direction at least a little bit more I reckon. Relying on a 'party crowd' as it has so far is a bit risky, because the party becomes somewhere else sooner or later.

it also seems strange to me that they've clearly indicated they are struggling for cash and so are scaling back the operation/mainlining expenses, but at the same time have just booked their biggest act ever. Perhaps they were over-reliant on that bid to increase the capacity, which ofc was refused, and have had to adjust accordingly.  

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18 minutes ago, rhg_99 said:

 Perhaps they were over-reliant on that bid to increase the capacity, which ofc was refused, and have had to adjust accordingly.  

yeah, that might be in the mix.

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I hope they make any reductions slowly and gauge response.

At the end of the day if some reductions reduces risk of the festival existing then it's a sensible move, especially if they are in high demand. 

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On 19/01/2018 at 12:32 PM, rhg_99 said:

so, this goes against the main ethos of boomtown? One of the main factors used to be the lack of main stages and the importance/prevalence of tiny street venues. That's what made boomtown so special. Whilst I'm sure there will still be street venues, the fact they have got rid of one as popular as the rave-yard is a worrying sign as that has been one widely loved spots since i first went in 2013

Whilst openly acknowledging that this is entirely self-centred, this is a bit sad for me. As ever, I'm only doing one festival this year and a huge part of my annual blow-out is night-time raving. Even though I'm a BT newbie, The Rave Yard seems to have had line-ups that would have offered me some of the techno that I love. I hope that that element of dance stuff isn't now just lost, as there seems to be 'loads' of other genres of dance stuff (esp. DnB) at so many other venues.

Saying that, I'm sure it's all gonna be a bit great...!

:)

Ben

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I'm not sure why they were so confident that the capacity increase would be approved. It seemed pretty clear at the time of the approval for 60k that no further increases would be granted. The festival already creates monstrous traffic in the local area as it is. Will be interesting to hear if any more news/reasons come out of that decision. 

I would hazard a guess that being denied the increase has messed up their plans, thus the cuts. Seems maybe they have been a bit careless with their budget and were already spending the extra money they expected... What a shame. The email posted above sounds a bit shambolic, doesn't really explain anything. For the first time not feeling good vibes about Boomtown. I always liked their "reinvest to make next year even better" ethos. What's gone wrong? Greed? 

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On 19/01/2018 at 7:46 AM, eFestivals said:

Having been to boomtown a number of times, i'd suggest that there's some staff who should not be in the positions they've been in.

(just to be clear I've not identified any individuals with that, just that it's easy to see that parts are operating far less slickly than they might otherwise do).

Yep, seems a few folk who got jobs in the very early days, because they were mates, have been outgrown by their job titles and responsibilities. Don't blame BT at all but can imagine that it will all be a bit painful.

Edited by Sawdusty Surfer

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5 hours ago, Sawdusty Surfer said:

Yep, seems a few folk who got jobs in the very early days, because they were mates, have been outgrown by their job titles and responsibilities. Don't blame BT at all but can imagine that it will all be a bit painful.

Image result for Lord of the Flies

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On 06/12/2017 at 1:58 PM, eFestivals said:

just so you know, over 50% of tickets had gone before Gorillaz were announced.

If you want a ticket, I wouldn't leave it long.

Do you know how many sold out now? And announcement date for second wave?

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