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Jimpsnl

Is the end of Boomtown near?

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Made the leap and bought my Boomtown ticket on the weekend. Will be my first one so cant wait to experience it and from what I've read sounds like I'll love it.

Always been a Glastonbury or nothing festival goer but just really wanted to do both this year and will be doing Boomtown solo which kind of makes me a bit more excited/nervous.

People will always have there opinions about things not being as good as they once where and no doubt in some cases they are right. People say the same about the good old Glastonbury days of years gone by but I enjoy it now as much as I did in the 90's. Its changed and evolved but like anything with longevity its had to. 

Obviously I don't know what boomtown was like in its first few years but when you experience something for the first time very rarely do you get the same buzz the following years cos you know what's coming.

Any festival that grows to the size of boomtown will have some sort of commercialization added to it (even Glasto has the EE sponsor) so long as that doesn't dilute what made it so good in the first place then that's just the way it is.

 

 

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I went to my first Boomtown last year and was blown away by the scale of production, 

Boomtowns reputation as a “drug festival with a music problem” doesn’t do it any favours and puts a lot of people I’ve spoken to off attending.

In reality it’s no worse than any other large festival I’ve been to, if you’re not into that scene you can quite easily avoid it, and enjoy all the other aspects of the festival, unlike say Reading where the pill’d up 16 yr olds are in your face everywhere you go.

It needs a few years of positive press exposure, no one dying, no fires, no huge queues etc. BBC involvement and a few mainstream acts might be a ‘necessary evil’ to ensure it gets this, and shakes off the bad rep. 

As with everything there’s a balance to be struck, lots of people complain about glasto being super middle class these days for example? 

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By "mainstream" acts I hope people aren't talking about more indie bands, I'm so bloody tired of seeing every festival filled up with indie bands.

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22 minutes ago, jump said:

By "mainstream" acts I hope people aren't talking about more indie bands, I'm so bloody tired of seeing every festival filled up with indie bands.

I’m personally thinking more artists of a chase and status vibe, that your average punter has heard of without having to be a hardcore DnB fan.

Not proposing Ed Sheran and Mumford and sons to headline lions den, although the reaction would be hilarious. 

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I don't think the festival is coming towards the end. It's still on course to sell out, and the buzz and hype around it appears to be the same as usual from what i have seen. Last year things were slightly slanted as most people used it as their Glastonbury replacement, which meant the festival had a little more hype than usual, and sold out a lot quicker. I would expect a lot more tickets will shift out the door when the Glastonbury resale has been completed.

I would agree the festival is going through a bit of a transition period though, and things are being driven away from the party crowd to one that will keep attending. This was always going to be the case as the party crowd will only stay loyal until things the party decides to move elsewhere. This is vital for the festival to survive. I think you also have to give Boomtown a huge amount of credit for staying independent despite becoming one of the largest festivals in the UK. To get to where they are, without a corporate backer is hugely impressive. 



 

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51 minutes ago, mr flow said:

I don't think the festival is coming towards the end. It's still on course to sell out, and the buzz and hype around it appears to be the same as usual from what i have seen. Last year things were slightly slanted as most people used it as their Glastonbury replacement, which meant the festival had a little more hype than usual, and sold out a lot quicker. I would expect a lot more tickets will shift out the door when the Glastonbury resale has been completed.

I would agree the festival is going through a bit of a transition period though, and things are being driven away from the party crowd to one that will keep attending. This was always going to be the case as the party crowd will only stay loyal until things the party decides to move elsewhere. This is vital for the festival to survive. I think you also have to give Boomtown a huge amount of credit for staying independent despite becoming one of the largest festivals in the UK. To get to where they are, without a corporate backer is hugely impressive. 



 

I do think it feels a bit like make or break year for Boomtown to be honest.  Over the past couple of years loads of people I know have dropped off and aren't interested in going anymore.  Things like the crowd control on entry in 2017 and the sound levels at the main stages have put people off.

If you read the facebook chatter this year, there's lots of the drum and bass heads that feel the festival have ditched them.  There's also the general feeling that they are selling out a bit - Boomtown Springs, for example, makes the citizens feel that they are in some kind of class system just like real life and that kind of goes against the original ethos.

Add in the BBC involvement, higher profile bookings, removal of favourite stages and the redesign of the whole city in one go, I'm worried that those that do still go won't find much of what they loved about it in the first place.

Or, they could nail it and declare it the best one ever, just like Mr. Eavis!

We'll just have to wait and see.

 

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4 minutes ago, stu_kent said:

I do think it feels a bit like make or break year for Boomtown to be honest.  Over the past couple of years loads of people I know have dropped off and aren't interested in going anymore.  Things like the crowd control on entry in 2017 and the sound levels at the main stages have put people off.

If you read the facebook chatter this year, there's lots of the drum and bass heads that feel the festival have ditched them.  There's also the general feeling that they are selling out a bit - Boomtown Springs, for example, makes the citizens feel that they are in some kind of class system just like real life and that kind of goes against the original ethos.

Add in the BBC involvement, higher profile bookings, removal of favourite stages and the redesign of the whole city in one go, I'm worried that those that do still go won't find much of what they loved about it in the first place.

Or, they could nail it and declare it the best one ever, just like Mr. Eavis!

We'll just have to wait and see.

 

I think every year is a make or break year for any festival in the UK, with the exception of Glastonbury. Although, as we saw after the slow ticket sales for Glastonbury after the 2007 festival, even they aren't guaranteed success. 

The festival wouldn't have been sustainable if it had just continued as it was. People would have complained about the bookings being the same and the festival becoming repetitive. I also don't think the facebook chatter is anywhere near as bad as last year where they had nothing but moaning about the queues from the previous years.

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5 minutes ago, mr flow said:

I think every year is a make or break year for any festival in the UK, with the exception of Glastonbury. Although, as we saw after the slow ticket sales for Glastonbury after the 2007 festival, even they aren't guaranteed success. 

The festival wouldn't have been sustainable if it had just continued as it was. People would have complained about the bookings being the same and the festival becoming repetitive. I also don't think the facebook chatter is anywhere near as bad as last year where they had nothing but moaning about the queues from the previous years.

I don't expect it's an easy task to keep it fresh without alienating people who already like what it is.  Changing so much in one year will make that more difficult I think.   I hope they manage to pull it off.

 

 

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8 hours ago, stu_kent said:

If you read the facebook chatter this year, there's lots of the drum and bass heads that feel the festival have ditched them. 

Having only been to one Boomtown, I don't really think I'm that well placed to comment on its impending "death"... But, I was (am?) a drum and bass head, and I know they've scaled the number of DnB focused stages back, but that one lineup is pretty stella like. 

The other thing is that a lot of my friends went back in the day....only one of them still does. Sure, some of them stopped going a few years ago, but now they're all 33/34. Not too old but also not the same as when they first went 11 years ago. At the same time, there's clearly a lot of relatively new people that keep coming (like me). Comparatively this year at Glastonbury none of the people I've been with over the last 3-4 years are going back....mostly babies/weddings/life getting in the way. I certainly don't think that means Glastonbury is dying. Boomtown appeals to a younger crowd anyway, as long as it keeps getting in the newbies, it won't die off

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1 hour ago, Sasperella said:

Having only been to one Boomtown, I don't really think I'm that well placed to comment on its impending "death"... But, I was (am?) a drum and bass head, and I know they've scaled the number of DnB focused stages back, but that one lineup is pretty stella like. 

The other thing is that a lot of my friends went back in the day....only one of them still does. Sure, some of them stopped going a few years ago, but now they're all 33/34. Not too old but also not the same as when they first went 11 years ago. At the same time, there's clearly a lot of relatively new people that keep coming (like me). Comparatively this year at Glastonbury none of the people I've been with over the last 3-4 years are going back....mostly babies/weddings/life getting in the way. I certainly don't think that means Glastonbury is dying. Boomtown appeals to a younger crowd anyway, as long as it keeps getting in the newbies, it won't die off

I'm a similar age and so were the friends I went with last year - all first timers at Boomtown. 

Of the three of us, one won't go back, he won't give specific reasons but we're not sure he quite got the vibe and he had issues with security on re-entry - he also mentioned the price in comparison to Glastonbury. Fair enough. 

I do get the age thing, as even at my age I did feel 'old' at times but I definitely enjoyed it. I can't compare it to Boomtowns gone by. 

I'm still not committed to coming back this year - I keep to-ing and fro-ing as it could potentially clash with an important couple of dates, but I did have a brilliant time.

 

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21 hours ago, vintagelaureate said:

I do get the age thing, as even at my age I did feel 'old' at times but I definitely enjoyed it. I can't compare it to Boomtowns gone by. 

So at my grand old age if 43 will I be the oldest raver in town 😭

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27 minutes ago, dccool said:

So at my grand old age if 43 will I be the oldest raver in town 😭

No absolutely not; it's a great festival and I saw plenty of people a lot older than you. Enjoy yourself.

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On 4/10/2019 at 8:42 PM, dccool said:

So at my grand old age if 43 will I be the oldest raver in town 😭

Noooo, you'll be grand 🙂 There is a younger crowd than Glastonbury of course, but I was surprised at how old I didn't feel.....if that makes sense?

 

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On 4/13/2019 at 9:41 AM, vintagelaureate said:
Quote

“We’re positive. Onwards and upwards.”

Sounds like they don't intend on going any time soon.

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my two cents:

Have done Boomtown nearly every year since 2012 (I think I missed 2014) - and I agree the first is the best time, although it was a much smaller affair then -Its definitely gone downhill in terms of the crowd, a lot more roaming gangs of fezzie shotters and the vibe definitely gets a bit dark on the Sunday evening after the music goes off. And I'm 30 now, average age seems to be about 18!

I almost feel like the organisers might do an SGP and just finish it one year, or allow it to be bought out (im sure they've had a lot of offers).

However I managed to get a Glasto ticket this year so its probably off the cards, although last year I decided to get a Boomtown ticket on the Thursday of the festival as I had massive FOMO. will probably happen again.

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TBH I thought it kept getting better and better until Behind The Mask, whose denoument was spectacular and spinechilling - now I'm just not so bothered.

This is the first year I've not raced to get tickets, but a couple of friends are now going and I'm all tempted again. It is just spectacular every year, but nothing like as comfortable as when I first went and I can't feel myself settling into a comfortable groove like I did with Glastonbury. The stress level is too high, much as it pays off I'm not sure it's what I want.

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7 hours ago, frostypaw said:

TBH I thought it kept getting better and better until Behind The Mask, whose denoument was spectacular and spinechilling - now I'm just not so bothered.

This is the first year I've not raced to get tickets, but a couple of friends are now going and I'm all tempted again. It is just spectacular every year, but nothing like as comfortable as when I first went and I can't feel myself settling into a comfortable groove like I did with Glastonbury. The stress level is too high, much as it pays off I'm not sure it's what I want.

that's called 'getting old' mate. :P 

Happens to us all. :( 

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8 hours ago, frostypaw said:

TBH I thought it kept getting better and better until Behind The Mask, whose denoument was spectacular and spinechilling - now I'm just not so bothered.

This is the first year I've not raced to get tickets, but a couple of friends are now going and I'm all tempted again. It is just spectacular every year, but nothing like as comfortable as when I first went and I can't feel myself settling into a comfortable groove like I did with Glastonbury. The stress level is too high, much as it pays off I'm not sure it's what I want.

But Frosty you gotta go! You are 33.3% of the efestivals meet, together with Pilton Digger and me. 😀

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It certainly has changed a lot since 2012. Both in the type of crowd, but also the level of production.

Is it "worse" though or just "different"? It changed with the times, as it's popularity grew, and the crew gained experience and confidence running the event.

It did get me thinking though. A friend hasn't come since 2012, and is now coming again in 2019. What would he even still recognise? Perhaps the Hidden Woods is the only venue still quite similar to 2012. Nothing else would be familiar.

You would recognise some stage names. The town centre of course, the main stage at the festival in the middle of the downtown bowl. Your memory of that stage would be something like this: 

Also the Lions Den would sound familiar, but wasnt that just a small reggae stage in a tent?

To be honest, if a new festival sprung up this year, that looked exactly like Boomtown 2012, it would be described as a cheap knock off that will never be as good.

The crowd has changed too. But that original Boomtown crowd never existed at the same time as the high levels of production and craft we know today. They were already starting to move on in 2012/2013.

So it is easy to be nostalgic for that time, with that fastastic Bristol raver crowd. But actually the festival people are familiar with in 2019 looks nothing like what it did then. It now offers a huge and elaborate theatrical production, the best looking stages in the UK, and a labyrinth of lovingly crafted film set like streets to get lost in.

I think if Boomtown had continued to run the same type of event as 2012 every year... they would have long become nothing more than a forgotten page in the efestivals archive.

Was Boomtown 2012 magical? Yes it certainly was. It was my first. But I think if 2018 was my first, that would have seemed just as magical, and perhaps more so.

Just my 2c on the frequently visited "it's changed" debate 😃

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