Welcome to Chapter 10 of the Boomtown Essential Guide! It contains all of the important information you need to know before you set foot in the city - from travel instructions and entry advice to camping tips and all the practical details in between - this is everything you need to prepare yourself for the ultimate experience at this year’s annual fair!
More coming soon!
1. Key Information: Location, Dates, Times (Gates and Music)
2. Ticket and Entry Requirements: ID, Citizencards, Re-entry, Teens & Children, Teen Ticket Amnesty
3. Alcohol limits, Drugs Policy and Security Searches
4. Car park passes
5. Arrival: 8 Ways to get to the festival!
5.1 Arriving by coach
5.2 Arriving by train and shuttle
5.3 Cycling or Walking
5.4 Car Sharing
5.5 Getting dropped off
5.6 Private hire coach
5.7 Arriving by car
5.8 Arriving by campervan
5.9 Arriving on Wednesday
Matterley Estate, Hampshire, SO21 1HW
Thursday 9th - Sunday 12th August 2018
Wednesday 8th August is an optional extra day.
If you’ve not already arranged Wednesday Entry Tickets, they can be requested here.
City Gate Opening Times - Gates are not 24 hours!!
Wednesday 8th August: Midday - 21:30
Thursday 9th August: Midday - 21:30 Friday/Saturday/Sunday: 10:00 - 21:30
NO RE-ENTRY AFTER: 21:30
Car Parks: Open 10:00 - 21:00 (No entry into any car park after 21:00)
Although entry is not 24hrs, attendees can leave at any time. If you leave after 21:30, you will not be readmitted until gates open the next morning.
Thursday: 12:00 - 00:00 (street venues and medium stages only)
Friday: 12:00 - 04:00
Saturday: 12:00 - 04:00
Sunday: 12:00 - 00:00
Printed ticket ✔
Vehicle passes / travel tickets ✔
Valid ID ✔
Food & water provisions ✔
Weather dependent supplies - suncream/hat/waterproofs ✔
Top tips for a smooth entry:
The name on the ticket must match the name on your ID. Names on tickets can be updated by logging into your TheTicketSellers Account account . If you change the name on your ticket after you have downloaded the ticket PDF or passbook file you’ll need to download it again to make sure it shows the updated name. (Please note: you can only change the name on each ticket a maximum of 2 times)
Our ID checking teams will be working at every gate and operating a Challenge 25 policy. If you have an adult ticket and are unable to prove you are aged 18 or over you will be refused entry to the festival.
Acceptable forms of ID include; photographic driving license, proof of age card with PASS hologram or a passport. Photocopies will not be accepted.
To avoid having to bring valuable documents such as a driving licence or passport to the festival (100’s end up in lost property every year) head over to the CitizenCard website for more details on their widely accepted ID cards. Use the code BOOMTOWN to get a £5 discount.
It takes a few weeks for your application to be processed so apply for your card ASAP.
If you need to pop to your car for anything throughout the weekend re-entry is allowed during the times that the gates are operational ( Friday - Sunday 10:00am - 9:30pm.)
Although you can go back to your car on Thursday, you’ll need to rejoin the back of the queue to be searched each time you come into the festival. Most people arrive on Thursday so the gates will be busy.
Plan ahead, and bring all the essentials with you on the first trip so you can leave extra trips until towards the end of the day or the next morning. Please note that there is no re-entry with alcohol.
We are a place for all generations; families, babies, toddlers, teenagers, young uns, wise ones, and all and everyone in between will receive a warm welcome. However, in the interests of public safety we do have rules in place to ensure that everyone is safe guarded.
Teen Tickets (13 - 17)
Child tickets (12 and under) can be purchased by an adult. The same adult must be with the child when they collect their wristband and children must be accompanied at all times. Please go to to the box office next to any of the main ticket exchanges to collect you and your child’s wristbands. There will be a separate queue for this so look for the signs or ask a steward.
If you have purchased an Adult ticket but are under the age of 18 you will be refused entry to the festival and no refund will be offered. Don’t risk it.
If you have already purchased an adult ticket, but are underage, we are offering an amnesty on these tickets from 14th June - 1st July.
Please phone TheTicketSellers on 0844 870 0000 or email email@example.com to swap or get a refund for your ticket (minus booking fees).
If you have a Coach traveller or Shuttle traveller ticket you must travel by that mode of transport in order for your ticket to be validated on arrival.
You are welcome to bring a personal amount of alcohol with you to the festival. Please note there are are limits on the amount and types of alcohol permitted.
You may bring up to:
Do not risk it. Do not bring drugs into the city.
Even with all these provisions in place to keep drugs out of the festival, it is unfortunately inevitable that some will manage to get in, and we have been working hard over the past few years to introduce further services within the festival to reduce harm and keep people as safe as we can:
The Loop - We have hired The Loop to offer their groundbreaking MAST (Multi Agency Safety Testing) drug composition testing and counselling service to our festival goers for free.
Trained Drug Counsellors at campsite hubs - For anyone who may have a question about drug safety, want some advice or simply just someone to chat to about anything that might be on your mind, please pay them a visit for judgement free advice and support.
Chill Welfare - the award winning Welfare team are back to offer support and welfare services for anyone who feels they may need it. Please pay them a visit if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by anything or just need of bit of TLC. They are based next to each of the medical centres.
Medical - With two 24 hour medical centres onsite, and a fully stocked pharmacy, we can help with a huge amount of ailments and afflictions; the main centre is within Hilltop this year, just inside the campsite opposite the bandstand, and there is a satellite centre on the main drag in Downtown. If you or a friend find yourselves in urgent need of medical assistance, and cannot make your own way to these medical centres, please find your nearest steward or Boomtown representative immediately and they will get one of the onsite ambulances to you as soon as possible.
However you’re choosing to come to the festival this year, make sure you plan your journey in advance! If you haven’t made arrangements yet please consider taking one of the greener public transport options like our coach service (from over 50 locations!) or catch the train and make use of our shuttle. If you do decide to drive - don’t forget to buy your car pass by the 22nd June and check out GoCarShare to find people looking for lifts.
National Express operate our coach service which travels right to the city gates from over 50 locations around the UK direct. Coaches arrive on the Wednesday. Thursday or Friday and all depart for home on Monday.
Relax all the way to the festival and snooze all the way home on Monday... whilst also minimising your environmental impact!
Any type of ticket holder can purchase a coach pass from our ticket page here, there are seats still available to book from all locations....
Once you have booked via TheTicketSellers (https://bit.ly/CH10tkts) you will receive an e-ticket 7 days prior to the date of travel from National Express which includes all your travel information – simply print this out and present to the driver. Make sure you keep it in a safe place for use on your Monday return journey!
For any enquiries about your coach please contact National Express directly on 0371 781 8181. They will be able to assist with any changes to your ticket.
Did you know? If you’ve already got a coach ticket you can change it to a Wednesday one and get Wednesday entry for free! Simply add the free Wednesday add-on to your basket in TheTicketSellers and you'll be prompted to change your coach time on the next page.
The nearest train station to Boomtown is Winchester Train station.
We offer a shuttle bus service, the X90, from the train station straight to the festival.
On exiting the platform, please head straight ahead if you hold a public ticket. Follow the directions of the stewards to the back of the queue
Please check the website for the latest shuttle bus timetable.
A return ticket costs £10, please have cash ready to pay for your ticket.
If you have purchased a ticket to the festival which includes shuttle travel then please show this ticket to the boarding staff. They will scan it and give you your shuttle tickets - keep them safe as they can only be issued once for each barcode.
From Winchester Train Station to Boomtown West Gate:
Frequently Wednesday 12:00 - 20:30
Very frequently Thursday 10:00 - 21:00
Regularly Friday 09:00 - 19:00
Regularly Saturday 09:00 - 19:00
Regularly Sunday 09:00 - 19:00
From Boomtown to Winchester Train station:
All above shuttles will run on a loop.
Sunday shuttles will run until 21:00
Monday return shuttles 6:00 - 17:00
If you are cycling to site, please follow the Blue patch on the directional signage. This will take you to West Gate. Route 23 on The National Cycle Network runs close to site, for more information see Sustrans here.
An area within West Gate will be fenced for cycle parking. It is close to the gate, so will be monitored, but is not a secure facility.
Additionally this year we are running the Big Bristol to Boomtown Bike Ride in partnership with Red Fox who are taking cyclists on a guided route to the festival, arriving on Wednesday afternoon.
Walking to Boomtown is not recommended as the main roads accessing the festival are not suitable for pedestrians. If walking - please head towards Winchester train station where you will be able to take the shuttle to the festival.
GoCarShare are again linking people up who are looking for lifts/ offering lifts, making new friends and cutting down on carbon emissions.
GoCarShare links drivers up with potential passengers and vice versa so head over here to find a lift or a driver, slash congestion and leave no car space wasted!
Please follow the Pick-up and Drop Off signage to the site. This will take you to just outside the West Gate. Please note there is no drop off facility available on Wednesday so please consider using a coach or shuttle travel option to arrive at the festival.
If you have need to go to another destination on site, then you will have been sent a routing pass which will allow you access to the following
No other gates should be used for dropping off, as it’s likely you’ll end up in a car park queue. If you have been dropped off at South Gate on the way in please speak to a member of staff from The Meadow, Family Campsite or the box office at South Gate so that they can help you arrange a taxi for your return journey as there will be no taxi rank here.
DO NOT get dropped off on the road outside the site. Not only is it dangerous for you, it causes delays on the roads and seriously risks our licence to hold the event, if you do this you are jeopardising the future of the festival.
If you and your friends are booking your own coach or minibus (12+ seats on Wednesday or 18+ seats from Thursday ) please note that you MUST book a slot in advance. This costs £50 per vehicle (this covers both drop off and collection on Monday) find all details here.
For the Public Transport Hub (Coach Station) please follow the Blue markings on the directional signage – this is also backed up by a coach symbol.
On entry to the gate, you will turn hard left to go down the hill – there is hardstanding within the gate allowing you to do this, so there is no need to swing wide if you are coming up the hill.
Head down the hill to the Coach Park, the nearest end is dedicated to Private Hire Coaches.
Upon arrival, please do not allow your passengers to disembark until you have been greeted by one of the Boomtown team.
This person will arrange your collection time slot and ensure that you have a pass to regain entry on Monday – without it, the coach will not be allowed access to site on Monday 13th August.
7.1 Main Car Park
As you get close (within 3 miles) of the festival, switch off your sat nav and follow the Public Parking Symbol on the directional signage (a white ‘P’ on a blue background)
These will direct you into the car parks by the best routes for the traffic conditions.
Please ensure that you have affixed your parking sticker before you leave home. This will enable us to direct you correctly and will help speed access into the car parks.
The car parks access North and East gates, so if you are meeting or arriving with friends, we recommend that you meet up away from the festival site at a prearranged service station and follow each other in so that you park in the same car park.
When leaving please follow the road signage, do not use your sat nav. Most people leave the festival between 10:00 and 12:00, so if you wish to beat any queues, it’s best to set off earlier.
7.2 Other Car Parks - you will have a specific car pass if you are required to be in any of the other car parks
Please ensure that your car park stickers are affixed to your windscreen before you leave home to assist us in directing you correctly and to help speed up entry.
When you leave the festival, please follow the directions of the traffic marshalls - you may be forced to turn a specific way which does not match your sat nav instructions – this is to take you away from the queues from the main car parks and help make your departure quicker. Please follow exit route signage which will take you to the M3, A34 and London and don’t u-turn. Please don’t follow sat nav instructions until you stop seeing our directional signage - some roads are closed on Monday to help improve traffic flow so following sat nav instructions may send you in circles!
Most people leave between 10:00 and 12:00, so if you wish to beat any queues, please leave before this.
When you leave the festival, you will be forced to turn left onto the A272 – this is to take you away from the queues from the main car parks. Please follow exit route signage which will take you to the M3, A34 and London.
Most people leave between 10:00 and 12:00, so if you wish to beat any queues, please leave before this.
Did you know that audience travel makes up about 70% of a festival's carbon footprint? For every car park pass sold we donate £1 to Energy Revolution to turn your travel miles into clean energy. Read more of our sustainability policies here.
As we’ve been granted permission to open only a small part of the city on Wednesday this includes Metropolis, Diss-order Alley, DSTRKT 5 and Barrio Loco campsites; as well as Boomtown Springs, Camplight and Tangerine Fields West.
Due to only opening one side of the festival site in this trial year, we are unable to run the Meadow and Family Camping facilities, as well as Camp Skylark, Tangerine Fields East and the Campervan field. We understand this will be frustrating for some but as a trial year this was the only way it was feasible operationally.
However, if you are staying in any of these areas and decide to come on Wednesday you are welcome to set up camp in the main public campsites that are open in West and then move to your pre-pitched or reserved camping on Thursday. Please bear in mind that there will be no internal transport provided.
What do I need to enter on Wednesday if I'm arriving by ...
Coach? You must have a free Wednesday add-on ticket + festival entry ticket + coach ticket.
Shuttle / Train? You must have a Wednesday arrival & shuttle ticket + festival entry ticket
Private hire coach? You must book a private hire coach pass for each vehicle and everyone on the coach must have a free Wednesday add-on ticket + festival entry ticket. There are limited spaces in the coach park and you need to book your slot in advance. Please book here ASAP.
Car? Only car sharers can come on Wednesday. There must be 3+ people in the vehicle or you will be turned away at the gate! Each person in the vehicle must purchase a Wednesday add-on ticket + festival entry ticket. The vehicle must have a ‘Wednesday Car Parking’ ticket - this can be purchased on arrival.
Cycling? You can come for free on Wednesday if you're cycling! Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject link 'Wednesday cyclist' and we'
For all the essential need-to-know info on Wednesday entry click through to our Wednesday arrivals FAQ’s page here.
The festival site closes at midday on Monday. Please make sure you have cleaned up your camp and taken all your belongings with you before making your way to the exits before midday.
When you leave the Boomtown site, you may be sent in a direction that you are unfamiliar with and goes against the instructions on your SAT NAV. This is PLANNED to take you away from the worst of the congestion.
Please do not follow your Sat Nav or your phone until you are well away from the site – suggestion is 10 miles – particularly if you are heading for the Midlands or the Southwest.
The M3/A34 Junction is extremely slow, so please avoid using it if at all possible, whilst staying on major roads. It is quicker to drive 20 miles out of your way, than to access the M3/A34 junction.
Directional signage will be in place to take you in the direction of the M3 (N&S), the A34 and towards London. Although not the most direct route, these will be quicker than following your Sat Nav.
Queues around the site start at around 10:00am so if you don’t like sitting in a queue, then please plan to leave before that time.
Plan your journey well in advance. Ensure that your driver is well rested and in a legal state to drive… DO NOT drive if you think you might be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance.
Public camping is included in every ticket. There are public camping spaces across the whole site, keep an eye out for the map where they’ll be marked.
General public camping is for tents only. The camping areas are spread across the site. There is now very limited camping in the Downtown Bowl this year, and the closest camping to the bowl is in the West side camping areas.
There are certain areas that have become "No camping" areas this year, primarily in areas of the bowl and at the bottom of the Halfway Woods, please respect the "No camping" signs, as these are to allow more space for people to move from the different entertainment areas.
Please also be aware of the access lanes in the campsites. Stewards will be roaming in the campsites to assist you and answer queries, but also to ensure that the access lanes are not camped in, so that we can get emergency and service vehicles in other the campsites when we need to. If you are asked to move your tent because it is in one of these access routes, please help the stewards out. They should be able to help you find an alternative spot.
Family Camping is situated next to Kidztown, with a free shuttle running between family parking. Includes access to showers and child friendly composting toilets.
This year we have introduced family camping wristbands to ensure the family campsite is only used by families. All adults require a wristband for this - these can be added via your TheTicketSellers account for free. If you need extra please email email@example.com.
Families with campervans or caravans can pitch up in the Family Campervan Field. Family Campervan pass (£100+booking fee) is required for access.
Quiet camping is located next to tented family camping in Whistlers Green. This will not be a pre-booked area, it will be available to anyone who elects to camp there. There will be stewards and security in the area, and they will be patrolling the camping area to ensure that the “quiet” aspect is respected by the campers. Anyone camping in the area will be expected to respect their neighbours and not be noisy.
To shotgun your spot before arrival, the option of reserved camping is there for those who like their own space and a little more room for manoeuvre. More details below and you can book via the ticket page here
If you feel that you cannot handle the trek back to the bus or car on the Monday with all of your camping stuff, then PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE book a pre-pitched tent. There are many options to choose from and a variety of prices to suit all budgets (probably cheaper to do this than buy a pop up and throw it away, and it costs the planet even less).
The Campervan Field is located on the east side of site close to Lion’s Den. Campervans, converted live-in vans, caravans and trailer tents are all welcome (sorry but cars are not deemed as live-in vehicles and cannot be used to stay in). No tents are allowed in the campervan field, although you can put up your awning as long as everything fits within your pitch.
Pitch sizes are a maximum of 8m x 5m, if you need more space you can purchase two pitches. Compost toilets are provided in the Campervan Fields and there is a campsite hub staffed by security and friendly stewards. Please note there are no facilities for accepting chemical waste or electrical hook ups.
Passes are available for campervans, caravans and trailer tents priced at £100 + booking fee.
People are advised to book early as these passes are limited. There is a designated Family Campervan Field for families, or The Meadow for those requiring accessible campervan facilities - select the relevant campervan pass when booking.
Campervan passes are now sold out for 2018 - but if you fancy parking up off site with the opportunity for an electric hook up, the Morn Hill Caravan Club campsite is within walking distance of the festival for caravans, motorhomes or campervans. You have to make a reservation with them so if you'd like to bring your campervan/caravan please contact their site directly on: 01962 869877 If you decide to stay off site, please note the gates are not 24 hours - you’re welcome to leave anytime but there’s no entry past 9.30pm every day.
GAMA Access Areas CIC provide facilities and support for those wishing to attend who have accessibility requirements. GAMA run The Meadow campsite and can offer practical advice for attending the festival. The Meadow can house tents, campervans, caravans or trailer tents, they will prepare for your arrival and individual requirements in order to make sure your entry to the festival is as smooth and easy as possible. If you would like to arrange to stay in The Meadow or you have any other questions about accessibility, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Meadow is based in the Whistlers Green area of Hilltop. Accessible parking is available at South Gate and is a short distance from The Meadow campsite. We have a crew on hand to can help with practical tasks such as putting up tents and helping out. We do not provide childcare or personal care. There will be wheelchair charging facility in a staffed marquee within the campsite. The Meadow has wide-access toilets and shower facilities, with hand wash and drinking water available.
Children and parents with disabilities are welcome in The Meadow. The Kidztown area is right next door. Please note that children are the responsibility of their parents at all times.
The Meadow Campervan / Caravan passes are available at £100 plus booking fee. Cars and other towing vehicles are not permitted within the campsite unless you sought have direct permission from The Meadow team in advance.
For more information about accessibility at Boomtown please see the accessibility section on our website.
You can reclaim your £10 eco bond by bringing a full bag of recycling or general waste to the nearest Eco Bond Hub on site. You’ll be able to pick up bags at all campsite hubs. There are Eco Bond points at four different points on site which will be marked on the map.
EAST / SOUTH / WEST - Sunday 12pm - 7pm
NORTH - Monday 8am - 2pm
Recycling (clear bag):
Glass (this is not permitted to be brought on site)
General Waste (black bag)
Used food packaging
Zooloos provide showers, flushing loos and pampering facilities at two locations on the site.
Choose from Downtown (west campsite) or Hilltop (east campsite). Please note you can only use the showers in the location you select, but can access the loos and pamper areas at both locations.
Handy hint: It’s best to avoid showering during peak times (10am-2pm) as there will be a queue, but reasonably swift outside of these times .
Zooloos are open from 07:00 – 00:00 each day. Passes can still be purchased here under 'other items'.
All lockers will need to be cleared by noon on Monday/
Lockers can still be purchased here under 'other items'.
Phone charging can still be purchased here under 'other items'.
For 2018 Boomtique has been reimagined as the all new Camp Skylark. Named after the iconic bird of the South Downs, Camp Skylark aims to take our audience back to the freedom of childhood camping trips and connection with nature, and the outstanding beauty of the South Downs National Park.
A catalogue of accommodation fit for kings and queens with cocktails, masseuses on call and pamper rooms, hot showers and flushing loos! There are still limited Camp Skylark accommodation options available so head to the site to find out more.
For all Camp Skylark residents here’s your step-by-step guide to how it all works:
Box Office opening times:
Thursday: 08:00 - 23:00
Friday - Saturday: 10:00 - 23:00
Reception opening times:
Thursday: 08:00 - 23:00
Friday - Sunday: 10:00 - 23:00
Monday- 08:00 - 11:00 (please note all festival attendees must be off the festival site by 12:00 on Monday 13th August)
N.B.* There are additional charges for food, drink, massage and salon.
Boomtown Springs is your immersive theatrical camping experience in the heart of the fair, curated by the award winning Bearded Kitten, the masterminds behind The Bank, The Opera House and The Gentleman’s Club in previous chapters. With an endless reel of ridiculous ideas, this incredible collective will guide it’s residents into a whole new realm of interactive experience!
Bang Hai Industries' mansion is based in Boomtown Springs, a fully programmed place to party with a pool at the entrance. At Boomtown Springs you will have access to incredible accommodation types, your very own bar, an array of yummy treats to eat, the poshest toilets on site, a pamper parlour to spruce you up before heading into town and then a masseuse to relax you the next day.
For all Boomtown Springs residents here’s your step-by-step guide to how it all works:
N.B.* There are additional charges for food, drink, massage and salon.