Since we last danced together in the rolling fields of Hampshire in August 2019, whether we feel it, know it or want it to be; life is different now. As a festival, we have had a rare chance to properly pause and reflect for the first time in over a decade, and an opportunity to clearly see how we can evolve.
We’ve embraced this time with open arms and set about ripping up our own rulebook; we’ve kept the best bits, dug deep into what our ethos means to us and reset the rest…
What is Boomtown’s Ethos?
Boomtown has grown at such an incredible speed, driven by the sheer love and passion of thousands, it has become many wonderful things to many different people. However, because of this rapid growth and immense scale we have not always been able to truly embed our ethos into the culture of the event.
Resetting from the foundations allows us the chance to really get things right; to be the forward-thinking, progressive, and inspirational festival community we know we can be. By starting a brand new story with Chapter One: The Gathering, this allows us even more scope to start afresh, with our ethos, creativity and ambition all aligning into one combined vision.
Vision: A living theatre that ignites imagination and inspires the emergence of a better world through respect, connection, creativity and celebration.
The Six Pillars of Boomtown:
Respect Yourself: In a world that can make us doubt our own worth, we want to provide a space for self-empowerment and freedom of expression.
Respect Each Other: In a world that is deeply scarred by the open wounds of racism and prejudice, we want people of all backgrounds, beliefs, ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities and races to know that you belong and are safe in our city.
Respect the Planet: In a world that is burning, we call on our collective humanity to come together to find solutions and care for nature, as she cares for us.
Creativity: In a world where conformity is valued over creativity, we want to provide a platform that nurtures artistic freedom and pushes the boundaries of creative expression.
Connection: In a world where digital connection so often replaces physical connection, we cherish the depth of togetherness that comes from the gatherings of humans.
Celebration: In a world that can so often feel overloaded with negativity, we want to celebrate the very best this beautiful planet and all humanity can achieve, in one almighty party where everyone’s welcome!
CHAPTER ONE: THE GATHERING
What is Happening at Boomtown 2021?
Boomtown at its heart is a living theatre with a long history and an ongoing narrative, but we are starting with a clean slate and a world of new wonders to discover in Chapter One: The Gathering.
The premise is simple, we are a Gathering… Gatherings are a deep part of human connection and celebration and have been so for millennia, but in these current real-world times, they were also one of the first things to be outlawed. When we come together this will be The Gathering we’ve all been needing for so long…
Actors and characters will flood the streets more than ever before, huge parades will weave their way through the districts with buskers and pop up sound systems on every street corner, a mass of colourful creative energy that vibrates through every strand of the city.
The depths of our story in this reset year are as yet unknown, but we will be building our version of a post-pandemic world and exploring what that can mean for our collective ‘new normal’.
As ever, all are invited to fully participate by creating their own character and discover their part to play in this ever-evolving story.
How are things changing?
Over the past few months, we’ve spoken with thousands of you who’ve attended and worked at the festival over the years, via surveys and focus groups, to understand what is most important. The changes we’ve made are rooted in feedback from thousands of public and crew, response to the ongoing COVID-19 threat, and most importantly our ethos and our ambition to put on the best party possible:
Reimagining the festival layout:
There are 3 main sections to the Boomtown world; the main city, the forests and woodland areas and the campsites and their central Campsite Villages.
The Main City: and its unique worlds will all now be located in what was previously known as ‘Downtown Boomtown’. Every main stage is a brand new concept and nestled deep into magical district surroundings. For the first time ever we will be using every inch of the ‘Downtown’ valley to build up the most detailed festival city we’ve ever dreamt up! Around the city will be the beautiful, forest chillouts and woodland parties we love to escape to.
Campsite Villages: Surrounding the woodland stages and overlooking the city will be three large main campsites, each with its own new Campsite Village at its very centre. These warm and inviting central hubs are absolutely key to the success of the new festival vision. Creating communities with shared spaces will significantly help us embed the festivals ethos into all we do, whilst enhancing everyone's overall living experience at the same time.
Musical Lineup Releases:
We know this may come as a surprise to some of you but we have made the bold decision to keep most of the line up a secret until just before the festival. We have spent months debating whether this was the right thing to do and what is clear is there are many aspects to the way the music industry is run that simply don’t work for independent festivals.
The complex process of releasing a music line-up with the exclusivity, billing and escalating costs have led us to decide this is the time to rethink the way we approach it and explore new ways of doing things.
We have always been a creatively led festival and people attend Boomtown because of the overall experience, we will continue to book incredible headline artists, and all the festival favourites, but by approaching our programming announcements in this radical way, we can create lineups that are even more phenomenal and diverse than we have ever been able to before.
Ticket Price: With so many people going through so much right now, we felt it was vital for us to reduce the ticket price to make it easier to attend for all. By reimagining how we run and create Boomtown, we’ve been able to reduce the ticket price, but also enhance the parts that make us a truly unique experience...
Collectively, another world is possible.
As festival-goers, organisers, artists or performers we must all come together to collectively create a beautiful space of respect, connection, creativity and celebration; a place where we all do our best to live up to the ethos of Boomtown.
Whatever your own Boomtown story may be, there are so many ways to leave your legacy.. Every single person has an impact and the opportunity to create change; by the energy you share in a crowd, the smile you give a fellow citizen as you explore the streets, or nudging a neighbour to make sure they leave no trace! Even before we get to the fair there are so many ways to get involved you could become an ambassador, apply to be part of the creative experience, join our ever-growing online communities, or simply take a moment to read and understand our Six Pillars. Collectively we can try to change the world, or at least our little part of it…
You may have some questions, so we’ve compiled a pretty comprehensive FAQ here. Please have a good read through these but if there is anything we’ve not covered then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org