If there is a heaven and you want to go to the part of it where you truly get to let your hair down and party like it's 1999, then Boomtown is that place.
One weekend a year, a huge field near Winchester is converted into a bonkers town where anything goes. Fancy dress is definitely the order and this year didn't disappoint. We saw mermaids, Winnie the Pooh and even people dressed as Lego!
There's not a whiff of corporate-ness, Main Stage, headline-acts nonsense or lineups that read like the who's who of 'cool' bands to see. The collection of bands that play seem like they're there to provide a backdrop for this crazy town. There's so much more to this festival than just the bands that play.
We actually played the second ever Boomtown a few years back and the festival has come such a long way since then. It's grown massively yet managed to keep the vibe that it had back then and it's so great to see, in times when most festivals are finding it hard to compete with your Reading / Leeds / V Festivals, that Boomtown has gone from strength to strength and seems to be getting bigger and crazier. It's a brilliant festival, especially cause the sun was shining but it's when the sun sets that Boomtown really comes to life.
Me, Barney and Nick went down to play with Suicide Bid this year on the Devil's Kick stage at 10pm and I honestly had no idea what to expect but I knew we'd feel right at home sharing the stage with bands like Leftover Crack, The Restarts and The Creepshow. The reception that we got was mental for a band that are lucky to get together once a year to play a gig. We were not worthy and the crowd went mad for us! A personal highlight for me was getting the crowd involved in a mass batty wind!
After our set, and a dose of something slightly mind altering (it'd be rude not to!), we went for a wander around the town at night. THIS is what I'd been waiting to see. The atmosphere was electric, there were sound systems everywhere blasting out Ragga, Jungle, George Michael (!) We saw fire breathing mechanical dragons, people sword fighting with electricity. We went to a secret bar where we had to knock on the door of a phone box and tell the guy how we knew Charlie Brown! Once he was satisfied with the answer, off we went through this telephone box door into a basement of a club. We danced a bit, got a bit hot and moved on to see the main attraction where most people had flocked to as soon as the sun had gone down...
Without a doubt, one of the best things I've ever seen in my life is this huge metal spider, which goes by the name of Arcadia. If you've seen it before then you will know exactly what I mean! He resides slap bang in the middle of the festival and can be seen for miles around. This metal monstrosity / God is like nothing else. In the middle of it, sit a couple of DJs that know exactly what tunes will get the crowd (who are completely mesemerised by this thing) going. I could have stayed there all night just staring at this huge, metal, moving, glowing, fire emitting spider and been completely content.
I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone that came out and showed their support for Suicide Bid on Saturday night. We all had such a great night and there's talks underway of taking the Suicide Bid Collective on the road in the next few months and maybe even heading out to Germany for a few dates. The new album will be finished soon too.
Finally, big up to all the Boomtown crew. The love and passion that goes into making something that isn't a run of the mill, money driven, branded festival is difficult enough, especially in the current financial climate but Boomtown have not only done it again but they've managed to top what they do, year after year.