A Look Back at Boomtown, Chapter 11
Emerald at The Grid by Lucas Sinclair
I started my Boomtown journey like most festivals in the past: extremely excited with a dose of the pre-fezzy nerves.
What added to the nerves that Thursday morning was finding out that Houghton, just like Boardmasters, had decided to cancel the festival due to extreme weather conditions. We couldn’t believe it. What if Boomtown was next? I immediately messaged my inside gyal Dulcie and demanded answers.
Phew. We got the last bits ready to go and I got into the car to pick up my lovely mate Mollie before setting off. As I started driving, the temperature gauge popped up in a very bright red. FFS, NO. I could feel the car going, and as I waited at a red light with traffic in front and behind me along a very busy high street, I prayed to my trusty Mini not to break down right there and now. Thank God it gave me another couple of minutes. I pulled into a very quiet street in Forest Hill and that’s when the car just stopped. Bollocks. My only saving grace was that it was more or less parked in a free spot and I knew I could leave it there all weekend because I was not about to deal with it then. Byeeee.
We took Mollie’s car and set off for the magical city. In terms of the weather, it was windy yes, and it rained a little, but I’ve been at festivals with way worse weather conditions. So, big up Boomtown for keeping us safe and in a party mood all weekend. Here are my music and food highlights for Chapter 11.
Relic by Garry Jones
First and foremost, the line-up this year (as always) was FIYAAHHH!! For me, having so much drum ‘n’ bass at a festival is the one. But what makes Boomtown so sick is that it doesn’t hide the drum in little tents in the middle of the night like other festivals. The DnB DJs are on main stages and they draw the biggest crowds.
Relic was the new stage for Chapter 11 and it featured a whole host of bad boy DJs. Friday’s headliner was legend Shy FX and his set was high energy! It was still early at this point and the winds were at their highest, resulting in the stage having to be shut down during Shy’s set. We were gutted. But health and safety first hunnys.
Boomtown moved the rest of the scheduled acts over to Lion’s Den, meaning no one missed out on seeing their favourite DJs. Well bloody done, guys.
By Saturday, it had reopened and we were taken on an unforgettable DnB journey. Kicking off with Chase & Status’ RTRN II JUNGLE, where we went from classics like Take Me Away to addictive dubplates such as Original Nuttah. It was the only place to be and we were flyingggg. This legendary set was followed by Fabio then Brockie & Det, which was special to say the least.
Nucleus by Tom Martin
Nucleus held its own against the festival's many big stages. As you'd expect from Boomtown, this stage was truly impressive. We're talking big scale stage production and incredible visuals. On Friday, Four Tet captured us from beginning to end with his enigmatic mixes, a percy had to be Ne-Yo's So Sick. While the end of our amazing Saturday night was made more memorable thanks to Carl Cox's closing set.
Big stages aside, my favourite stage at Boomtown has to be Tangled Roots. Hidden amongst the forest, everything about it bangs: the soundsystem, the stage production and its long list of dub/reggage/jungle/bashment artists. Everything is lock off by midnight on Thursday evening and Tangled Roots was the place to be until the music stopped that night. It was absolutely packed full of ravers who were lapping up every build up and heavy drop. Okay, so maybe I'm being slightly biased as it was a Danny Rankin set haha but truly, the vibe was a 10/10.
So, what about the food?
When it comes to the food at Boomtown, you’re really spoilt for choice and I very much indulged.
By far, the tastiest meal I had was at Tibetan Kitchen. Located at the Hilltop near the Helter Skelter, this slice of heaven serves up the fluffiest momos imaginable. I ordered beef momos and the beef curry, which was so well spiced, and came with the most tender beef and softest potatoes. Then I topped it all off with their homemade hot sauce (course I bloody did). Not to be missed.
Caribbean Delicious was just that. Caribbean and delicious. The goat curry and festivals were very much on point but I have to say, the jerk chicken was a little too sweet for mi spicy self. You’ll also find this place at the Hilltop. 7/10.
Last up is Pie Factory in the Downtown food court. Friendly faces and a simple menu tempted me into ordering their Heidi pie: goats cheese, red onion, sweet potato, spinach and garlic. It also came with creamy mash and gravy – a very filling meal all for just £7.
I'll be back to give you all the lowdown on the success of Boomtown's Green Missions soon, but in the meantime, I do know that only 20% of tents were left behind this year. This is compared to the 40% in 2018. Obviously this means there are still a small number of people not clearing up their mess, so please stop, little piggys. It's really annoying, unhelpful, disgusting and not okay.
Until then, thanks for having me Boomtown xxx