Boomtown 2013, wow, where do I start!

For anyone who hasn't been, it's a festival that stirs every emotion with fantasy, surrealism and diverse attractions wherever you look.

Boomtown really is a powerhouse of a festival. It's like a real, living and breathing make shift town with each district having its own story to tell. It takes you to another place, a fictional, magical place where you really become part of the fantasy. This year the festival has expanded drastically, in the attempt to make way for the ever increasing population, the town has been broken into several different districts;

ChinaTown filled with the most avin it ska, ska punk, rockin punk, folk punk, polka punk, hell jazz and rock 'n' roll around town!

Barrio Loco brings you some bad ass bass music to soak up into your soul and get you poppin' n hoppin' all weekend long!

Mayfair Avenue is the hub of your high class, swanky not skanky electro swing clubs and live swing bands.

The air in Oldtown is filled with Balkan Gypsy Pirate Skankin’ Beatz.

Holditdowntown - This area holds true significance and importance: it's a place where residents and tourist can come and take part in workshops, learning a wide range of new and alternative skills; where people can lay back on the grass and watch the clouds float by; sing with guitars and tell stories under the stars; or get oh-so-natural in the sauna.


A place for the mini city boomers to have their well deserved fun!

TrenchTown boasting the best in Dub, Reggae, Dance Hall & Jungle’s massive sounds.

DownTown is fully equipped with a great party jukebox keepin' the vibe alive all night long!

Julian Marley opened up the festival on Friday at the Lions Den which has been transformed into a giant Aztec stage. It is honestly one of the best stages I have witnessed at a festival. We arrived early for a full day at the Lions Den stage and the sun shone down on us all day. This was another highlight for me; what more could you ask for than reggae, sunshine, and happy smiley people loving life and skanking all over the shop? Julian Marley smashed it, along with the other performers on this epic stage; Collie Budz & new Kingston, Lee Scratch Perry, Dub Inc, Gentleman's Dub Club and Serial Killaz to name a few.

Now to tell you all about Arcadia.

"Prepare to be taken away to a place where senses will be heightened and minds will be blown, a place where anarchic metal monsters meet total sensory dynamite! Lasers pierce the darkness and the drum beats whilst fires burn and breathe into the night sky. Suddenly you're a million miles from day to day life in a wild, adrenaline fuelled, future apocalyptic environment- this is Arcadia Spectacular in full effect!"

Arcadia was by far my biggest highlight, it literally blew my mind. A huge robotic spider infrastructure that looms over the festival, coming fully alive as darkness falls over Boomtown. Its an experience that has to be seen and heard to be fully appreciated. Whilst the mind blowing Arcadia DJs play out some beat heavy spine tingling tunes, each time the tune drops, the crowd are struck with fire breathing madness, you can actually feel the heat hit your face! It is by far the most extravagant, chaotic and insane stage I've ever experienced.

Other than these stages, there were all sorts of other hidden gems to stumble upon as you explore the wonderment of this alternate dimension. For instants the Hidden Woods which hosted Dub, Reggae, Dancehall and Hip-Hop live bands. I have hazy recollections of dancing there for hours, a great place to escape the manic centre of Boomtown.

Another great memory for me was stumbling upon Parov Stelar at the Town Centre- even on the 4th day of Boomtown, all of the revellers were going mad for them, including myself!

For anyone who hasn't been to Boomtown before I highly recommend it. Each year, somehow, the incredible organisers manage to up their game and make it even more extraordinary than the year before. Massive respect to all that were involved in making it all possible and for everyone who attended the festival, I salute you! Until next time...


You can see the official Boomtown 2013 video here:


Words by Jess Needham.

Photographs courtesy of NicaZ Pics- contact Carrie Michele Barton for bookings on 07972274014