Where does one start to explain the experience. I arrived on Friday, early evening and did the long pilgrimage across the field to the artist section. After getting all my details sorted and all that jazz, I now need to set up and prepare my tent. In setting up my tent I start to see all these beautiful faces you expect to see.
Once I was set no ready I started the long walk into the festival. When you enter your on this hill and then realise the magnitude of the festival. You start realising, that the whole festival is a city. The sight alone was mind blowing, and I haven’t even stepped in yet. This is just the view from the hill.
With the sun setting and the festival in full swing, my first stop was over to the main stage Grand Central. What great timing too. Koffee was just about to take the stage and the crowd signified that. Just a sea of humans going back as far as the eye can see. She shut the place down with hit after hit and a band that weren’t missing a beat. The karaōke crowd was in full affect singing along to all the hits and giving back the same energy Koffee was expressing. Great start to my festival. After my sing alongs I decided to walk around the festival a bit and make sense of this enormous landscape. Which coincidentally has been cut in half. I couldn’t even imagine what it was like when it was uptown and downtown.
After wandering around and being blown away by the shear imagination that goes into this festival, I found myself at the Vault Stage. This Was the stage for all things hip hop. I perfectly pulled up just in time to see Dirty Dike Doing what he does effortlessly. Such a boss at working the crowd and you can tell the fan base is real. He went thru banger after banger and had the crowd attempting to rap all words. Half way thru his performance he brought of one of his signings. Look out for his label with the enigmatic Pete Canon called Melon Slice. Out came Sleazy F Baby with Black Josh. Dike lay on the speakers whilst the 2 of them just started shelling with songs like ‘bitch I’m in the studio’. The energy was up and the heads were wildin out. Full performance from the man himself. Dirty Dike!
I had to stick around for the next act as no one had seen him in the last six months whilst he was on his South American hiatus. The stage was set for the return of Jam Baxter. Nice to see him back in the UK and no disappointment in his performance. Shelling out hits like ‘Brains’ and treating us to some of his new stuff he was creating in South America, you definitely felt his presence. Plus it’s not a jam Baxter performance without a crowd surf. Major shout to Baxter and the energy he provided. My first night was filling me with pure goodness.
After these performances it was about floating around the rest of the festival and working what was where and how do you get to each place. By luck and fortune I met up with IAHH festival don, Nadia Otshudi who took me through the maze. By this time it was pure float along mode and lord knows where we would end up next.
The next day I woke up bright and early with the intentions to see as much as possible. After sweet sun soaked morning with my blood sister the Amazing Angel Mel Selector who was hosting the Hidden Woods, I converged the power to head back into the festival and see what was in store for the day.
The weather was at full on roast. Water and minimal garments were the order of the day. I walked into the festival which looked relatively empty. Thinking probably the wave from the night before for people waking up late. The truth was the weather was so hot that all the hidden areas became the perfect setting to start your day. The Hidden Woods where my sister was hosting was rammed. People spread everywhere amongst the sandy floors and tree house decking. The tangled woods where you got your full dub flavour (provided by Lion pulse x Sinai) was another hidden enclosure. With a sound system that played thru 3 sound rigs providing real chest warming vibes.
My festival hombre Ryda Vybe was playing on the Engine stage with Gwana Blues All Stars. I make my way thru the immersive experience. To the Copper County which was designed like and old western city. To the main stage which was decked out with a steam engine and mechanics all round. The electric Jalaba vibes was warming up the afternoon. The people were coming alive.
The insane heat made me head back to the hidden woods and what perfect timing. The woods was vibing in the shade provided by the trees all around and on stage was Havana Meets Kingston. It felt like real sound boy goodness blessed with Cuban soul. Plus what a pleasure to see Feline sharing stage and shelling the way he does. Not a festival without a Feline appearance.
The Reggae feeling was present and after that amazing dose of sound boy goodness, we were blessed with more reggae goodness from the sweet tones of Shumba Youth plus live band. The Hidden Woods was being blessed with some pure roots and culture. Vibes on vibes was being transmitted.
Not long after I wander to the main stage to catch the legendary De La Soul accompanied by one of my favourite rappers Talib Kweli. Going through hits after hits performing with pure showmanship I was elated to of caught this performance. That feel good hip hop was filling the main stage with a brilliant feeling of wholesomeness. I left there feeling good.
Currently rolling alone so I was free to discover all the festival had to offer. I walked through Metropolis which was decked out in psychedelic disco colours for the dance and electro ravers.
I walk thru and stumble on a castle. The Origins Stage. Where the main stage is way up in the air. The crowd is huge. Drum and bass is pumping the and the wave of energy is sending out positive vibes. The lyrics coming thru were doubling up that energy of positive vibes. The tone sounds familiar, I look on the big screen only to see Inja doing a one man show of his material. The performance was next level, his tracks were thumping through the insane sound system, his mixing was on point, and the way he was shelling was pure fire. Honestly probably a highlight of my festival knowing how long the brothers been doing his thing. Knowing he’s a child of the uk hip hop we love so much. Big salutes
With that feel good feeling in me I wander back to the copper county to catch Smokey Joe & The Kid performing with our very own Mysdiggi. The French duo brought a blend of live percussive hip hop with an MPC live show, that had me skanking out. Add a like Mysdiggi charisma and you know what time it is. Full on goodness muvvaluvvas.
After a brief wander and refueling I found myself by the Vault Stage to a large crowd. I look on stage to see 2 old men shelling and the crowd rapping along. I get front stage and realise the frenzy from the crowd is coming from Pete and Baz. Salute to the guys as they put in full energy. From the choreographed dance steps to being up front full involved with the crowd. The duo is truly an experience to witness.
The rest of that night was me floating around the immersive experience provided by the backdrop of Boomtown Festival. It truly is a marvel to witness at night. Amazing credit to the creators of this experience cause it’s really worth it. Plus it was only half the size (which was insanely huge). The kind of festival that deserves a tram to take you throughout.
Rest reset and repeat I’m ready for day 3. Sunday vibes. After the morning chill out socialising in the Artist camp, I’m ready to go into the festival. I got that Sunday feeling. So I find myself a good munch from the plethora to choose from and float into the entangled woods. I eat my munch with the sweet reggae thumping from Sweetie with Mad X.
I linked up with Daddy Skitz and Joe Burns on route to the Street Party Stage ready to run the dance. Always gassed to hear Daddy Skitz rocking the decks. He started with some classic Skitz Dubplates. Warming up the vibes for the Sunday zombies. Sipping a sweet fruit smoothie I was skanking thru the medleys of hip hop and jungle sounds being played. I got that sweet Sunday feeling.
I’ve worked up an appetite for live performances now and made my way over to the Vault Stage. Nice Sunday crowd had assembled to see Lee Scott And Friends. Lee Scott had the crowd zoning out to the dusty smooth production he produces. With appearances from the ever charismatic Stinkin Slumrock, the slick spitting Black Josh. With Morriachi on the buttons it was a full show case off what to expect from the Blah general.
Next to the stage was a performance I was eager to see cause every time I’ve seen her she’s been a powerhouse performer. The nice evening temperature was in full effect. The band was ready. Natty Speaks introduces the Queen herself, Eva Lazarus.
Track after track she took you through a full blend of being uk. Representing in multiple genres and bringing something larger than life to it. She showed full on star power, a definite festival highlight for me. Especially sharing the stage with her son and partner. The evolution was evident. Salute to her prowess and definitely one who deserves big stages.
With time for a quick drink and refreshment the eclectic Tiggs Da Author took the stage. You can tell the crowd knew him for his hip hop bangers but the Tanzanian singer had a sweet range of music. That real afro soul was evident in his material and beautifully portrayed in the moment.
It was headline time and I made my way to the main stage which had a sea of people. People as far as the eyes could see. Ready for a mega star performance from Kool and the Gang. Packed with a full live band and superstar outfits, they played hit after hit after hit. The karaōke feeling throughout the crowd was beautiful. People from all ages and cultures singing along in unison with that beautiful Sunday floating feeling. The feel good factor was at an all time high.
After floating around for a while I found myself on top of a hill. Right at the point the festival was ending. The 3d light show coming from the Origins castle was in full effect. The light show being provided by the whole festival really showed how fantastic of a design this festival was. How big (even if scaled down) this festival was. For a festival that had no line up promotion but still pulled in its loyal mass crowd. As a Boomtown Virgin my cherry is officially popped and this is something I will wanna attend for many years to come!
Salute Boomtown Festival Fair
Written By Mas Law
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