Winchester, Winchester, Hampshire, UK

Putting The BOOM in Boomtown Fair Festival

I squealed with excitement at you a few posts back HERE because I was off to Boomtown Fair Festival. I went, I saw and I couldn't afford the Tshirt. Time to tell you all about it the highs and the lows.
Picture credit to Boomtown of the awesome festival at night
Boomtown resides in Winchester so it was a bit of a journey. They do provide the option of coaches which me and Neil decided to go with from Sheffield. I have never wished I could drive so much as when we rolled up to lots of 18 year olds only reminding me that I turn 32 next March eek! The coach was really reasonably priced though so it was a fairly easy way to get to the festival. The site does help you out to find car shares if that if more up your street but I think it is awesome they try to find greener ways for festivals to happen.

Part of Mayfair area
The que to go in like all festivals was horrific. I think we were squeezed together for about an hour. So by time we got in we didn't care that we were leaving a trail of super noodles  behind us. (more like we didn't notice the bag had split) . We actually got asked for ID which amused us but once we handed in ticket we got our wrist bands quickly and were through to the festival. On initially getting in from the coach entrance I don;t think there was a a lot of guidance on how to get to the areas that you wanted to. It would have been nicer to have a few stewards but luckily my brother was already camped up. ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FESTIVAL aggghh. We dragged ourselves up but cut my thumb open, lost our cups and eventually got there.

You can see how close camping could be. Chinatown!
The cool thing we noticed straight away was that the festival was all blended together. With most festivals I have been to before the music is separated and you have one big arena area where you can't take your drinks and food through. At Boomtown you can camp minutes away from the stages. Careful where you pick though because some areas are more hectic than others. I saw so many people moving tents around the weekend. Reggae is always a good area to camp by because everything is so chilled and relaxed. We were minutes away from the Lions Den reggae stage and only a short walk from all the main action. The camp site was nice and quiet and not so packed you couldn't move.

Pirate stage
This festival is a creative dream come true. So much hard work must have gone into making it a magical place.  There were lots of different areas. Each area had it's own theme and they went all out to enforce it. With characters enticing you into bars or making you complete tasks. We got arrested by the boomtown bobbies and made to walk the plank by pirates 5 minutes within each other! We kept our dignity and gained gold chocolate coins. It seems we were saved by being a couple though as the tasks were more extreme for single people. Phew saved by romance! There are lots of games to take part in across the festival and so much more to do than watching music. There are even hidden activities are bars around. Like grandma's living room which was kitted out exactly as that with lots of men dressed as your gran.

Neil outside Grandma's living room
I can honestly say we saw a lot of the festival but after seeing pictures there was still so much more to discover. We didn't go into the roller disco or see the giant boombox stage. There were workshops in some areas where you could learn to drum or circus skills. Also lots of shops full of tempting goods. Sadly the weather meant we took cover a lot over the weekend and we became regulars in the wild west area.

Our favourite bar
Each area has speciality bars. In the town hall area you can get different specials. In shot gun willies it was wild turkey. Town hall area had a choice of ciders (Black rat was lush) , Pirate area rock rum cocktails and you get the picture. I loved the variation but was really disappointed that despite the website promising availability of pints at £3.80 then becoming £3.70 when you return your cup nothing of the sort existed at all. I gave them benefit of the doubt at first and we tried to return cups and check price lists at many of the bars only to be disappointed, The cheapest drinks were about £4.50 which is a big jump. Had it not been advertised I wouldn't have been that surprised about prices most festivals are expensive especially since you can carry your own drinks all round the fest but don't get my bank balances hopes up. I honestly would have taken more money with me in preparation,
An example of 5 feast crossed off
Another mis-advertisement was the 5 pound feast that were not only advertised on the websites but also in the programme, We went to all the vendor on the list and only about 3 of them had something available for £5 on offer but not what was listed. For example one unnamed vendor was meant to offer cheesy nachos and a drink for £5 but when we asked we were told it was a huge mistake and the vendor didn't even sell nachos. Again this was really disheartening. I realised that a lot of work goes into the festival and the intentions are good but please Boomtown don't advertise things that will not be there.
Awesome hot dog stand
The food variety however was brilliant. From chilli, burritos and nachos to noodles or fried chicken there was something for everyone. We had the lushest hot dogs from Piggie Smalls amazing burritos and on the last day when we were broke the chilli filled and warmed us in the rain.

The spicy hot dog and beer soaked dog both were yummy
The rain did put a bit of a downer on the festival as it made it difficult to get around. My sideburned hero disappeared from the tent one morning to return with hot chocolate and wellies. Yes I was silly enough to go to a festival without wellies! It has been super sunny for weeks. Anyway mega props to my bae for saving the weekend as they got A LOT of use and saved me from being stuck in the mud or even worse sliding down a hill face first. Lesson learnt never go without wellies even if it is mega sunny! Ponchos also saved us which we were wise enough to pack.

Something else that deserves a mega mention is Poonarnia you could pay to use a cleaner toilet which felt like a real dream when you looked in the portaloos. Although even they were cleaned regularly.

The music is so diverse that again there will be something for everyone. We discovered so many new bands over the weekend that I have a whole other post coming for that along with the Boomtown real festival fashion. At first I was sceptical about how the different crowds would mix but the atmosphere is really lovely. Everyone was really friendly and we chatted to a few down to earth people who were having an awesome time. I really recommend this festival to everyone. I would definitely go again but maybe with a bit more cash and a bigger tent.

Have you been to Boomtown or any other festivals?


  1. It looked like you had a great time and I have to say the place looks amazing.

    Gems x
    Fashion, Well Done

    1. It really was awesome! The experience of the place alone even before the music is so worth it x

  2. This look sso good! Hubs and I would love something like this!

    1. You should totally go next year it is an awesome experience x

  3. Looks so fab! Glad it didn't disappoint! Can't wait to go, and of course, squeeze you!! xx

    1. Hell yes boomtown would die of awe if we were both there xx


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