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The Ultimate Guide to Boomtown Festival

Photograph of the blog post author, Will Hammond

Will Hammond


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Boomtown Festival

Boomtown Festival offers a unique, immersive experience unlike any other. Since its inception, Boomtown has grown exponentially, transforming from a small underground gathering to a sprawling city of music and mayhem that attracts tens of thousands of attendees from around the globe. Each year, it reinvents itself, presenting a cornucopia of music genres, theatrical performances, and art installations. This festival is not just about music; it’s about community, creativity, and a shared spirit of rebellion against the mundane.

This article will take you through the festival’s vibrant history, diverse lineups, and the distinctive atmosphere that sets it apart from other music events. Whether you’re a seasoned festival-goer or a curious first-timer, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to the unforgettable experience that is Boomtown Festival.

What Is Boomtown Festival?

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Boomtown Fair is an annual music and arts festival. Since its debut in 2009 it has become one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the UK festival calendar. The festival was initially organised as a small gathering of like-minded individuals who sought to create an immersive experience combining music, theatre, and creativity. Over the years, it has become a hub for artistic expression. The festival features a lineup of musical genres, creative stage productions, and exciting performances.

Boomtown Fair, at its core, is a smorgasbord of musical flavours, inviting people of all backgrounds. From subtle head-bobbing tunes to headbanging anthems, reggae to punk rock, hip-hop to folk, and the electronic beats that invite everyone to the dance floor, BoomTown has it all.

Where Is Boomtown Festival?

The Boomtown Fair location is the picturesque Matterley Estate near Winchester in Hampshire. The expansive festival grounds provide a stunning backdrop for the four-day extravaganza, which attracts music lovers and adventure seekers from around the globe.

Boomtown Festival Dates and Tickets

Boomtown 2023

The festival typically takes place over four days in August, however the exact dates may vary from year to year. Boomtown 2023 takes place Wed, 9 Aug 2023 – Sun, 13 Aug 2023. 

Boomtown Festival tickets usually go on sale several months in advance. It’s worth noting that they often sell out quickly due to the festival’s immense popularity. Early bird tickets and tiered pricing options are available, offering different levels of access and camping options.

According to the Boomtown website, Boomtown 2023 ticket prices are:

  • citizenship entry phase 1-3: Sold out
  • citizenship entry phase 4: £295 + £10 booking fee
  • green transport citizen phase 1 & 2: Sold out
  • green transport citizen phase 3: £280 deposit + £10 booking fee

Boomtown’s Past Famous Acts and Memorable Performances

Boomtown Fair

Throughout its history, Boomtown Festival has hosted an impressive lineup of artists from a plethora of genres. Past headliners have included iconic acts such as:

  • The Prodigy: With their explosive electronic beats, The Prodigy have set Boomtown ablaze with their high-energy show, sending waves of excitement through the crowd.
  • Gorillaz: The imaginative virtual band Gorillaz have previously taken festival-goers on a mesmerising journey. Their incredible blend of sounds and stunning visuals create a unique atmosphere.
  • Cypress Hill: The hip-hop legends have brought their infectious rhymes and West Coast flavour to Boomtown, giving the festival a dose of raw, urban vibes.
  • Madness: The ska/pop pioneers and masters of British quirkiness have filled the air with their catchy tunes and compelling energy, leaving festival-goers dancing.
  • The Streets: With their unique blend of hip-hop and garage, The Streets have brought their distinctive sound and witty lyrics to Boomtown, creating a lively atmosphere and prompting sing-alongs from the crowd.
  • The Chemical Brothers: Known for their mesmerising live performances, the electronic music pioneers have thrilled Boomtown Festival attendees with their sets, transforming the festival grounds into a massive dancefloor.

These acts and countless others have contributed to the history of musical experiences that define Boomtown Festival. Each year, the festival organisers curate a diverse lineup that attracts artists from various genres. This ensures that there’s something for everyone’s musical taste. 

The Boomtown Setup


Boomtown Festival’s immersive set-up is one of its defining features. The grounds capture the imagination of attendees, as they navigate through the festival’s districts. Each district offers a theme and atmosphere, transporting festival-goers into different worlds within the festival grounds.


Oldtown District

Oldtown, with its mediaeval-inspired charm, takes festival-goers on a journey back in time. Visitors can look at the intricately designed stages and immerse themselves in the ambience of a bustling mediaeval city. The attention to detail in the decor and architecture creates an authentic experience as if stepping into living history.

Copper County

Copper County evokes the spirit of the Wild West, captivating festival-goers with its frontier town aesthetic. Dusty streets, saloons, and country music infuse the district with a sense of adventure and nostalgia. Attendees can embrace their inner cowboy or cowgirl as they explore the setting, immersing themselves in the Wild West atmosphere.

Barrio Loco

Barrio Loco, a very energetic district, moves with the beats of hip-hop, grime, and phat bass. Colourful graffiti-covered streets and striking street art installations provide a dynamic backdrop as festival-goers dance to the rhythm of urban beats. The lively performances by DJs and MCs create an electrifying atmosphere, captivating those seeking a contemporary musical experience.


DSTRKT 5 offers a glimpse into a futuristic and industrial world with its captivating stage designs and visual effects. Festival-goers are transported to a dystopian realm where electronic music reigns supreme. Complete with pyrotechnics, the industrial landscape sets the stage for a mesmerising experience.


As for accommodation, Boomtown Festival caters to various preferences and budgets with its camping options. Whether attendees prefer a basic tent pitch to fully embrace the traditional festival experience or opt for luxury for added comfort, a range of choices are available. The festival ensures that well-maintained shower and toilet facilities are conveniently located throughout the campgrounds, providing essential amenities for attendees to refresh and recharge.

Stages, Extra Activities, and Facilities

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Boomtown Festival is a haven for music lovers, boasting an impressive array of stages that cater to many different musical tastes. From the grandeur of the main stages that capture the attention of most attendees to the intimate hidden venues nestled in the heart of the festival, there’s a lot to see and a treasure trove of talent.

The main stages at Boomtown Festival are a sight to behold and the main reason many people make the yearly pilgrimage to the Matterley Estate. With their larger-than-life setups and captivating productions, these stages serve as the festival’s centrepiece, hosting renowned headliners and captivating the audience with their performances. The atmosphere is vivacious as festival-goers come together, united by the music and energy from the main stages.

But the magic of Boomtown extends beyond the main stages. The festival site has hidden gems, smaller stages, and intimate venues that offer a more personal and immersive musical experience. These spots provide an opportunity for attendees to discover emerging talent and niche genres and connect with artists on a more personal level. It’s a chance to stumble upon hidden treasures and, let’s face it, get bragging rights when the upcoming talent breaks through.

That being said, Boomtown Festival is not solely about music. It’s a plethora of experiences that bring the festival site to life. Street performances are a common sight, with acrobats, dancers, and performers captivating audiences. Art installations, both large and small, decorate the festival grounds, providing visual spectacles that spark imagination and serve as backdrops for countless photo opportunities.

Boomtown Festival Food and Drink

Boomtown Festival takes the culinary experience of its attendees to heart, bringing an assortment of food and drink options that cater to a wide range of tastes.

Throughout the festival grounds, there are a myriad of street food stalls. These stalls offer a mouthwatering selection of food, including Asian street food, Mexican tacos, Indian curries, and Middle Eastern falafels. 

Boomtown Festival is also committed to providing vegetarian and vegan options to cater to the preferences of its audience. Attendees with vegan lifestyles can delight in the abundance of veggie-friendly options, from plant-based burgers and wraps to salads and fresh fruit smoothies. The festival’s dedication to inclusivity ensures that everyone can find something delicious to satisfy their cravings.

When it comes to drinking, Boomtown Festival embraces the art of craft beverages. The festival features craft beer bars, where beer enthusiasts can indulge in a wide selection of brewed creations. From IPAs to stouts, there’s a beer for everyone! For those seeking something more refreshing, cocktail lounges offer a creative mix of cocktails, expertly mixed with a dash of flair.

Boomtown 2023 Lineup

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I know this is probably the reason you’re here, but the organisers keep the Boomtown Fair lineup a secret until shortly before the event, adding an element of excitement and surprise for those attending. At the time of writing this article, the lineup has not been revealed.

Every year, Boomtown Festival draws a large crowd of enthusiastic attendees to Matterley Estate. Upon entering the festival, attendees find themselves immersed in a captivating world divided into nine distinct districts, each with its unique vibe. These districts invite attendees to explore their streets, engage with actors, and become part of the evolving festival storyline.

Music is the heartbeat of Boomtown Festival, featuring bands and DJs from various genres across the global and underground spectrum. Keeping the lineup undisclosed until closer to the event encourages festival-goers to discover and explore different sounds. The musical genres showcased range from electronic beats like drum and bass, techno, and jungle, to the vibrant sounds of reggae, folk, ska, and world music.

As the festival’s lineup is revealed, citizens eagerly anticipate the opportunity to experience new sounds and artists. The element of surprise encourages attendees to venture through the festival’s districts, stumbling upon captivating performances that ignite their senses and create memorable experiences.

Boomtown Festival embraces diversity and encourages attendees to embrace the spirit of exploration. It provides a platform for attendees to immerse themselves in music, art, and culture, creating moments that will resonate long after the festival ends.

Boomtown Controversies

Like many large-scale festivals, Boomtown has faced its share of challenges and controversies over the years.

Such as the 2019 reports regarding the treatment of staff members. These staff members, who chose to remain anonymous, shared distressing experiences, alleging mistreatment such as being treated in a dehumanising manner and facing racial profiling, intimidation, and abuse. 

It’s important to note that these individuals were not directly hired by Boomtown Fair but were subcontracted through three employment agencies: Freemans Event Partners, Mint Staffing Solutions, and Harrison Lee Recruitment, which were contracted by the festival.

As well as that, Boomtown has also faced controversy as attendees found themselves enduring long queues, with some waiting for up to six hours to enter the festival grounds. According to the organisers, the delays resulted from on-site conditions, which caused certain gates to open later than the initially stated time of noon. Some gates did not open until around 3 pm, leaving festival-goers frustrated and disappointed.

The allegations of mistreatment and misconduct highlight the importance of fair and respectful treatment of all individuals involved in the festival’s operations. 

Boomtown Festival has not made an official statement regarding these specific allegations at the time of writing.

Final Thoughts on Boomtown Festival

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In conclusion, Boomtown Festival is a true testament to the power of creativity, music, and immersive experiences. It has established itself as a pinnacle event that music lovers and adventurers eagerly look forward to each year. Boomtown’s allure lies in its ability to take attendees to a realm of wonder, with captivating stages, a diverse lineup, and a vibrant atmosphere.

The festival’s stunning location provides the perfect backdrop for this extraordinary gathering. Nestled amidst rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, the festival grounds come alive with colours, beats, and the energy of thousands of attendees.

The diverse lineup curated by Boomtown Festival spans a wide range of musical genres, ensuring that there’s something for everyone. From electronic beats to folk and reggae melodies, the festival offers a plethora of sounds that captivates and delights.

The stages at Boomtown Festival are immersive works of art that take attendees to different worlds. Each stage is designed and adorned with stunning visual elements, creating a brilliant atmosphere. Whether you find yourself at the main stages or stumbling upon hidden gems tucked away in the festival’s nooks and crannies, the stages become portals to extraordinary experiences.

Chapter Two: The Twin Trail 2023

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Beyond the music, Boomtown Festival offers many activities. From exploring the districts, interacting with actors, and discovering hidden surprises at every turn, there’s always something new to experience. The festival invites attendees to fully immerse themselves in the culture, art installations, workshops, and interactive performances that make the festival site come alive.

Whether camping amidst the fantastical districts, forming connections with like-minded individuals, or simply losing yourself in the music reverberating through the air, Boomtown Festival offers a journey into a world of discovery.


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