BOOMTOWN FAIR (cap. 66,000) will feature two news stages this year and include a new multi-stage show that will take place throughout the duration of the festival and across five stages.
The biggest of the new outdoor stage areas will be a 4,000-capacity space dedicated to hip hop and grime acts. Boomtown Fair co-founder Lak Mitchell says there will also be a new 2,000 capacity area that will be home to punk and metal acts. They have not been given names yet.
Entitled State of Emergency, the five-day multi-stage production will encompass a 360-degree experience across multiple stages and areas. Combining theatrical elements and circus troupes, the production will, according to Mitchell, “question where we are as a society” on issues such as sustainability.
The festival has partnered with charity TreeSisters with the aim of encouraging fans, artistes, crew members and event partners to collectively fund the planting of one million trees. Mitchell says the festival’s 55 staff are also working on a campaign to stamp out abandoned tents.
“We pushed the leave no trace, take your tent home, message last year and there was massive reduction in that. It is one of the biggest priorities this year,” he says.
With the festival located in a valley, Mitchell says another key challenge is creating better, “flatter”, camping areas.
“It is something we haven’t been able to crack in the past but we have some good ideas around that,” he says.
Last year the Hampshire festival was granted permission by Winchester City Council to increase the capacity by 10,000. Mitchell says the license is subject to planning permission, and a planning application has been filed.
Boomtown Fair will take place at the Matterley Estate from 12 to 16 August. Among the line-up across its 27 stages are Wu Tang Clan, Underworld, Kano, The Libertines, Kelis and Squarepusher.
Tickets cost £264.