Quirky Things To Do In August!
Ah August! A month for unwinding, taking a holiday and kicking back.
There’s nothing better than a change of scene and a break from routine to refresh and rejuvenate. Anna and I love Oxford, but we also love to get out of town and explore too. It gives us inspiration and awesome ideas to bring to what we’re doing at Independent Oxford, and we love finding quirky and unusual things to inspire us!
So with that in mind, here are some awesome events happening this month that we’re really excited about:
Boomtown emerged onto the UK festival scene in 2009 with a handful of punters at a 1000 capacity. The festival is like no other in that over the last 8 years the organisers have woven an intricate story into the experience, with each year marking a new chapter. The site has expanded to a whole city with 60,000 ‘residents’ making it their home on Matterley Estate near Winchester. In 2016 Boomtown unveiled new main stage, Sector 6, to add more depth and variety to the experience. The Lions’ Den Temple, home to Boomtown’s reggae performances, is complete with cascading waterfalls and light shows in the heart of Trenchtown.
Boomtown will be unveiling new stage Bang-Hai Tower in 2017, where you can expect heavy bass and dirty beats from this monstrous structure. The festival is split into 9 districts, each with a different musical influence. There are over 500 acts this year including street circus performers and curated line ups for each district so festival goers can always find a unique musical niche of subculture in this theme park of festival fun. Acts this year include The Specials, M.I.A, Toots & The Maytals, Reel Big Fish, Planet Smashers, Mr Scruff and Sublime. Each stage makes up a part of the city which is the backdrop for the ongoing story of Boomtown. 2017 sees the festival embark on the 9th chapter, where gentrification is rife and power company Bang-Hai’s growing influence over the town. Resistance groups are springing up and residents can lose themselves in the city amongst the twists and turns of the evolving story, and the hidden nooks and crannies of the town. Over the years, the Boomtown story has covered corrupt elections, alien technology, time travel, Western style showdowns and most recently, the 2016 revolution which spread across the entire event in a feat of theatrical ambition not before seen at a UK festival. Boomtown is a fully immersive festival with festival goers encouraged to take the role of residents and dress according to the district they are camping in.
“The aim of the storyline is to hold a mirror up to a world that should be questioned, where every individual has the power to make a change and their voices heard. Using theatre, storytelling and set design to encourage exploration of ideas, we want to create a caring community where everyone can leave their worries at the city gates and enter a world of acceptance and diversity.” – Boomtown Organisers
Boomtown not only gives festival goers an experience of a lifetime, it also gives life changing funds to local charities and the community surrounding Matterley Estate near Winchester. The 2016 festival raised nearly £100k for charity, and champions environmental and social causes within the site too. They work with charities to make sure people ‘leave no trace’ when they leave the site, and this year are working with The Loop, who will have trained drug workers on site to inform and support festival goers.
Anna and I are off on our summer holidays next weekend to Margate in Kent. As well as getting our fill of vitamin sea, ice cream and fish & chips, we’ll be heading to Dreamland, a rejuvenated amusement park, taking the traditional day out to the seaside to a whole different level!
It’s one of the UK’s oldest amusement parks dating back to the 1860s. Over 16 acres, it comprises of a whole host of rides and amusements, plus has played host to The Who, the Rolling Stones and T. Rex.
In 2003 Dreamland was saved from closure after a ‘Save Dreamland’ campaign secured £18m in funding to restore the site and it’s iconic Scenic Railway, cinema complex and menagerie cages. Through a combined community and Council effort, Dreamland has been saved and this iconic aspect of British seaside heritage has been kept.
Capitalising on the growing interest and popularity of Margate’s kitsch history, the trendy seaside town is the perfect backdrop for a re-imagined amusement park. Restored rides sit side by side with awesome street food, quirky bars and the park also boasts an eclectic line-up of live events too. The park hosts a wide range of events including evening gigs and exhibitions, and this August hosts the world’s biggest bouncy castle (we’ve already booked our tickets!)
Check out their events here.
WalalaXPlay is an emersive art installation at the NOW Gallery on London’s Greenwich Peninsula, that explores colour, pattern and reflective surfaces. Camille Walala is a renowned digital print designer, and if you’ve ever taken a stroll around Shoreditch you might have come across this wall >>
Visit the installation from 14th July – 24th September, and immerse yourself in the Walala maze, comprised of a labyrinthine network of corridors and enclosed spaces in a ‘temple of wonder’. There are puzzles set within the three dimensional space, as well as nooks to explore. The space is set out to encourage us all to engage with the installation with a sense of wonder and PLAY. This is an exhibition with a difference, as a visitor you will not only view the work but experience and be part of it too; soaking up some of Camille Walala’s positivity and playful approach to design.
To find out more and book your time slot, hop on over to the website here.
You can follow our adventures this month on Twitter and Instagram, just check out our hashtag #indieOxfordexplore
Love, Rosie xxx