In Review: Boomtown 2022

 In Review

Last weekend I travelled to one of the biggest indie festivals in the UK Boomtown, to explore it’s immersive and inspirational festival city, see first hand how they are striving to make the festival carbon neutral, and how they plan to engage with their citizens to leave no trace.

Boomtown2022 Opening Show

Anxious about the heatwave but so ready to get back to the fields, the stakes were high for Boomtown 2022, but ‘Chapter One: The Gathering’ did not disappoint. The site is perfect for a festival with a natural bowl for the incredible city created by the Boomtown team. This year, they had created a new lay out for the festival, with all the stages and ‘districts’ being down in the bowl, and all the campsites on the surrounding hill tops overlooking the breathtaking city below. With plentiful woodland and shade awnings dotted throughout the site, we couldn’t have been in a better place to weather the heatwave.


The festival was brilliant from start to finish, with epic opening and closing performances complete with sequinned dancers, fireworks, streamers and lots of D&B (it is Boomtown after all!) Absolute highlights (there are so many!) were Self Esteem on Saturday afternoon, Koffee headlining on Friday night, 24 Hour Garage Girls and a stonking set from SHOSH, Oh My God! It’s The Church, Kool & The Gang and all the micro venues that make Boomtown so unique. There is such a plethora of original, inspiring and down right weird acts and performances that keep ‘citizens’ coming back year after year. There is no other festival where you can go to a Britney Spears Appreciation party, see Mercury nominated artists and take part in the Job Centre Christmas Party all in one sensory overloaded weekend.


But beyond all that, the Boomtown organisers have a vision to create a party like no other party, both in creativity but with their green mission too. They pledge to be carbon neutral by 2025, and have been working on their green credentials for some years with each festival goer paying an eco bond with their ticket and promoting leave no trace and recycling across the site. However this year they have really ramped it up with no plastic food or drink packaging sold on site, switching fuel to hydrotreated vegetable oil, stages being made from recycled materials, and organising daily ‘Rave Up. Clean Up’ events in the campsites to encourage recycling and cleaner campsites.


The free festival app Woov allowed you to customized lineups and locate friends in real time. Personally, I found it really useful for working out what to see and where, although locating AWOL friends didn’t work so well as there wasn’t enough internet. Brilliant for cutting down on unnecessary printed programmes and plastic lanyards though!

The future is uncertain for so many festivals after covid, but I really hope this clear vision to create a sustainable celebration, with transparent regular updates on the ups and downs of their journey as an evolving community will mean Boomtown has a bright future ahead. Hears to the next chapter.


If you still haven’t made it to Boomtown then watch the 20 minute mini-documentary ‘What it takes to make a world’, it will give you an insight into the sheer scale of the festival and its vision behind this incredible UK spectacular.

*Photos courtesy of Boomtown

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