Seeing as Boomtown is quickly becoming a bastion of light within the D&B Festival diary, I enlisted the help of a Boomtown pilgrim to give us his version of events, which in all fairness are not nearly as sketchy as mine or Nultiply’s would have been!! Shout to Edward Priest for the Lowdown. I have included his link to his Soundcloud, should you wanna show his label Bill Up recordings some love…
Boomtown Fair has exploded massively in the last few years. The UK’s largest growing festival is less than a decade young and has already amassed huge love from both artists and punters alike. The quality of production and the eccentric nature of the artists collectively combine to make it, in my ever so humble opinion, the best festival in the UK – bar none.
Atmosphere, location, and the unique nature of the festival all conjoin to contribute towards the praise I am singing. But it is the music that sets this festival apart.
A true showcase of the musical spectrum: Ghettofunk, Breakbeat, Drum and Bass, Bassline, Swing, Hip Hop, Reggae, Dub, Jungle, and Techno, are but a few tastes of what this festival has to offer.
Boomtown Fair boasts, arguably, the strongest DNB line-up outside of Let It Roll each year. This year the heavyweights included: Goldie b2b Dillinja, Jubei b2b Ulterior Motive and Ant TC1 b2b with Dom & Roland. But that’s just the start…other big hitters, and personal favourites included: Break, Noisia, Emperor, and Audiomission & Seyms.
Emperor was the first of said heavyweights to grace the stage. Friday at the Boombox was a sea of bouncing bodies and roar of gnarly drums and twisting basslines. Showcasing a number of old classics, and new VIPs his set very much set the tone for the rest of the festival. It would prove an incredibly difficult act to top.
One of the most exceptional aspects of boomtown is that the stages almost steal the show entirely. The venues are a true testament to human ingenuity. The Boombox – a monolith Boombox pumping away. The BodyShop and Prohibition Den – both famed for their darker affiliation to dance music, and the crown jewel – ‘The Bang Hai Palace. Each provided a distinct, uniquely fascinating environment for the revellers to get moving.
The Bang Hai palace was extraordinary. I remember first seeing the Arcadia at Boomtown in 2012 and was awe-struck. But this was a whole new matter entirely. The 9 story structure was the crux of the festival and was unrivalled in terms of its sheer magnitude and power. It seemed only fitting that Noisia & Break alongside the remaining champions of the genre were to play here.
Having both been at the top of their respective ladders within Drum and Bass, it is of no surprise that both Break and Noisia slaughtered their sets. Break with his eclectic range of rolling drums, uplifting melodies and vocals, all with that gritty twang was astounding. His unique sound echoed throughout the Matterly Bowl, but there was no rest for the wicked – as he was followed immediately by Noisia.
I’m sure I don’t need to say much when crediting these Dutch magicians. Having been at the top of dance music for over a decade now it’s no wonder they were brought to Boomtown. Hectic was the word that came to mind. The Bang Hai palace was elevated disgustingly through their distinct Techy/Neuro sound – showcasing, much like Emperor, a mix and blend of classics and fresh dubs to incorporate arguably the best set of the festival.
Another artist who definitely deserve a mention is none other than Uncle Dugs – one of Jungle and Drum and Bass’s godfathers. The Rinse FM resident shut down the Asbo Disco centre – literally. His closing set on the Asbo Disco stage was a true journey through the genre – and he even switched it up with a bit of hip hop and closed on Wish you were Here by Pink Floyd.
Audiomission & Seyms smashed their b2b at the Bodyshop with their unique blend of techy and dubwize rollers – it was one of my personal favourite performances. If you don’t know about this bristol duo – I suggest you very much get in the know.
Of course Boomtown festival isn’t just about Drum and Bass. Amazing performances from DJ EZ, DJ Q, The Bug and Flowdan at the Bassline Circus and Ed Cox’s beautiful live accordion performance mashed with Jungle/Breakcore were all fantastic.
With Sound restrictions less of a problem than last year, and the production quality consistently pushing the boundaries. I would wholeheartedly recommend anyone to come to Boomtown, it has something for everyone, and that something is usually extraordinary.
As stated at the top, check out his Label and could vey well see a little more from Edward soon: