Boomtown 2021: What’s changing, and why?

Tickets are now on sale, for what might be the most intriguing and mysterious chapter of the Boomtown story to date. At Boomtown 2021, everything will change.

Boomtown Chapter One: The Gathering will unleash the biggest shakeup the city has ever seen. Boomtown HQ have been hard at work during the lockdown, totally redesigning many aspects of the festival. It’s such a landmark moment in the festival’s history, that they are going right back to the beginning… Chapter one!

What you can still expect, is the worlds greatest party! But with so much else changing, Boomtown Source breaks down what to expect at Boomtown 2021.

Boomtown 2021 The Gathering

Less walking, more Boomtown

In the middle of Downtown will stand a giant monument in “Boomtown Grand Central”. From there will radiate the city districts, each with it’s own eye catching beacon. Some existing districts will double in size, and previous uptown districts will move into the downtown bowl area.

As a result, the downtown area of the festival will increase in size significantly. It will be a huge labyrinth of city streets, hidden venues, street parties, and immersive theatrics. Just as you’ve come to expect from Boomtown. But now it’s all in one place, it will truly feel like a proper joined together city.

It’s a true gathering. The previously fractured city will come together in one giant celebration, right in the heart of central Boomtown.

Struggling to picture the new layout? I’ve made an attempt at throwing together a Boomtown 2021 map.

Boomtown Night Aerial
Photo: The Big Ladder

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A secret line up

Almost the entire Boomtown 2021 line up will be kept under wraps until around a week before the festival. It’s a bold move, but with the festival so well trusted to throw one of the best parties anywhere, the tickets are bound to continue flying out.

To be honest, the line up has never been the biggest selling point of Boomtown. It’s sometimes more like a theme park than a festival. Epic city streets, tiny hidden venues, and a new story waiting to be written around every corner. It’s all about those mad little moments you just don’t get at other festivals.

But don’t worry! A few names may leak out along the way to reassure you that the music hasn’t gone anywhere. The music booking strategy will be largely similar to previous years, with the same genres, and same calibre of live acts.

Chin Stroke

We have spent months debating whether this was the right thing to do but what is clear, is that  there are many aspects to the way the music industry runs that don’t work for independent festivals. The complex process of releasing a music line-up with the exclusivity, billing and escalating costs has led us to decide this is the time to rethink the way we approach it and explore new ways of doing things.”Boomtown HQ

“We have always been a creatively led festival and people attend Boomtown because of the overall experience; we will continue to book incredible headline artists, and all the festival favourites, but by approaching our programming announcements in this radical way, we can create lineups that are even more phenomenal and diverse than we have ever been able to before.” Boomtown HQ

Watch this space.

The Gathering: a post pandemic world

Boomtown Chapter one will be set in a post pandemic society. After a deadly virus ravages the city, the citizens of Boomtown gather back together to rebuild from scratch. The virus was of course already starting to take hold in Area 404 last year. I can’t think of any real life parallels, can you?

“It is a new world, accompanied by a new story that is waiting to be told that focuses on reflection, acceptance and reconnection. It is a time of celebration, a time to come together, a time of gathering.”Boomtown HQ

New main stages

As well a totally revamped downtown, each of the main stages will receive a new theme ready for the big chapter one story reset. They will all be located in the downtown bowl area, again helping to join together the previously splintered city.

By removing campsites in downtown and expanding the city right to the very edges of the bowl for the first time, a significant amount of space has been found.

“Every main stage is a brand new concept and nestled deep into magical district surroundings. For the first time ever we will be using every inch of the ‘Downtown’ valley to build up the most detailed festival city we’ve ever dreamt up!”Boomtown HQ

Forest parties

Who could forget Boomtown’s epic forest raves? They will still be hidden in the woods dotted around the city outskirts.

“Around the city will be the beautiful, forest chillouts and woodland parties we love to escape to.”Boomtown HQ

Boomtown Forest Party

Campsite villages

Away from the central city, you’ll be pitching your tent in one of the many brand new campsite villages which surround the main hub. Each of these villages will have a landmark structure of it’s own. Expect live performances of easy listening music, chill out areas, and all the usual facilities right on your doorstep. You’ll need to head into the city for the headline acts, and up-tempo dance music.

This is your local neighbourhood for the weekend. Get to know your neighbours, be part of the community, and leave no trace.

The city, the forests, the campsites

Three distinct areas of the festival, each with it’s own vibe.

Just like at every other Boomtown, there will not be any barriers or ticket checks inside the festival walls, you are free to move around at your leisure.

A smaller festival, less people

For years, people have been crying that Boomtown was “better when it was smaller”. At Boomtown Source, we enjoyed both the small intimate Boomtown of old, and the spectacularly huge Boomtown of new. But now we might be getting the best of both.

Imagine the epic main stages, city streets, hidden venues, and immersive theatrics. But now in a smaller, more intense, and more intimate event. You can expect the same levels of production, but without quite as many people as in recent years. The atmosphere is going to be going off!

Boomtown will focus on bringing back the core group of festival fans that made it so great in the first place. And just maybe, this will be the first step in a totally new type of Boomtown, which is better for everybody.

The hype is real

The whole of Boomtown HQ are so excited about the new direction for the festival. After years of growing bigger, the new focus is on growing “better”. And from my talks with the team, I know they really passionate about throwing the greatest party of all time in 2021.

Expect a more sustainable, more inclusive festival. The Boomtown ethos will ooze from every corner of the festival. It’s time to get back to the roots. Boomtown is still a totally independent event, and it’s time to make sure that doesn’t get lost in chaos.

“Resetting from the foundations to allow us to really get things right and to be the forward-thinking, progressive, and inspirational festival community we know we can be. By starting a brand new story with Chapter One: The Gathering, this allows us even more scope to start afresh, with our ethos, creativity and ambition all aligning into one combined vision.”Boomtown HQ

Boomtown Source Says…

This is the most excited I have been about Boomtown in years. Until around 2016, Boomtown dramatically changed pretty much every year. It always made it so thrilling, it was like going to a totally new festival each time. Since then, the layout and stages at the festival have became set, and it was not possible for me to get lost in the maze anymore.

Unlike other festivals which always stay the same, Boomtown is always moving and changing. And that’s what makes it so fun and compelling. I’m glad to see them taking the time off during lockdown to totally reinvent the festival. I can’t wait to explore the mad Disneyland like city they are building in the downtown bowl.

I’m looking forward to hearing more, and will see you all at Boomtown 2021.

Big Love

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