Our writer Sebastian O’Dowd takes a look at two of August’s lesser-known festivals: the bizarre world of the BoomTown Fair, and the easygoing Shambala Festival.
Since last year’s BoomTown Fair I have been waiting in anticipation for the next instalment of celebrations and madness at the 2012 event. What made the festival for me last year was the effort that went into making the site look like a town run wild, and it seems it is only going to get better this year with their expanded downtown area and the new stage in the hidden woods. If this is not exciting enough there is also the visit of the arcadia show which looks as if it will redefine the term ‘mad.’ All of this creativity at Boomtown really makes one feel part of it all and helps to keep the summer festival vibes alive whilst there from dusk ’til dawn. Once again the line-up offers just as much variety as last year and promises a good time. For me Alborosie takes the spotlight and I cannot wait to be in The Lion’s Den listening to ‘Kingston Town.’ And that’s not to mention the great Rodney P, Mungo’s HiFi, Laid Blak and Solo Baton who will all also be must-sees. This is only a slice of what is on offer at BoomTown this year–all that’s needed is to wait.
I was drawn to Shambala as a festival this year due to the great variety of its line-up, it’s safe to say that it caters for all whether you’re looking for a chilled weekend away with the family or an opportunity to forget all else and have a blast for a few days. In short, one will struggle not to find something that suits their taste buds. The likes of Roots Manuva, with his pioneering UK hip-hop, and The Twinkle Brothers with their stand-up roots reggae, and the ever-so-sweet but powerful beat-boxing Boxettes, are some acts I’m most looking forward to seeing, just to name a few. After having a closer look at the website it’s evident that Shambala has a unique edge by encouraging punters to get actively involved with what’s going on, including joining a flash mob, forming a troupe, or even competing in the ‘Shambolympics.’ The festival has a lot going on–a playground which is accessible to all, no matter what age or interest. I wonder if I will leave as a converted ‘Shambalian.’