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BoomTown 2019| Review

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This years’ BoomTown was a festival that, quite literally, blew you away.

The various Districts (12 in total) were so authentic and the work and love to details that went into each structure, stage and theme has to be admired. It’s like a big city with all the different parts of town, i.e. downtown, old-town, paradise heights, district 5 and area 404 etc. and all the areas want to be explored.

We arrived on the Friday in the rain and the storm made it difficult to get around the site. Luckily the rain mostly stopped on Saturday, but the strong winds prevailed throughout the whole festival period. I am extremely sensitive to wind and that was a big dent in my fun-factor.


The good news is however: A tree is planted for each festival goer this year, which means somewhat 60,000+ trees will be planted in the Amazon thanks to Boomtown. If Bolsonaro could now be persuaded to STOP uprooting the Amazon Rain forest we could see an increase in forestation, which will eventually lead to less strong winds in the UK and in a few years’ time could see mild English summers again (I’m talking about the wind factor here).
And while I’m at the topic: It is remarkable how much focus was put on the environment this year – no single use plastic bottles, cups and straws on site / everyone was reminded to take their tents home and leave no trace (I hope it worked) and the site was much cleaner than other festival sites I’ve been to. I think they could pay a little more attention to animal welfare in the future and although the “Psy-Forest” and the DJ-stage near the “Lions’ Den” looked amazing and had one of the best festival sound-systems I’ve heard, I felt incredibly sad for the animals that would usually inhabit the trees and undergrowth in this part of the South-Downs-National-Park. I saw quite a few furry friends (weasels) running to find shelter. Feathered friends had perhaps already fled to find alternative accommodation and it was happy that hatching season is long gone in August. On the other hand I have no great suggestions (apart from closing all woodlands and have the festival just in the open fields…) for alternatives and as a Psy-fan wouldn’t want to miss this great venue at future festivals. Let’s wait and see whether the festival organisers can extend their great environmental ambitions to wildlife welfare.

Anyway, #BOOMTOWN is a fair and not a festival and that became very clear to me. It is so much more than just a music festival. It is a massive fairground where you can be either just a spectator or (as recommended) participate and be part of writing the story of the festival. Of course, there are 25 different stages and the quantity and quality of musical acts is huge. I started to make a list of times and stages and artists to see, but shortly after gave up on trying to rush from one place to another. There was just too much to take in and the 80 different venues offered great entertainment, not to be missed. So I resorted to one or two musical acts I wanted to see per day and otherwise just let myself float around (or blown around like tumbleweed) and embrace the action.

It was good that the festival opened on Wednesday, because 5 days is just enough time to really embrace all the districts and action on offer. I am not going to describe each area now, because that would take too long and every area was great.

Musically I managed to see my friends “Nova Twins” play at “Hangar 161” (see my article and interview here) and some other ‘old’ friends with “Dana Immanuel and the stolen band”. I also really liked “Submotion Orchestra” and which there would be more bands like that next year and of course an old favourite of mine: “Kosheen” and the mighty “Groove Armada”. But don’t forget the mega headliners “Lauren Hill”, UB40 and “Prophets of Rage” on the Sunday.

Nova Twins

Actually there were too many other bands to mention and DJ’s, Yes, DJ’s, too – just one: Carl Cox – I mean c’mon Mr. Cox. Yes – nuff said!!

Boomtown is still an independent festival and that is a quite a nice fact to remember. You won’t have the overly tensed and eager to “catch someone” security that you would find at #Glastonbury and although with 60k people visiting it felt like a nice festival. Yes, I did see some security searching certain people on site, but generally you didn’t really feel like being watched all the time – however I’m not sure how much information AMI collected from each visitor (AMI the festivals’ Artificial Machine Intelligence character – downloadable as an app and part of the story/theme – all felt a bit “Blade Runner”!).

So with an extra 10k people being permitted next year I am not sure how much longer BOOMTOWN will manage to stay independent and maintain the vibe of the past. It might just out-grow itself and I’ve already heard long time Boomtown visitors say “It’s too big now”.

Well lets wait and see what Chapter 12 will be like!!

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Reading Comic-Con is back for it’s 4th year in 2019!!

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A return to our traditional weekend date in November and loaded with an all new lineup of Guests from TV & Film as well as from your favourite Comics. New props & attractions will be also on hand as well as our always popular Cosplay & Gaming Zones plus a few more surprises that we are keeping under our hats for now.

Saturday November 23 – Sunday November 24
10:00 AM
Rivermead Leisure Complex and Gym
Richfield Avenue, RG1 8EQ Reading, England

Buy tickets now

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Squash & Pumpkins Festival | 29th Sept 2019

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Tolhurst Organic is a vegetable growing farm, just outside the village of Whitchurch-on-Thames in south Oxfordshire. We sell through a local Box Scheme, Farmers’ Market and in our local veg shed.

Autumnal Dress Parade
Children’s entertainment
Live music
Bouncy Castle
Giant Pumpkins Competition
Food & Drink
Admission £4.00/person. Children come free.

2, West Lodge, Hardwick Road
Reading, England

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Reading Town Meal | 28 September

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Reading’s community festival of food returns to Forbury Gardens: food grown in local gardens and allotments, turned into a delicious meal by Reading College and served free in Forbury Gardens. Plus food-related activities for all the family, live music, local food traders and community groups.

A free meal cooked by Reading College students, served free to 1000+ Live bands, stalls, community stalls, workshops, activities and local food market. Held in Forbury Gardens on Sat 28th September

Reading Town Meal aims to celebrate and promote home grown and locally produced food. Food4families developed Reading Town Meal as apart of its broader vision for a significant increase in the amount of food grown locally and more sustainably. This embraces a broad approach to sustainability, incorporating economic, health and well-being, community capacity and resilience, and carbon reduction aspects.

ORGANISERS

1] Food4families–a BIG lottery funded project managed by Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC)

2] Reading international Solidarity Centre–the BIGGEST Development Education Centre in the UK

3] Reading College–A long tradition of education and training, with their Hospitality, Travel&Tourism department contributing their expertise and use of kitchen facilities to prepare and serve the Town meal

4] Reading Borough Council

5] True Food Community Co-operative– Offers a complete range of general groceries, including organic whole foods, local fresh fruit and vegetables and environmentally friendly household products.

28 September
Reading Town Meal
Sat 12 PM · Forbury Gardens · Reading, England

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