BOOM! – so summer is officially over and there goes the festival season too unless you are heading for world parties in the southern hemisphere. This summer, avoiding the Big One, I pitched my tent at the Isle of Wight Festival in June, took a taxi to the House festival in Chiswick, and went posh at Cornbury. But by far the most fun was Boomtown – the one that few have heard of. More Burning Man than any other UK festival, Boomtown was a riot of crusty old hippies, deviants, techno-heads, trace-dancers, and performance artists. The alternative’s alternative. No burning man effigy here, but a giant sized head of a man constructed from scrap.
Like Burning Man, Boomtown with its own “Hollywood” sign is a temporary metropolis laid out just like an English city. The shopfront art installations made of timber and MDF, painted and adorned, providing a commentary on modern day life. Check the Tesco store with a rocket embedded in it, a response to Bristol’s no to the never ending encroachment on our streets of the retail giant; the cash converter store the new pawn shop; the Ghost Town tube heading for an abandoned town; ever present road works; machine gun CCTV and the gleaming whiteness of exclusive Mayfair Avenue.
It was surreal, arty, free-spirited and deviant. Loved it.