What is there to say after a weekend at Boomtown Festival that toasted dirty skin, drooping eyes and the stench of alcohol on your breath doesn’t say? Trust me, there is plenty.

I have been to my fair share of festivals (by fair share, I mean T in the Park and Leeds a few times) and neither has left me longing to back camping in a field quite like Boomtown does. To be blunt about my previous festival experiences, I didn’t enjoy them. They throw up some tents, and pick out a few bands and call it a show, but Boomtown on the other hand, is a festival that appeals to the senses. They construct a city that is built for everyone. From the Robotic sex fantasy that is DSTRKT 5, to the lavish Mayfayre Avenue and of course, Chinatown – my festival home. Everything happens at Boomtown, from bowling balls hanging off bollocks to pillow fights, and roller discos. They even have the chilled out Whistlers Green where you could have caught Mr. Motivator if you woke up early enough! Now if that’s not variety amongst the hoards of musical entertainment, i don’t know what more you would want!

I spent the vast majority of the festival catching bands at Devil Kicks Dance Hall and on the Last Stand, any punk at the festival really need not look any further for their weekends entertainment. Alec, Laura and the rest of the Last Gang crew knocked it out of the park yet again! Is this bias because my boyfriend was part of the crew helping to put the stages together? I’d think not, It only takes a quick glance at the line-up to know i’m not exaggerating. It was a weekend crammed with some of the biggest names in punk. However, the most refreshing thing about these stages, is that it represents the future of punk too, rather than acting as a money-making old man fest with all the generic bands that you see at every other punk festival, Last Gang hand select some of the finest young punks that you’ll find yourself searching for on bandcamp once you return home. So if you are longing for something more than the UK Subs or the Exploited, Devil Kicks Dancehall is the place to be!

There were a number of highlights of the weekend. Tommy and Ed joined Faintest Idea on stage during an ICH song which was the first time they had done so since the band split up; Days n Daze went acoustic after giving up with the sound person in Freak Boutique; Stza Crack on stage with Days n Daze, and Daze n Daze on stage with Leftover Crack; and perhaps most impressively – the hoard of strays that The Dickies managed to bring on stage to cover for their vocalist who fell ill. You would have thought it was karaoke night at Devil Kicks, but it actually worked! All of this played into the DIY ethics of the stage, and created some truly special experiences for those at the festival. Until next year, Boomtown!

Published by Sarah Shields