Boomtown Festival 2017



Boomtown Fair, through the eyes of a festival photographer. 

Boomtown  caltristan


Boomtown fair is 4 day, 60,000 capacity UK based music festival with an immersive theatrical side, it has and ever expanding story line, each year a new chapter arrises where you the festival goes becomes part of the ever evolving narrative, expect to be pulled in by teams of theatrical genius as you walk threw diverse themed districts with stages disguised as temples, town halls and port harbours (just to name a few). There is a broad variety of music for all people. Each district caters to different tastes and each has its own campsite situated near it so you're never far from your favourite stage. As if all of this wasn't enough Boomtown sponsors an ethos of sustainability, charity and community responsibility, since 2011 Boomtown and its citizens have raised approximately £270,000 for its selected charities. This experience is the perfect escape for anyone who wants to feel the childlike wonderment of being immersed in something the mind can't fully comprehend. . . (official after movie at the bottom of the page)

So where do I start, let me first say this is my favourite festival to shoot ever, its full of weird and wonderful people engulfed in bold panoramic cinematic sets. One of my favourite things to shoot is environment portraits so it's easy to understand why I love this place so much. Boomtown round 3 for me and I'm still a million miles away form fully grasping the epic ness that this place has to offer. This year I was part of a very talented 10 person photography team and looking around the media office I keep seeing photos of moments that blew my mind, the people that make up this festival are truly a one of a kind breed.

So much happened over the 4 days so to make things easier I'm going to talk about a very few select things and see if I can attempt render them in some sort of fullness. Not far from the office was the Mayfair District which I was assigned to cover for a day and walked threw all the others



Welcome to Mayfair, Mayfair is a district situated in uptown, go up the hill and threw the gates and you're there, you can't miss it. There is so much here, but the thing that is unique about this place is its wealth, were talking aristocratic theatrical characters walking around throwing boomtown bills in the air while sipping champaign. Its a place of gluttony where the Boomtown dollars reign supreme.

There is a lot of interactive events happening in Mayfair but for the sake of not giving away too much I'm going to talk about two, the Bank and the Daily Rag.


While you're here you might want to visit the bank, where you can "earn" yourself some Mayfair ££££ by speaking to the Bank hands and completing challenges. Once you've earned your hard cash why not speak to the man guarding a door at the back of the room where the investors lie, if you make it past there you'll meet the CEO of the company which whom you can negotiate loans with, what happens next? you'll have to go and figure it out yourselves. 


So the Daily Rag is the Boomtown newspaper, if you've been to Boomtown before chances are you've come across characters handing them out at some point over the festival. However I never realised how much effort goes into making them all. The newspaper actually has a stall in Mayfair where you can go and contribute your own stories and maybe to have them printed the following day. Everything is written the same day, printed over night and handed out in the next day, the newspaper is loaded with boomtown news as well as humours horoscopes and useful information such as current weather forecasts for the Boomtown site. This is just a slight insight into how much effort goes into even the smallest of details across the site. In all honesty I'm still a little overwhelmed with how much dedication and attention is put into the small things at this festival. 


For me personally a big part of the festival is the characters that you come across, they lend themselves so well to photographs and I feel the sheers numbers of them at this festival adds to make it a unique experience. Boomtown 3 years ago is part of why I've become the photographer I am today, It enabled me to interact with people who where up for fully giving themselves to to the style of photograph I like to shoot. I love interactive photos where it almost feels like you are in the picture as apposed to looking at it, the characters are in your face speaking to you. These theatre schools offer something quite intimate and engaging which is hard to get out of total strangers normally, trusts me I've tried. so bellow is a small tribute to these magical people. 


Now obviously this is still very much a music festival and it boasts some pretty big names, The Specials, M.I.A, Cyprus Hill, Ziggy Marley Toots & the Maytals, Sublime with Rome, Skindred, the Original Blues Brothers Band, Frank Turner and Friction just to name a few! I'll include some photos of a few of theses mentions but being on team of such strong professional music photographers the music photography was primarily assigned to them and I captured the few I was assigned to with the exception of M.I.A which I've been a fan of since college so I made sure to be there for that one. Note to self, shoot more music next year Tristan, I feel like my weekend lacked some music photography looking back on it and could have done with a little more balance, still, no regrets, really I wanted to capture atmosphere and I feel I did that well.


Big shout out to everyone that was part of the festival in anyway shape of form, there's a lot more effort that goes into making it what is than people first realise, I know that I myself still don't fully grasp it. I realise that I haven't mentioned heaps but thats partly because I could be writing for months and still not scrape to tip of the iceberg with deserved mentions. So for my small part in the festival I would like to thank Boomtown for giving me the privilege of being there and publishing my work and the media team for having me with them over the weekend I couldn't have been more blessed by with such a beautiful, loving team. You guys are the best, you all know who you are. 

Boomtown Fair Official After-movie 2017

Re-experience Boomtown Chapter 9: 'Behind the Mask' with the official 2017 after-film...xx Filmed, directed & edited by Clockwise Media Ltd.

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