Family Festival – Kidztown at Boomtown Fair!

Boomtown families

If you’re looking for some out of this world family festival fun this Summer, then look no further than Boomtown Fair!

Held on the Matterley Estate, Winchester, on the 9-12th August, if you’ve never considered this festival as a contender for your family, then think again!

My son went to Boomtown Fair last year (when he was 18) and he has raved (pardon the pun) about it ever since! Relaying stories and antics, showing me photo’s and video he’s taken… he gets excited and animated as he tries to get across and make me understand just how utterly amazing it is!

To say he absolutely loved it would be an understatement. Actually, he reckons it’s become his all time favourite place now… even surpassing festival holidays abroad… with sun, sand and sea! He has two holidays booked this year and he even said he’d sacrifice the holidays to go to Boomtown if he had to choose!

Is he mad?

So it got me thinking…. Boomtown MUST be pretty special right?!

The one thing he does say time and time again is that I couldn’t even begin to get my head around how big, crazy and mind blowing it is!

Well, this year….. I’m going to find out for myself! And I cannot contain my excitement!

boomtown

I am super proud to say I’m going to be working with Boomtown Fair this year to bring you everything ‘family’ about this cooler than cool festival!

Yes, that’s right… I did say FAMILY! I think most people who’ve at least heard of the festival would genuinely think it’s not a place for children, I know I did! If you thought it was more a haven for the under 25’s with hardcore partying and indulgence being the number 1 name of the game… you’d be right of course to assume there’s plenty of that going on… but Boomtown is so much more! It caters for everyone…. young, old and everything in between….. their family programme is huge and I want to tell you all about it!

But first, if you haven’t checked out the website then you must… it will give you an idea of the truly brilliant, bizarre and, as my son says, mind blowing world that is Boomtown! It’s difficult to get one’s head around it if I’m being totally honest. From the unbelievable to the downright bonkers, Boomtown really does seem unlike anything you would’ve experienced before!

boomtown

boomtown kids festival

boomtown festival summer 2018

boomtown

boomtown

Dubbed ‘The Machine that cannot be Stopped’ for Chapter 10, it’s 10th birthday, Boomtown has been described as a city of wonderment, theatre, escapism and community with breathtaking and intricate stages and streets just waiting to be discovered. It fuses a diverse line-up of underground and global music with boundary pushing immersive art, theatre and performance coming together as a living, breathing, fictitious city.

The creativity behind the festival amazes me.

There’s a backstory too…

Started in 2009, fictional explorer Nickolas Boom discovered gold in the countryside and founded a small township and port that would in years to come be named after him and known to all the word as Boomtown, site of the now legendary Boomtown Fair. It was here in Chapter One of the tale that the circus first came to town, rumbling down the hillside at dusk one late summer’s evening came an enormous caravan train, at its head a swarthy moustachioed man sat a top an enormous elephant, The Gypsy King! The locals were afraid of this strange and awesome site until Boom himself went out to meet the strangers. This was the beginning of the Fair, as shortly there after the caravan train was unloaded and a veritable citadel of twinkling medways and rippling canvas unfurled to create a bizarre other world full of exotic creatures and beings, the likes of which had never been seen before! And so each year would they return with wonders and spectacles more bedazzling and beautiful than before and the annual gathering that is now known across the world as Boomtown Fair was born!

I’m totally fascinated!

Boomtown Fair is made up of 14 Districts sprawling across four areas: Hilltop, Downtown, Temple Valley and Whistlers Green. Each district is filled with fully immersive venues and beatnik characters. Within the districts there are over 25 ‘main’ Stages and an additional 80 Street Venues to discover in this city which is MASSIVE!

So where do kids fit into all this craziness you might ask?

Well actually, there’s a whole district dedicated to kids and families, with the main HQ being Kidztown!

boomtown kids kidztown families

This much loved area is bigger and better than ever before. With a whole host of musicians, performers, activities and workshops from all over the world, it’s a sure fire way of keeping entire family entertained for days on end!

There is so much on offer…. from treetop adventures in the Forest School to interactive play and face painting in the shops and venues of the fully interactive street. Kidztown takes all the family friendly elements of the rest of the festival and bundles it up into a bite-size portion with a serene and soulful soundtrack provided by their very own Sandcastle Stage, hosting family friendly shows as well as artists big and small from main acts to bands specifically for the littler ears.

Activities include hands-on, multi-sensory workshops and entertainment all weekend for children 0-5yrs and 6-12yrs. Kidztown has craft workshops, the Rusty Workshop, theatre, circus, storytelling, puppetry, music, comedy, sandpit, skate ramp, baby and toddler tents, yoga, massage, bouncy castle and its very own Boomtown street with interactive venues such as ‘Rat-a-Tattoo’, the ‘Piggy Bank’, ‘Pet Shop’ and the Post Office for all those snail-mail delivery needs!

Family festival kidztown at boomtown fair

Family festival kidztown at boomtown fair

Family festival kidztown at boomtown fair

Family festival kidztown at boomtown fair

Family festival kidztown at boomtown fair

Family festival kidztown at boomtown fair

Family festival kidztown at boomtown fair

You can stay in Kidztown and experience all that it has to offer, with neighbouring Whistlers Green District being a firm favourite with families too and these are like a festival within a festival! Or you can venture out into the depths of Boomtown Fair at your leisure to watch any of the hundreds of bands and artists playing or to get involved in some of the many activities…. Get creative and express yourself! Kidztown and Whistlers green hosts a whole heap of workshops, check out some of the offerings here.

According to my son, simply wandering around Boomtown is an adventure in itself, with so many curious and extraordinary places to find and people to see… this alone could keep you busy all day!

Family camping has a dedicated area all of it’s own too. Set in spacious meadows, it’s far enough away from all the madness for it to feel totally comfortable and safe, yet close enough that you can still feel that wacky vibe which Boomtown Fair has become so famous for! You can choose where to camp and there’s lots of space further away in family camping for, believe it or not, a peaceful stay!

boomtown fair

There’s even a free family shuttle ​that runs between family camping and a dedicated family car park and gate. This is brilliant as whenever we’ve been to a festival the lugging of equipment to camp is just the worst!

There are a few areas in the Boomtown city where children aren’t allowed after 7pm. This includes Downtown, although teens are allowed until 10pm. I like the fact that the organisers have this rule in place. It means we won’t be wandering off into the wrong place with youngsters as there are a number of adult themed entertainments in amongst the Boomtown madness at night! It’s peace of mind for those families with teenagers that may want to go off on their own, you know they won’t be right in the thick of it witnessing something they shouldn’t! On the other end of the spectrum, it’s good that the young adults can party to their hearts content without worrying about kids being around!

There are so many other areas to enjoy later at night so you needn’t feel as though you’re missing out!

If you can, I think going with other families would be amazing, because then you could take it in turns to babysit, allowing yourselves the chance to let your hair down and venture out late at night for some of that hardcore partying I mentioned earlier!

boomtown fair

With Boomtown now being in it’s tenth year, they have pretty much nailed the family festival side of things and they want this to be just as much fun for them as it is for everyone else!

Known for approaching the way of festivalling slightly differently, Boomtown sprinkles some of it’s eccentric magic into the fields of Kidztown and does not disappoint with the sheer scale and abundance of entertainment on offer bringing all generations together in a melting pot of mischievous mayhem!

I have to say I can’t wait to go to Kidztown at Boomtown Fair with my kids this Summer! I think we’re all in for a massive shock to the system…. in a good way though! We aren’t completely new to festivals… we’ve done Camp Bestival for the past couple of years which is all about families! But this one promises to be a whole other experience for us and we are beyond excited! The kids are going to love it!

Here’s the Line-Up Poster for Kidztown!

family festival kidztown at boomtown fair

More details available on the family and kids are on the website.

If you want to check out all the other Line-Up posters for the rest of the festival, they’re here!

Whilst standard adult and teen tickets are now sold out, children aged 12 and under can still be added to an adult ticket for FREE.

There’s also one FINAL CHANCE to join in Boomtown’s almighty tenth chapter celebrations, and that’s via the new Theatrical Immersive Camping Experience of BOOMTOWN SPRINGS.. For those who like a little extra comfort! Tickets are now on sale and as always childrens’ tickets are completely free!

Boomtown Springs + Festival Entry tickets start from £480 (with 50/50 split payment options available)

If you’ve already got a festival entry ticket but are interested in upgrading to Boomtown Springs, get in touch with Ticket Sellers via springs@theticketsellers.co.uk and they’ll be able to help you out! Boomtown Springs access is £200 + £7.50 booking fee

Please note accommodation structures are an additional cost.

 

WHAT THE PRESS SAID 2017:

The Independent ​- Just bear in mind once you go to this festival, everything else will feel a bit tame
DJ Magazine ​- The incredible design conjures everything from medieval times to dystopian futures
Green Parent Magazine -​ The kids area Kidztown in Boomtown is brilliant! So creative and so much fun for kids of all ages!
Time Out Magazine -​ Eccentric and mind bending installations combine to create a city.
Netmums​ – Boomtown is a fantastic festival for kids. The Kidztown district offers circus skills, costume making and face painting. There’s also the Sandcastle Stage with family friendly shows and entertainment especially for the kids such as discos and reggae aerobics.
Metro ​- More virtual reality than festival, this story-driven experience manages to pull of top musical fare … but that’s just the beginning of your journey.
Notion Magazine ​- Boomtown isn’t just tents and stages clumsily plopped down in the countryside, but a spectacular sensory experience that pays homage to all art forms. It’s a sprawling pop-up metropolis comprised of cleverly repurposed shipping containers, boats, caravans… you name it and they’ve done something seriously cool with it.

Join the community on the Kidztown Facebook and Twitter pages.

family festival kidztownboomtown fair

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Comments

  1. Looks awesome

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