We love the festival behemoth that is Boomtown Fair and have previously raved (pun intended) about its theatrics and otherworldliness. But it’s less of a town nowadays and more a sprawling metropolis of tents and stages and as the stages get more outrageous, the feeling of connection with the musicians and DJ’s gets more sterilised. It’s got so big and so successful, despite all the creativity and attention to detail it feels more like a giant US shopping mass full of things to consume and drug-addled consumers hungry to devour everything in it.
This is where BeatHerder comes in, as there’s a strong correlation between the two festivals in their musical offering, creative approach and clientele. BeatHerder is about 10% of the size of Boomtown, so that gives you a feel for the difference. It’s intimate, the stages are accessible and there remains a great connection between the performers and the audience. You will still find a level of intensity as the nights go on, but it just seems chilled and everyone feels much more connected. To me, BeatHerder has all the great ingredients which makes Boomtown so appealing, but none of the drawbacks of a big festival.