I can’t remember if I cried, When I read about his widowed bride, Something touched me deep inside…The day the music died‘
Slowly each one of the events I was due to cover this year has announced its canceling due to COVID-19.
It started with the worry of my children’s schools were closing their doors, then friends messaging and posting on facebook in panic about their shops, pubs and restaurants. Friends were not only closing their doors on their businesses but worrying if they would ever reopen. Panic and fear, for our lives, our livelihoods, our friends and our families.
It felt like watching a dark cloud rolling in over us, pulling the light out of a bright summer day. Fear, dread and at the same time having to stay strong and well, just bloody get on with it. No generation has ever lived through what we are going through right now. This is history in the making and our lives will forever be changed by this. So if how your coping is bing watching crappy shows on tv and eating your weight in ice-cream, don’t feel bad – your surviving!!
I had high hopes for this odd time, right I will get on with that huge list of jobs that I haven’t got round too..nope, out the window went my yoga mornings and home dance classes. I think I spent a week in pj’s! My anxiety levels have been one minute diving into the clouds and then the next shaking the ground under my feet.
I’ve had a hard few years, recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship. Boomtown 2019 was a huge part of ‘finding my self’ I understand now how WhatsApp groups can be full of chat all year round about Boomtown. Its like finding your tribe, the storyline is something you become apart of, it grows and changes to fit in with us. I haven’t had any other experience like it, I still chat throughout the week with the friends I made there. Planning for events like Boomtown keep us going through our normal everyday lives. I get giddy with excitement thinking about taking my new partner to experience the boomtown madness. I can’t wait to see that new wrist band around my wist, take his hand and wonder through the forest to find adventure with my old and new Boomtown friends.
Every day Boomtown Chat facebook group has had post after post, of ‘Do you think Boomtown will go ahead’. We have all been praying, along with all the, well if it does…will it be as big? Will it have only artists from the uk? Will we have a job to pay for the tickets? What will happen to my ticket? If it’s smaller will I still be able to get tickets? It, like everything about our day-to-day life has been hanging over us. I’m sure like me, most have just been worrying about our Boomtown family too, is everyone ok? Do they have food? Will any of us festival workers have work this year at all? Will smaller festivals survive?
Panic, worry, fear.
Goodness knows I’m missing dancing with my friends right now! I’m missing the planning outfits, making headdresses, the chatting on WhatsApp about where we are going to meet up. Matching fancy-dress and who we want to see.
‘Bye, bye Miss American Pie, Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry, And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye‘
I missed it so much and knowing lots of my friends kids were also bored they may like what I had been doing with mine – Lockdown Dance Class….
All week my little people loved the dance class, followed along and really got into the dance moves. I filmed it…live may have been a bad idea in hindsight…and well it was like hearing cats! Fun dance class with my kids after raiding my festival dressing up trunk…..nope… I gave up!
I was so disheartened but looking back at the video I did giggle, the huge stress I had felt, and the kids being over all pretty uninterested didn’t come across as much as I had felt it at the time. Hang in there everyone, we will be at a point where this lockdown is behind us and we will have good memories of it too.
We have been hopeful that this year would go ahead, when Glastonbury said it was canceling, we were like, at least there is Boomtown it’s not till August. I was lucky with a few friends from Boomtown to be one of the 5% who got tickets for this years Glastonbury. I haven’t been since a child in the 80’s! Over the moon excited. Would I have got tickets for Glastonbury without having met that great little gang of Solo’s from Boomtown – nope! I then started to worry, what if Boomtown goes ahead but as I’m self employed and right now can’t really work due to this virus, will I be able to afford to go?……
Then I got the email from Boomtown….No Boomtown Fair for 2020
I guess what I’m trying to say is, Boomtown made the right choice today, a HARD, horrible and I’m sure well thought-out painful choice to cancel Boomtown Fair 2020. I think we can pretty much write off 2020 and the year the USA admitted to UFO’s and we were all to busy worrying about loo paper to question it…
‘In light of the current situation with the global COVID-19 pandemic, Boomtown Fair has announced that it will no longer be proceeding with the 2020 event. The next instalment of the unique, creative festival will now take place on 11th-15th August 2021.‘
Please if you can, if you’re in a position to do so, hold onto your ticket and let it roll over for next year. Boomtown is an independent festival and we like it that way. If you can hold off for as long as possible on requesting a refund it will really help safeguard our one in a billion Boomtown’s future. I want to add too, please don’t feel shamed into not requesting it if you need it. I know I’m going to struggle over the next few months, and I have 3 little mouthes to fed. This virus is devastating for all who work in this industry, from the actors to the bar workers, to the pub owners to dancers and promoters. We are all being hit hard and if you’re in this industry it’s mostly for the love of it, not the money.
There will be lasting effects and we will feel the impact for a long time on the UK independent festivals, the effects on the creative communities as a whole could be incredibly devastating. Without the support of those who love and cherish the events, the UK festival calendar could look very different next year. Where you can, if you can, go now and buy a ticket for next year. You can find all ticketing and refund information for Boomtown here along with their full statement.
‘Do you believe in rock and roll? Can music save your mortal soul? And can you teach me how to dance real slow?’
‘Speaking on behalf of nearly 50 friends and colleagues working all year round, we are truly heartbroken to make this announcement, but with such a complex production and many, many thousands of staff to mobilise, we are certain this is the right thing to do. With the new circus shows, areas and creative concepts planned, this year was building up to be the best edition yet, but like many others across the world, we have to now wind down in preparation for a fallow year. We will however be using this gifted time to fully reflect, learn and reimagine our vision to guarantee the next chapter of Boomtown will be more breathtaking than ever before. Stay safe – all the love.‘ Lak Mitchell – Boomtown Co-Founder
‘The day the music died‘
Boomtown has always been, and continues to remain, a truly independent festival that has grown from just 1,000 capacity in 2009 to 66,000 from 2016. It is known for celebrating and fostering grassroot talent, showcasing music and creative performances on a gargantuan scale.
Boomtown is recognised for challenging and breaking the boundaries of creativity within the UK festival scene.
It will continue to move forward, adapt and develop as the event evolves for all that 2021 holds.
I will say it again, there is no other town like Boomtown.
For all current information relating to COVID-19 and you can follow Boomtown news on the festival’s social media channels Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube, official website, and sign up to be on their mailing list here.
So goodbye to CH12 New Beginnings, see you on the flip side of this crazy year 2020! Get the new dates in your diary as like Boomtown says:
WE WILL DANCE AGAIN 11-15th August 2021
Keep going, love to you all xx
‘When the jester sang for the king and queen, In a coat he borrowed from James Dean, And a voice that came from you and me’