Boomers are spilled all over the lake having fun in the sun or enjoying the shade at the various new social hubs that have sprung up over the site. Walking around the Boomland we can see the many beautiful art and sound installations being enjoyed and appreciated, while the actual adventure playgrounds have enthusiastic Boomers crawling all over them or literally swinging off their rafters. All of the hard work that has gone into regenerating the Boomland over the last couple of years has certainly paid off and Boomers are having a ball. Entertainers like the motorbike man in his speedos playing ‘80s and ‘90s tunes from his ‘HORNY’ bike and rewarding those who put something in his slot with a shot of his very strong gasoline and the caravan blasting out tunes beside the lake all had Boomers laughing and shaking their party pants.
DANCE DANCE DANCE
There’s nothing better than seeing a DJ really enjoying themselves to raise the vibe of the dancefloor and Headroom was doing exactly that for his midday set. His high energy techy take on psytrance had a dedicated crew of worshippers going hard despite the hot sun.
Over at the Alchemy Circle, John ‘00’ Fleming took people on a properly crafted progressive journey and the smiles were the biggest we’d seen yet. As one Boomer said: “This is one of those truly special Boom moments . . . where your heart just opens!”
It’s easy to forget that sometimes the coolest place at Boom is actually on the dancefloor under the cold mist being sprayed from pipes in the ceiling of the canopy, and Boomers were using that extra boost to really throw their hands in the air and move their hips. J00F’s smile just kept on getting bigger and bigger throughout his 4-hour set. As Clare from London commented, “I’ve never seen a DJ looking so happy!” and this euphoria translated into one of the most ecstatic dance floors we’ve ever seen and felt.
Ott. and his live band made their Boom debut at 10pm, opening the Dance Temple with their aethereal lush psy chill tunes that were perfectly suited to the gorgeous colours of Carin Dickson’s stunning Artescape décor. When asked afterwards whether he’d enjoyed his set he said: “Of course! How could you not in a place like this?! It was amazing, brilliant! And it was a brand-new rig! All that gear on stage, we’ve never tried before. It was all just a big experiment! But it worked out alright and didn’t fall over!”
Ott’s advice to Boomers is worth repeating and taking on board: “Drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun, look after your friends and have a fucking awesome time!”
The Zenon takeover officially kicked off at the Alchemy Circle at 12.30am with Aussie duo Triforce, who played an absolutely cracking 1.5 hour live set of powerful basslines and atmospheric crescendos, which blew the vibration out of the Circle and well and truly into the stratosphere. Speaking to them afterwards, they were very happy with how it went. When asked about the lack of female representation on this year’s Boom line-up, Charlotte commented on how welcoming and inclusive she found the psy trance scene, which is great to hear. They’re on tour until October, so living the dream. But as for the lack of women on the program, we need more please! The likes of Charlotte, Thatha and Gelika (Insane Creatures) have all played incredibly moving sets and the number of woman losing it to their music on the dancefloor shows how well received they are.
WATER IS LIFE
Boom would not be the same without its incredible lake: it’s a spiritual hub where we all go to swim, cool off, play, clense our spirits and meditate. At this edition Boomers are enjoying the challenge of trying to walk and sit on the tap wire running across part of the lake, while others carry around large inflatable flamingos and unicorns that double as a great way to find your mates on the dancefloor.
We caught part of ‘Yes We Ban!’ where Leo Axt, EU rep for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner described the journey towards banning nuclear weapons. He explained that winning the prize has given them much greater visibility in their quest and how it has helped them persuade most of the countries in the world to help them on their mission.
As always, questions from the Boomers on the floor illuminated the discussion, as it was highlighted that it is much more expensive to maintain nuclear weapons than to get rid of them. So, for now the driver is to drastically decommission as many as possible: once we’re down to the last 500 then we can worry about those last ones. The challenges of opening up the campaign to a wider audience with other issues versus getting things done quickly were touched on, highlighting the complexity of the situation.
A journalist from Canary magazine thanked Leo for his hard work but then confronted one of the elephants in the room: does Israel have nuclear weapons? Leo gave the example of Germany selling Israel submarines with nuclear capabilities and described how the German taxpayers had inadvertently helped pay for it. In short, the answer was, “Cut the crap – of course they do!”
All sobering stuff for a festival, but also incredibly inspirational to hear how much has been achieved by a small but very determined team. A massive thank you to Leo and everyone at ICAN for getting us so much closer to a nuclear-free planet!
We also checked out the Food as a Solution: Becoming a Food Activism discussion panel, hosted by Patrick Mallery from Feed Bristol, Steve Rogenstein with his presentation ‘The World of Bees’, Alfredo Cunhal from Herdade do Freixo do Meio and food activist Tristram Stuart, who gave birth to projects such as Feedback and Toast Ale.
Activism can take different forms. When it comes to food, each panelist effectively communicated their own practices within their respective worlds - whether it was about collective farming and small scale production of high end products, about the place of bees in our planet and how fundamental they are to the maintaining of a healthy ecosystem, about how our lives on Earth can be parallelled to a big party, which we must keep going by preserving our homeland, or even about how sharing food and celebrating through food can help raise awareness and actually contribute to less waste.
Lessons to take home? Do it together. By working as communities, people are able to maintain their life all the while producing sustainable goods, thus taking responsibility for their food necessities and consumption. Save the bees, specially the honey bees. They are a gentle species who contribute immensely to diversity in nature. Buy local. Buy organic. Considerate food a common good. Share. Share your food with a friend, or even preferably, a stranger. Sharing is at the root of relationships and friendships, and is part of the glue that holds together human societies.
Boomers were highly active in asking questions and debating several points of view. In the end, that’s what we are here for: discuss, debate, question everything.