Boomtown Fair is going to be epic this year, the sold out 60,000 capacity Hampshire festival will be showcasing over 160 artists spanning a huge variety of genres, including Reggae, Folk, Jazz, World, Dub, Dancehall, Ska, House, Techno, Garage and a whole lot more.
The line up includes, The Specials, Cypress Hill, M.I.A, Arrested Development, Toots and the Maytals, 90s legends Chaka Demus & Pliers, The Original Blues Brothers Band, Frank Turner, Ziggy Marley and Newton Faulkner!
We spoke to Kaptin Barrett, a promoter of 14 years and the main music programmer for the festival, about music, having fun and what to expect this year.
What is the best part of your job?
Without question it’s seeing the looks on people’s faces as they’re enjoying the festival. There’s really no better feeling than knowing you had a hand in making so many people that happy.
Do you have any advice for newcomers?
I’d say pick a few choice acts you really want to watch then allow yourself to get lost amongst the streets. Some of the best acts you’ll see and best times you’ll have will be by accident.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at ‘The Lions Den Stage’?
Everybody! Seriously though from Friday lunchtime when Toots & The Maytals kick the stage off, there’s so many legends and so much new and exiting talent, it’s going to be extra special this year. If you like Reggae at all, then I’d highly recommend checking out the website and read up on any acts you haven’t heard of before.
How has Boomtown blossomed over the years?
The last couple of years have been my favourite by far. Some festivals lose their soul as they get bigger but I really feel like we’ve gained on ours, the atmosphere across site has been beautiful and seeing many more families and people of literally every age there has truly been a treat. I’ve also enjoyed being able to book more diverse music, such as the new generation of forward thinking Jazz acts like GoGo Penguin, Portico Quartet, Soweto Kinch and Sons Of Kemet.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
I always listen to hundreds of different acts a week but I actually have a YouTube channel for some of my favourite new music which you can search out under Kaptin Barrett or I also have a blog under my AAA Badboy alias.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I actively search it out in the music I listen to. I want to provide music that will inspire and energise people, so if a band can push my buttons then it’s a good start. Music is often so throwaway that we forget what an important part it can play, both personally and socially.
What was the last thing that made you stop and stare?
Probably a hangover. I wasn’t staring at anything in particular though.