Preview: Boomtown Fair: Diss-Order Alley

With summer rapidly approaching, it’s time to ramp up our festival preview coverage for 2018. Our writer Katie Bizley here takes you into the UK’s maddest city, Boomtown, with a preview of a new district for 2018…


The beginning of summer is a great time of year: longer evenings, nicer weather… and most importantly it means that we’re coming up to Boomtown season! This festival has been a favourite of ours for years, with its ever-evolving storyline meaning that every Chapter brings plenty a whole new experience. Boomtown’s 10th Chapter comes with a new District which is right up our street… or should I say alley. Diss-order Alley takes over two of Chinatown’s stages and brings two completely new venues. The line-up for this District spans punk, ska and metal and it is no doubt going to be the setting for part of the immersive storyline which sets this festival apart from any others.

Diss-order Alley’s main venue is Hangar 161, previously Devil Kicks Dancehall and this year presented by Last Gang in Town. This large indoor venue will continue its place as the centre for ska and punk in the festival, with a lineup that’s ready to throw a lot of punches. It’s headed up by the likes of Voodoo Glow Skulls, who will be bringing their Mexican-influenced West Coast sound to the Hampshire fields. With 30 years in the game VGS fuse aggressive punk with ska and they’re sure to put on a great show. TPA favourites Jaya the Cat are back again this year, and will be pumping the Hangar full of their catchy punk reggae. Coming all the way from Russia is Moscow Death Brigade, a hardcore rap / punk group, recognised by their black balaclavas and defiance against fascism. Listen to Papers, Please! for a taste of their angry sound. Ho99o9 are also on the lineup who we were lucky enough to catch in Bristol a couple of weeks ago and who completely blew us away. We can’t wait to see them again for another hit of their unique sound and live experience.

One of the brand new venues is the aptly named Earache Factory, courtesy of the independent Earache Records, which judging by the line-up is going to be one of the noisiest venues of the festival. Along with a further helping of punk, this venue will bring metal, grindcore and also some stoner / psychedelic rock. If you’d noticed Napalm Death on the lineup, unfortunately they have had to pull out but the Dead Kennedys have stepped up to replace them and will no doubt do a great job with their classic punk anthems. IDLES who hail from Bristol will make an appearance with their hardcore punk rock sound. They have gained a wide following since forming 2012 and their momentum has continued following the release of their debut album Brutalism last year. Their live shows are energetic and chaotic so definitely one to check out. Ho99o9 are also doing another set on this stage so if you don’t catch them at Hangar 161 you’ll have another chance here.

Focussing on ska is The Skankin’, which I hope has some deep foundations as it’s going to the destination for a lot of just that. We’re looking forward to seeing Popes of Chillitown, whose tight ska / dub / punk is infectious and sure to make a great live performance. Phoenix City All Stars will take the stage with a dub take on The Clash: they’ve previously given The Rolling Stones and Dexys Midnight Runners their dub treatment and we’re looking forward to hearing where they go with this one. Another band to look out for is Regime. Have a listen to their track Queenie which is about HRH being an arms dealer and a “gun-shotta” and we love it.

The Freak Boutique Punk Bar has been a part of Boomtown since 2015, and looks ready to be the scene for another exploration of all things punk. The Dancing Morons will bring hardcore-punk rock whilst Dissident Noize Factory will bring their unique blend of ferocious punk mixed with gypsy break beat. Acid punk will also be represented, by the likes of the Bad Fractals and folk punk by EFA Supertramp amongst others. Deadwood will show a more bluesy side to this stage with their Missourian story-rich tracks. This venue will even play host to some punk aerobics thanks to X-ray Spexercise which is sure to be fun!

Boomtown sold out in February this year, faster than ever before, however, a limited number of resale Wednesday entry tickets and tied traveller packages are still available. Head over to the Boomtown website for more information, and for more specific details head here. Grab one of the remaining tickets before it’s too late!

Can’t wait for Boomtown? Head on over to Spotify to check out Boomtown’s Diss-Order Alley playlist and have a listen to all the bands mentioned here and loads more.

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