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Winchester Festival goes with a Boom
IT’S NOT every day that you see two DJs playing on top of a police van.
But the Police Rave Unit was by no means the most surreal sight at the sold-out Boomtown Festival.
A giant mechanical spider, a spectacular night-time laser show and controlled propane explosions shooting from the hillside at midnight were just some of the visual treats to complement the music.
For the second year running, Winchester ’s Matterley Bowl hosted a reggae and ska love-in.
There were 20,000 people at the four-day festival, with the line-up as strong as it’s ever been.
Event organiser Chris Rudz said this was the first time in its four-year history that the festival had occupied the same site for two consecutive years. “When we first came, last year, nobody knew who we were. Now the people know who we are when we go into town.”
Boomtown ran from Thursday to Sunday when proceedings climaxed, with the sun beating down, with the sound of The Skatalites echoing around the bowl.
As Guns of Navarone rang out, the huge crowd bounced around, roaring its approval.
The festival’s main draw, Beenie Man, failed to show.
The dancehall star has cancelled all UK dates without any explanation. Spirits were not dampened though, as the likes of Urban Voodoo Machine and The Drop more than satisfied the partygoers.
The organisers had forewarned party-goers of a mystery guest appearance on Sunday, and by Saturday afternoon rumours had spread like wildfire that legendary Jamaican artist Jimmy Cliff would sing.
And last night the rumours came true when he took to the stage just after 8pm to complete a brilliant Boomtown festival 2012.