Boomtown Fair announce first major headliners

The Town Centre, known for hosting some of the most raucous, party inducing acts this year will host:  LA’s anarchic Celtic punk folksters Floggying Molly, bringing their internationally celebrated break-speed anthems to Winchester for a rare and exclusive UK festivalperformance. The return of the hedonistic gypsy punk of Gogol Bordello, headlining the festival in 2011 they totally blew the Town Centre apart with their rip-roaring, frantic show that whipped the crowd into a palpable frenzy, this year with a new album recently released and the BoomTown citizens more than quadrupled in numbers since the bands last visit to the town, one mega party is expected to kick off! Keeping the knees in the air and the skanking skills up to max is the American ska punk of Streetlight Manifesto. One of the most requested ska acts by BoomTown citizens over the years, Streetlight will be bringing their life affirming vibes and outstanding energy in a very overdue first visit to the fair!! Another returning to the Town Centre are ultra-slick Parisian outfit Caravan Palace. After storming the place with one of the most memorable shows, these premiers of electro-swing and gypsy-funk are guaranteed to host one almighty spectacle, worthy of their fierce reputation as an ultimate live act!

Matisyahu, once known for being the Hasidic man of reggae, over the past few years has moved to a more secular style and will be bringing his highly polished reggae tinged hip-hop and soul to the Lion’s Den for a UK festival exclusive. Another festival headliner that can’t seem to stay away from the fair is Alborosie & Shengan Clan, this MOBO award winning artist will be on hand with his thumping basslines and talent that speaks for itself! Joining Matisyahu and Alborosie on the Lion’s Den are reggae legends Black Uhuru, the first ever winners of the Best Reggae album at the 1985 Grammy’s their music has provided a soundtrack to generation with tunes like ‘What is Life’, ‘Shine Eye Girl’ and ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ dominating any dancefloor when they drops! Heading over to the southern hemisphere for a taste of New Zealand roots reggae, Katchafire will be bringing their gloriously chilled out sunshine vibes for even more global flavours in the Lion’s Den.

Whilst over on the Old Mines folk and world stage are Katchafire’s Antipodean brethren, the awe inspiring John Butler Trio, with guitar skills so incredible the only other sound that can be heard when they are playing is that of jaws dropping to the floor!! These Aussie guitar heroes are a powerhouse of fusing folk, acoustic and roots and are the perfect tonic to a busy festival day! After welcoming the stunning desert sounds of Mali last year with Tinariwen, BoomTown will be making a return voyage to the country for more musical mastery with Amadou and Mariam, fusing Afro pop with desert blues this Grammy nominated husband and wife duo have been performing together for more than 30 years and are the biggest-selling African act of recent times; along with fellow Mali musician’s Songhoy Blues, who were recently pegged as Mail’s next big thing, no small feat considering the company they keep! Other acts on the Old Mines include festival stalwarts Dreadzone with their mashup of dub, reggae, techno, folk and rock, ultimate fusion outfit Transglobal Underground, acclaimed folk roots of Edward II and Scotland’s finest instrumental fusion folk band Peatbog Faeries, full line up for Old Mines will be revealed in a few weeks.

The brand new Psychedelic Forest secret headliner has also now been released as Infected Mushroom doing an Old School LIVE set, and joining the already announced Astrix, Ace Ventura, Perfect Stranger, Liquid Soul, Juno Reactor who are topping up a psy-trance bill that is one of the strongest seen at a UK festival in years!

DSTRKT 5 dance line up was announced a couple of weeks ago and was headed up by Squarepusher, Spor, Noisia, Machinedrum, Metalheadz takeover, Surgeon and many more.

HEADLINERS ANNOUNCED FAR:

Town Centre

Flogging Molly / Gogol Bordello / Caravan Palace / Streetlight Manifesto / Fishbone / The Beat / Goldie Lookin Chain / Dub Pistols / Slamboree / Dubioza Kolektiv 

Lion’s Den

Matisyahu / Alborosie / Cham feat. O / Turbulence / Cutty Ranks / Ward 21 / Katchafire / David Rodigan / Natty / Gentleman's Dub Club / Chopstick Dubplate presents Jah Mason & Demolition Man / Mungos Hi-fi

Old Mines

John Butler Trio / Amadou & Mariam / Dreadzone / Transglobal Underground / Peatbog Faeries / Edward II / Songhoy Blues / Ibibio Sound Machine

Psychedelic Forest

Infected Mushroom (Old School Goa Set) / Ace Ventura / Perfect Stranger / Juno Reactor

Devil Kicks Dancehall

Capdown / King Prawn / The Mahones / The Rumjacks / The Interrupters

Barrio Loco

Toddla T & DRS / The Bug ft: Flow Dan / DJ EZ / Jungle Brothers / High Focus Takeover 

DSTRKT 5: (full line up)

The Palace

Squarepusher / Noisia / Spor / Machinedrum / Surgeon Live / 20 years of Metalheadz ft:

Goldie b2b Dillinja, Ulterior Motive b2b Dom and Roland, Jubei b2b Ant tc1 Hosted by SP:MC / A Guy Called Gerald (Jungle Set) b2b LTJ Bukem – Hosted by MC Ribbz" / Truss / Break / Ratpack / Tango & Ratty / Top Buzz / DJ Sy

Boombox

Norman Jay MBE & Mr Scruff present…Keep the Good Times Unreal (10 hour Takeover from 2 Legends)

Benny Page / Deekline / Stickybuds / Scratch Perverts / J.Pod / Inspected Records Showcase ft: Culprate, Emperor, Asa, Sorrow, ZES, Inspected Dubplate / SP23 – Renegade Street Party

Bodyshop – (bigger and fully sound proofed)

Luke Vibert / PRSPKT Takeover – Hellfish vs Producer, Bryan Fury, Thrasher, Switch Technique /

Simon Underground / Vandal /Nicky Blackmarket / Bizzy B / Randall (92-94) / Jerome Hill / Crystal Distortion / Renegade Hardware 20th Anniversary -Takeover ft Maztek, Loxy, Ink / FFF / Stivs

Wychwood, Beer, Cheer and Bubbles.

This is the 9th Wychwood festival to take place, which is a tragedy for me as it means I have missed 8 years of this fun filled, family friendly, yet modest event, that gently launches you into the summer festival period.  Set in the grounds of Cheltenham race course and overlooked by the Cotswold Hills, this venue is used to horseplay of a four-legged nature, but with neigh a nag in sight, Prestbury Park comes alive with a wide spectrum of characters.

The first days sound track set the pace for what would shape up to be quite the eclectic mix.  Early evening The Beat proved how they secured their rightful place high up the Ska tree. With Rankin Roger & Son getting the crowd stomping to the ever popular Ska beats. Toploader followed with their breezy, sing a long songs, that keep the crowd on a high.  Friday night headliners Soul II Soul with their blend of R&B, Soul and Electronica, surprised many who thought them a one song band (Back to life). With each song played you couldn’t help regret not paying more attention 25 years ago. But better late than never!! They exit the stage, leaving the crowd craving for more.

Saturday sees the music shift to a broader range. Unfortunately the delectable Kate Nash pulls out poorly. The Wedding Present are a crowd pleaser as they work through some of their phenomenal body of work. A French twist next from festival favourites The Caravan Palace, who’s zany Gypsy Jazz, Electro swing, is a sight and sound to behold, a big band wall of music fronted by the mesmerising stage presence that is ZoĆ© Colotis a must see. The night’s headliners are 80’s Electro New Wave sensation The Human League and with a catalogue of hits, the crowd were on their feet from the opening “Mirror Man” to the ever popular “Don’t You Want Me” ending another great night with “Together in Electric Dreams”. The set and backdrop pay homage to the futuristic approach of the 80’s, that seem just as futuristic and relevant today, Little wonder so many artists since, have voiced this Flamboyant and eccentric group as an influence.

Sunday becomes a field of laughter with the humorous yet skilful take on classical and popular songs by the Ukele Orchestra of Great Britain.  Smiles a plenty but with admiration from this musically talented troop.  The laughter continues as Bill Bailey and his side splitting comedy take over.  Nobody being prepared for the music, jokes and insanity of this middle-aged madman. This massive force could have easily have been the finale for the main stage, but the organisers decided to bring the evening to a close by treating an appreciative crowd to the Dub Powerhouse that is Dreadzone.  This reggae tinged set was the perfect end to a fabulous weekend, having the crowd bounce and groove out the evening.

 A couple of standout performances on the smaller but no lesser stages included Becky Rose, with her one gal, synth based beats and Craig Charles funk and soul show, where the crowd were whipped up in to a frenzy to match that of the energetic, multi-talented showman.

When the main attractions have finished and the majority of the crowd have turned in for the night, one stage is determined to party on regardless. As I approach the big top tent with strobes escaping from the entrance I can’t help but think that there is something missing?   Upon entry I am handed a pair of wireless headphones and as I walk on through to a sea of crazy revellers it is apparent that I have entered a nut house.  This is the silent disco, a room full of clubbers and two DJ’s but no music through the loud speakers.  I put the headphones on and find myself instantly condemned to the madhouse as I flick between the two DJ’s and adjust my dancing style accordingly.

Music for all genres means that young or old you will at some point find your dancing shoes and at the very least discover new and exciting sounds.  There are over 100 workshops to choose from, complimented with cuisine from the four corners of the world.

A lasting memory of the festival will be that of a  man releasing  another wave of bubbles they glisten like the northern lights as they pass over the light filled stage.  Wychwood really captures the essence of what a festival is about with a great energy and atmosphere.

 

UB40 to headline Wowfest and more acts added to lineup

With a string of top ten hits to their name, UB40 head up a quite outstanding reggae line-up of living legends that already includes the likes of Finley Quaye, The Wailers, Aswad, Maxi Priest and Misty in Roots alongside another dozen acts in what promises to be the finest collection of reggae artistes anywhere in the UK this year.

UB40

And there was further excitement from the Wow camp with news of the exclusive UK appearance of Madeleine Peyroux, from USA, on Sunday on the Blue Angel Stage, for what is to be a great treat for fans of her jazz/folk bohemian style, once discovered busking in the streets of Paris with her soul shaking songs and haunting voice likened to Billie Holliday. This follows the Saturday headline appearance of The Overtones – 5 Irish/English boys updating the swing and fun of be-bop and dee-wop and bringing some good old style back into the modern UK jazz scene. The Blue Angel Stage features some exquisite Jazz acts including the recognisably Jamaican inspired lilts of jazz party trombonist Dennis Rollins in the Velocity Trio and Dominican Cameron Pierre, Dixie chicks Larkin Poe, plus The London Community Gospel Choir, with some more outstanding live appearances still to be announced, ensuring the most impressive selection of Jazz acts in the UK for 2012

And the global party that is Wowfest continues to gathers pace in the afterhours Club Nights with the addition of Roni Size alongside Smith and Mighty for superlative jungle/dubstep/drum and bass night on Friday, whilst Peter Hook, until recently of New Order fame, joins Marshall Jefferson on the ones and twos in a closing Madchester Hacienda themed after hours party on Sunday.

And with the addition of the Alabama 3, Heaven 17, 808 State, Kitten and the Hip, The Pretty Things, and The Blockheads to the Main and Global Stages, with plenty more support acts as well as headliners still to be announced, Wowfest is already shaping up to be an iconic event, with an eclectic mix of House, Reggae, Ska, Jazz, Global and Dance that is already seeing a few envious eyes cast by established festival organisers – with the emphasis firmly on quality rather than excessive quantity of fillers that can sometimes blight other festival line-ups

Tickets are on sale from the event website for a bargain early bird weekend £99 (including free travel on Southern Vectis buses) for limited period only, and many have already snapped up since the announcement of  Paul Oakenfold, Soul 11 Soul, The Beat, Norman Jay, Danny Rampling, The Selecter, Bad Manners, Neville Staple of the Specials, Bez from the Happy Mondays' acid house night, Manos De Dios, Black Roots, Talisman and host of other top names all appearing at Wowfest over the weekend – and with a lot more to come yet.

Wowfest also sees a very promising stage for newer acts evolving – The Shaved Fish stage highlights global and local up and coming bands ensuring that plenty of young unsigned and Isle of Wight talent gets to share the event with some of the classiest live performers alive today. Local and unsigned acts are invited to contact Wowfest HQ to apply for an opportunity to play – see the event website www.wowfest.co.uk for more info about opportunities to perform and get involved with Wowfest – including catering and trading concessions, volunteer stewards and other opportunities to join the festival.

And with a strong green ethos, an emphasis on veggie, locally sourced and organic food, and a tantalizing looking selection of workshops and activities for kids and families in the African Village, plus some fabulous comedy, cabaret, theatre, performance, circus and walkabout, there's plenty more going on than just the superb musical line-up to ensure a truly memorable weekend at what promises to be one of the friendliest and enjoyable weekends this summer

WOWfest is also proud to partner the following charities: Oxfam, Solar Aid, Building Schools for Africa, Sustrans, Vegfam and the IW NHS Juba project.

Tickets are available from www.wowfest.co.uk