Boomtown was as ever; mad, fun, creative, explosive, exhausting, funny, and brilliant. It was help on its normal site near Winchester, and had expanded to cover most of the upper fields as well as the “bowl”. The weather was great. Gama had worked really hard with the organisers beforehand to try and sort out any potential problems that could arise, and we succeeded with most of them…..
We had I think our largest Gama area at Boomtown ever – about 100 adults. There were some Boomtown old-timers, some had been to other festivals but it was their first Boomtown, and for others it was a completely new experience.! We had three Gama working volunteers. There was a lot to do.
We devised a new routing onto site to get people straight to the Gama camping area, this worked really well, and we must thank all those who helped in the Gate D box office to make things go smoothly there. We were processing people in all day Thursday and Friday. The downside of this (which we had not quite realised, but we will remedy it by next year) is that the Gama visitors coming through that gate were not getting their eco-bonds in the same way that everyone else was getting at the public pedestrian gates, so it meant that for some we had to sort them out on site.
We also had interesting toilet situation – we managed to lock the wide access loos in our camping area, and, but the loos around the site were not locked, so inevitably got used by the general public. Next year we will have a concerted effort to sort lock all the wide access loos on site. We had a key system that we can use again, and it worked well.
As the festival was expanding and covering more ground, the organisers provided a “magic carpet” (like a moving ski track) to get from the bottom of the hill to the top. This helped a great deal, but people still had to negotiate a way down, or else take a longer way down on a less steep track. The crew who ran the Magic Carpet were extremely helpful.
Again, we had some really lovely comments that make all the difference:
“I would like to thank everyone working at the disabled camping for all their hard work and for helping us to have such a fantastic festival experience. There were a few problems, which I hope can be overcome by next year – (Toilets, On site taxi service,) I hope they will be educated in the law regarding making reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities before the next festival they attend! Thankfully, staff at the camp site were more sympathetic to our plight, and arranged for an Oxfam worker to take us to the shuttlebus queue in his buggy. The stewards at the shuttlebus queue were the complete opposite of those in the taxi queue. The sent us straight to the front of the queue and, when the bus arrived, helped us on and carried our bags on for us. So a big thank you to them and to the staff at the GAMA site. I can’t praise them enough. We hope to be back next year.”
M & W.
We plan to continue working closely with Boomtown . Each year there are improvements made, and still more to be done. We feel that the Boomtown organisers and approachable and each year want to make it better and better for everyone. Watch this space…