Post- Boom 2008

Author: Boom Festival
Date: Sep 2, 2008
Views: 2439

Extensive information from the promoters about traffic problems, visitor numbers, the "Boom Bug" and much more...

(Andrew Jones Live Painting from the Ambient Forest at Boom 2008)

Processing. Assimilation. Maturation. These cognitive processes have been our main activities since the ending of Boom 2008. We took a self-motivated pause on our communications to understand all that we faced during the Boom 2008 edition. In the meanwhile we read a lot of forums, laughed on YouTube and were delighted while looking at FlickR. It’s now time for us to restart; manifesting our belief in participatory democracy, we’ll speak with an open heart about the downturns of Boom 2008 as a will to improve on following editions. Boom 2008 is, nowadays, a memory of the recent past although it is still a vivid experience in the mind of thousands of people. A new phase is now beginning, the post-Boom…


A Nightmare Called "Entrance"

We’ve all seen horror movies. What turns them into horror is the way the scenes trick and play with the unexpected. Be it the “Exorcist”, “Poltergeist” or “The Night Of the Living Dead”, it’s always the unknown that leaves the horror element. Well, it was this unexpected situation that created “The Nightmare on Boom Street” :-). People were waiting for up to 72 hours at the entrances of Boom 2008. We were not sleeping for almost two days.
The Boom participants began to arrive way before Friday August 9th. On Monday 11th there were almost 20 000 people waiting at the gates to get in. Queues of cars reached 14 km. Some people started the party both in the pre-parking and on the main roads; while some other people were getting mad. Like us! It got even worse when our informatic system (that was developed by some engineers to process the barcode of the tickets) broke down. That meant an even slower pace for people getting in as the tickets needed to be hand processed.
Then the geophysics: Boom is held on a peninsula with tiny access, actually the road inland permits only one car at a time as it is 4 metres wide. Limited geophysics, a collapsed informatic system and an avalanche of people (that we didn’t expect) – what a scene! Another scene in the so-called “entrance nightmare” was that the local authorities didn’t know how to manage such a huge traffic jam. The local authorities usually deal with a population of 5 000 and suddenly they had more than triple on site.

Yet magic was created. The first sounds seeped changed invaded for seeped into the Boomscape and the nightmare had its catharsis. Queues were forgotten and the madness of the entrance vanished.


A Meeting Of Subcultures

We all know that Boom was born out of the psychedelic trance subculture of the 90s. Since then we’ve been feeding this movement in a genuine manner. However the world has changed and each one of us has new causes. Art has different meanings and goals thus events were created to support the different art scenes. Boom has been acquiring new vocations and 2008 was the year where Boom made itself a unique meeting point for alternative subcultures. One of the reasons for the attraction of new attendance was the consolidation of the amazing garden-iesque Sacred Fire stage, the novel inclusion of the Theatroom and the Groovy Beach. Along with the projects on environmental sustainability, Boom opened its scape, yet keeping the same base from the days of 1997: to be independent and alternative of the mainstream.



A Chaos Named Caravan Park

Caravan park was somehow chaotic. Our main guidelines on the caravan facilities were that we concentrate more efforts on the people that had no facilities at all than on the caravans. Most caravans have toilets, showers and kitchens already. However we do not want to minimize the importance of caravans and so we did put some facilities. The main fault was that we never thought that there would be such a huge attendance of caravanists on Boom. That led to a lack of toilets, cleaning and shower facilities for the caravan park. This was a major problem that we don’t expect to repeat.



The Now Famous Boom Bug!

Some people already call it the, ‘Boom bug’. The fact is that there was a huge amount of people that got symptoms such as diarrhoea or headaches. Some linked it with the waters and other to the air. The true reason is that a virus that causes these symptoms is assaulting Portugal. When people are dehydrated, tired and with possible heat stroke, they become susceptible to viruses. This particular virus was transmitted by the air therefore it was impossible to control. Even our teams got affected by it!


A Sincere Silence…

The festival was stopped for 10 minutes on August 16th. We were all extremely shocked when a French man died due to heart attack (natural causes confirmed by autopsy). It was the first time ever that someone passed away at Boom. Our sincere wishes for a peaceful rebirth to our brother!



Why No Swimming?

One week before Boom started the local health authorities recommended avoiding bathing in some areas of the lake. The reason being that there had been abnormal animal farming procedures around the lake in the previous two years. Here we have one example of the current paradigm of overproduction of the land, in this case with negative consequences to Boom.



Boom Sold Out

On August 3rd we announced that tickets were not sold out. On Monday August 12th we placed a posting on the Boom website that tickets were sold out. Unfortunately we couldn’t allow any more people to get in. The main reasons were: tickets were limited; we wanted people to have comfort inside; we didn’t want overcrowding thus the collapse of infrastructures; we wanted to keep the quality of the festival.
We had an attendance of 25 000 people from 85 countries and we estimate that around 10 000 people were still trying to get in. We apologize to all people that didn’t get the chance to enter into Boom, but we’re sure that people will understand our reasons.


The Future…

Keep updated with the Boom website for news, videocasts, info and our next projects. Please send us your feedback to:

Author: sam / Date: 08.09.2008 19:12:03

I'd like to inform you that I have deleted two comments by Aaron vectorselector on his request that reached me by mail on Sep 7, 2008.

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