PREPARATIONS are ramping up as Boomtown's comeback event is on the horizon.

Dubbed Chapter One: The Gathering, the music festival, which hasn't been held since 2019, will be returning to the Matterley Estate in South Downs National Park on August 10 for a five-day event.

Around 77,000 people attended the last chapter before Covid struck, with that figure consisting of 58,000 ticket holders, 17,999 crew, artists, traders and guests, plus 1,000 local residents with day tickets.

Organisers have promised attendees a 'brand new world' when the gates are thrown open next week, including new districts to explore and a reincarnation of some iconic favourites.

Hampshire Chronicle: Boomtown. Image: Leora BermeisterBoomtown. Image: Leora Bermeister

Ahead of the festival, Boomtown is also launching its sustainability campaign for 2022, after being one of the first UK festivals to sign a Green Deal and commit to being Net Zero by 2025.

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But while it is hugely popular among festival-goers, residents can expect significant disruption as thousands of people descend on the city for the long weekend of partying.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the event.

What road closures will be in place?

On Wednesday 10, Thursday 11 and Monday 15, organisers have said roads local to the festival site may be subject to closure to protect local residential areas from excessively heavy traffic congestion. Residents wishing to use a road that is closed can approach the accredited staff on duty in these locations to gain access.

There is also a contingency option to close Newburgh Street near Winchester Train Station from Wednesday 10 at 06am to Monday 15 at 6pm to allow for train station bus operations. However, this will not be enforced unless required.

Lane closures and merges will be operational on the A31 Westbound during the festival. Motorists have been asked to use lane two (offside lane) to avoid the event entrances. Lane closures and merges will also be operational on the A31 Eastbound on Monday 15, with people urged to use lane one (nearside lane).


Direction and information signage will be erected on the local network during the event. Temporary traffic signals will be utilised to maintain traffic flows and increase safety at key locations.

Drivers have been warned that 40 mph speed limits will be in force on the A31 from Tuesday 9 to Monday 15 and on the A272 from Monday 8 to Monday 15.

Gap closures on the A31 will be in operation from 3am on Wednesday 10 to 10pm on Monday 15. Pedestrians who are insistent on walking to the festival site will be encouraged to enter via their nearest safe entrance.

Local Residents tickets arriving on Sunday will be provided a map with suggested walking routes to the event.

Peak traffic times

If you're planning to head out on the roads, the festival has advised of a number of peak traffic times which may be best to avoid if possible. These are:

A272 from the A31 to Rodfield Lane:

  • Wednesday, August 10 - 10am-6pm
  • Thursday, August 11 - 10am-6pm
  • Monday, August 15 - 8am-5pm

A31 from M3 J9/Spitfire Link to Alresford:

  • Wednesday, August 10 - 10am-6pm
  • Thursday, August 11 - 8am-6pm
  • Monday, August 15 - 10am-5pm

Rodfield Lane:

  • Thursday, August 11- 8am-6pm
  • Monday, August 15 - 8am-4pm

Morestead Road and Longwood Road:

  • Monday 15th - 8am-4pm

Footpath diversions & car park closures

The South Downs Way will be diverted from Monday 8 to Wednesday 17 inclusive. There will be signage in place signifying the diverted walking route around the perimeter of the event site.

Hampshire Chronicle: Boomtown. Image: The Big Ladder PhotographerBoomtown. Image: The Big Ladder Photographer

Cheesefoot Head Car Park will be closed from Monday 8 to Wednesday 17 inclusive. Road Sweepers will be on standby throughout the event to keep the nearby roads clear if required.

Line-up and licensing hours

Boomtown is keeping its cards close to its chest in regards to the line-up. Organisers have taken the bold decision to keep most of the acts a secret until just before the festival.

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They have said the "complex process of releasing a music line-up with exclusivity deals, billing and escalating costs" have led to a rethink in the way in which they approach the matter. However, the festival is expected to showcase a host of musically diverse artists across several genres.

Some sound tests are expected to take place on Tuesday 9, but the main event won't kick off until late morning on the Wednesday. The licensing hours are as follows:

  • Wednesday, August 10 - 11am - 11pm
  • Thursday, August 11 - 10am - midnight
  • Friday, August 12 - 10am - 4am
  • Saturday, August 13 - 10am - 4am
  • Sunday, August 14 - 10am - midnight

Boomtown has also warned there will be pyrotechnics involved in the shows on the main stages on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and a firework display on Sunday evening.

Environmental aims

As part of its commitment to become Net Zero by 2025, Boomtown has taken several steps to cut its carbon footprint. Some of the key headlines include:

  • Switching fuel to hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), which the festival says will reduce emissions from fuel consumption by 90 per cent
  • Continuing on from 2019, no single-use plastic bottles will be sold at the festival, eliminating some 225,000 plastic bottles a year
  • Boomtown's brand new main stage, Origin, is being built using with real plants and sustainable materials, a lot recycled from previous main stage, Lion’s Den
  • In conjunction with Tree Sisters, the festival has so far planted 100,000 trees around the world from Madagascar to Nepal
  • Every afternoon at the festival, people attending can listen out for the mobile pop-up sound systems and 'Eco-Warriors' to get involved in the big Boomtown tidy. The Eco-Warriors will be handing out free 2023 festival tickets and merchandise to the cleanest camps and those doing their best to keep the South Downs National Park free from litter

The Chronicle has asked Boomtown how it intends to combat the amount of tents left behind each year.

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