Boomtown reveal theatrical pre-festival events with Lady Leshurr and David Rodigan

 Boomtown reveal theatrical pre-festival events with Lady Leshurr and David Rodigan

After teasing something big was coming today, Boomtown Fair have announced details of their first-ever official pre-gatherings ahead of this summer’s festival. They’ll take place at Boomtown’s indoor Area 404 venue in Bristol on Saturday 2nd May and Thursday 7th May and are dubbed as a “mind-blowing theatrically immersive experience”.

The events, titled ‘Escape! 404‘, play into Boomtown’s storyline or immersive maze: “a city-wide quest that propels its players deep into the rabbit hole whilst firmly making them a key part in the Boomtown narrative”. Costumes are compulsory and those attending will take on the role of survivors within the “inhospitable exclusion zone” of Area 404.

Boomtown Area 404 crowd

David Rodigan, Congo Natty, The Bug with Flowdan and Randall all feature on the line-up for Saturday 2nd May. Room splits are expected soon.

Lady Leshurr will headline the second event on Thursday 7th May alongside a DJ set from Mike Skinner. It’s likely been set for Thursday as the Friday morning afterwards is a bank holiday.

Boomtown co-founder Lak Mitchell said: “We are excited to open our doors once again for our biggest interactive experience so far! It is really something to bring together the music and theatrics to explore something so creatively different with the Escape! 404 events.

“Immersive theatre is what we are known for at Boomtown Fair and we’re thrilled to bring it to our home in Bristol.”

Tickets are on sale now for both the Saturday and for the Thursday. They’re tiered, so prices will rise closer to the event. Lost in the Maze, the podcast following the Boomtown storyline, will be giving away tickets in every episode between now and the events.

There’s also an official Facebook event and an official Area 404 website.

Boomtown Fair Chapter 12: New Beginnings will take place from Wednesday 12th to Sunday 16th August 2020 at the Matterley Estate near Winchester. Wu-Tang Clan, Underworld, Kano and Damian Marley all feature on this year’s line-up. Boomtown are also aiming to plant one million trees this year and have already raised over £20,000 on a crowdfunder set up to do this.

REVIEW: Boomtown Halloween at Area 404

Boomtown Fair Preparties 2020 line-up poster

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Full press release

Area 404 returns for 2020

For the first time this year, Area 404 will open its doors and welcome you back to the overgrown dystopia filled with scavengers and lost souls.

Three immersive events have been announced beginning with Rise From The Underground on Friday 3rd April followed by Escape! 404 on Saturday 2nd May and Thursday 7th May, two one of a kind nights filled with interactive theatrical elements.

Escape! 404 is a theatrical club night experience brought to you by the minds behind the world’s most immersive festival, Boomtown Fair. It will give visitors the chance to explore the fictional world of AREA 404; an abandoned nuclear wasteland. Participants will be invited to become characters in the story and uncover the mysteries hidden within the murky depths of the exclusion zone as the new chapter begins.

Musically the two nights feature heavyweight line-ups with the 2nd May focus on on the width and breadth of DnB whilst the 7th May is tailored towards garage and bass music lovers.

On Saturday 2nd May, visitors can expect to see the best in DnB as David Rodigan returns to Area 404 following his debut on New Year’s Eve, this time being joined by Congo Natty, The Bug, Randall, Om Unit, DJ Paypal, Slipmatt and Shades of Rhythm plus many more.

Some of Bristol’s best will be mixing everything from DnB to Dancehall, with the likes of Gardna, Dub Boy, Rukus and Schlachthofbronx soundtracking this brand-new immersive experience.

Returning the following week, Escape! 404 will be back for a second instalment on Thursday 7th May, with a Garage twist, with Lady Leshurr, Mike Skinner (DJ Set), Zed Bias ft. Trigga, Sherelle, DJ Die, Matt Jam Lamont and Bristol icons Shosh ft. 24 hr Garage Girls.

Joining them will be Matt Jam Lamont, Majestic, Dismantle, Crazy Cousinz, Emerald, Bassface Sascha with Spyda, Aries, Dazee, Jinx and many more filling the night with an eclectic mix of garage, jungle and bass music. 

Acting as Boomtown Fair’s official pre-gatherings these nights will feature all you have come to know from the immersive side of the festival; actors will take you through a spiderweb of engaging wonders and deep into the Boomtown storyline with jaw-dropping set design, performance and interactive gameplay as well as lots more secrets waiting to be uncovered.

Boomtown and Area 404 organiser Lak Mitchell says: “We are excited to open our doors once again for our biggest interactive experience so far! It is really something to bring together the music and theatrics to explore something so creatively different with the Escape! 404 events.

“Immersive theatre is what we are known for at Boomtown Fair and we’re thrilled to bring it to our home in Bristol.”

Warming up on April 3rd, ‘Rise from The Underground’ will see Area 404’s abandoned warehouse on Albert Road transformed once again into the steaming remains of a nuclear power station, for a night of bass-filled dystopia with a stellar line-up.

Headlining the Core Reactor, Slamboree will be bringing their Smörgåsbord of circus performers, entertainers and daredevils for a unique show that radiates the world-famous Boomtown creative.

Throughout the night, the Core Reactor will see drum and bass legends Calyx & Teebee ft. LX One and Mefjus ft. Maksim as well as street soul legends, Laid Blak take to the stage for live performances.

Complementing the main room, Area 404 will be opening the Acid Chamber, Mutant Dance, Decontamination Room and The Engine Room for a full night of jaw-dropping live shows, plus your favourite DJs smashing out everything from rib-tickling brooding drum and bass to stomping acid techno, from mind-bending footwork and jungletek to house, hip-hop and reggae vibes.

The Engine Room will host everything from jungle masterminds Dr Syntax & Pete Cannon to Bristol’s one-of-a-kind ‘gyp-hop’ collective, Gypsy Unit. Joining them will be Kaotik Kartel ft. Stivs, Ed Cox, Gurnsey, Papa B & Jago, Mr Benn and DJ Cut La Vis, aka, Immortal Soundboy.

Acid Chamber will host techno funk to jungletek, with acts such as Vandal, Chris Liberator, Mandidextrous and Rowland the Bastard taking to the decks to encapsulate the full Boomtown experience.

The Sauce; Bristol’s very own supergroup comprised of Total Science, DLR and Hydro come together to headline the Mutant Dancehall, in addition to a dance-filled night, with Born on Road ft. Kelvin 373, Run Tingz Recordings and at special takeover from Jungle Carnival legends, Rumble in the Jungle.

The Decontamination Room will see a takeover from Uncommon Records and Roots inspired record label, Hold Tight Records, as well as music from Ancient Radius, Fat Stash and Mini Rig.

Attendees are invited to embrace the musical and theatrical experience. The venue has been purpose-built for a full exploration and immersive experience,  with hordes of actors bringing the sets to life and encouraging those in attendance to delve deeper into all the secrets AREA 404 has to discover.

Area 404 first opened its doors in November, with 4 successful sold-out Halloween events, followed by the party to end all parties, as they bought in the new decade with a dystopian New Years Eve party, and now Rise From The Underground returns, as the first event in the Spring Series. For more information on upcoming AREA 404 events, follow @AREA404Complex on Facebook and @Area404 on Instagram.

Image credits: Soul Media / Boomtown Fair PR
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