Boomtown Fair (cap. 66,000) co-founder Lak Mitchell said that despite a 45% stake in the company having been acquired collectively by Live Nation (18%), SJM (9%), and Gaiety (18%), the festival’s original team will remain firmly in charge of the decision-making process.
In August, the three companies acquired the stake in what was formerly the UK’s biggest purely independent festival. In an interview with Access, Mitchell said that the funding will not only help make the festival more financially robust but will enable it to strengthen its push to become more environmentally sustainable.
“We’re still autonomous, in the same way Glastonbury is, but if we do have a bad year, then we have the support to still pay people at the end, which is something we’ve never had, so now that stress and worry has been lifted,” said Mitchell. “We’ve been the biggest independent festival in the country, by double, for the last eight years, with no support financially, and so it’s really great to have Live Nation, Gaiety and SJM’s support.”
Mitchell said that the Boomtown team was impressed by the reaction of investor representatives to the event this year and their promised support to help reduce its carbon footprint: “They loved the festival. They just want to make sure that it survives. We talked a lot about sustainability and discussed how they can support us in funding mains power into the site so that we can run from a sustainable power source.”
This year Boomtown unveiled an enhanced programme of sustainability measures, including switching its fuel source to hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) in order to reduce emissions from fuel consumption by 90%.
The full interview with Lak Mitchell will be published in the next issue of Access All Areas.