The Lion's Den: The story of reggae at Boomtown

Clockwise headed to Boomtown Fair over the summer for another weekend of visual madness. One of our many tasks was to film a documentary about The Lion’s Den - a reggae stage which has grown to become the largest in the UK and has played a crucial role in shaping the Boomtown ethos. 

We sent a team of two to TrenchTown, the area of the festival where The Lion’s Den is found, equipped with the C300 and Canon 5Diii to capture everything that went down over the weekend. 

Interviews included members from Fat Freddy’s Drop, Madness, Mungo’s Hi-Fi, Congo Natty, Little Roy, Solo Banton, Tanya Stevens, Tarrus Riley, The Skints, Kabaka Pyramid and Bristol’s own Eva Lazarus.

This whirlwind of old and new names kept us busy as we made sure we captured those key ‘behind the scenes’ shots. That said, spending a weekend with so many reggae pioneers lent a relaxed vibe to proceedings - despite our hectic schedule!

Speaking to these inspirational artists meant the experience was as educational as it was entertaining, as we learnt about the roots of reggae, the importance of bringing such music into the UK, and the ties these musicians have to Boomtown. 

Next year will mark 10 years of Boomtown Fair. Having been filming at the festival since the beginning, we had a wealth of archive footage for the edit which allowed us to pick out an amazing selection of magic moments and scenes that the artists so fondly remembered from the past.

Bring on 2018...

Words by Lutia Swan-Hutton