Industry News

Boomtown Fair festival to ban social media trolls after backlash

Boomtown Fair

Image: Boomtown Fair / Buckbuck Games

UK festival Boomtown said it will ban anyone found to have responded negatively to a social media post it said celebrated the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Hampshire festival, which has been held since 2009, said it has created a “blacklist” to permanently prevent those who posted “hateful comments” from accessing its platforms. Boomtown added that it will also take steps to prevent them from attending the festival now or in the future.

Boomtown said the critical comments were added to a post celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community, which it said is “at the heart of Boomtown”. It is thought the post is one published on June 1 featuring a performer wearing a garment with the slogan “Trans Rights Now”.

The festival’s social media team removed the offensive comments and blocked the accounts. Further comments led to the team disabling comments entirely.

“We are deeply proud of our beautiful LGBTQIA+ crews, artists, performers and citizens and we will wholeheartedly continue to celebrate the diverse communities that make our city come to life,” Boomtown said in a statement.

“The kind of negativity we saw on Saturday goes against everything we stand for at Boomtown. We sincerely apologise to those who were targeted and to anyone and everyone who was affected. We were angered and saddened by the hateful comments. There’s no place for that here.”

The statement added: “We have a zero tolerance on any type of hate speech. We want to make it very clear that anyone with this type of view is not welcome at Boomtown.”

The 66,000-capacity festival is held at the at Matterley Bowl near Winchester each August. While this year’s headliners have yet to be confirmed, Cypress Hill and The Prodigy played in 2023.

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