About sustainability and drive

“You ought to practice what you preach”, sings Nick Cave in the song Jubilee Street. Wisdom to which Boulevard loves to sing along. Having a conversation with Pepijn Muller, who coordinates food and beverages and the sustainability policy. “You do not want to celebrate a festival in the steam of diesel, right?”

Put the money where the mouth is, the essence of sustainability at Boulevard. Simply put: the festival would be unbelievable if it programmes alarming performances – Hallo Dampkring, Are we not drawn onward to new erA – and not cares about the environment themselves. Pepijn: “Like it or not: a festival uses electricity, water and other resources, causes transport by audiences as well as artists and bring forth waste. You have to reduce it and look for other alternatives.”


Pepijn mentions some measures. “LED lamps in the illumination cable, which is hundreds of meters long. Free bicycles to cycle to performance at other locations. Completely vegetarian catering for crew and artists.” Although, he thinks that skipping meat from restaurants Lof and Faam is a bit much. “But you will see some differences: no 250 but 160 grams entrecote. We offer Food truck Karma Kebab, which only serves vegan kebab. And the coffee boat only serves fair coffee.” Details show sustainability, says Pepijn. “The t-shirts that our crew wears is made of ecological cotton. You pay a bit more, but it is worth it."

Leftover food from the festival does not disappear in the kitchen and garden waste but finds its way to the Verspillingsfabriek in Veghel. The Verspillingsfabriek turns the waste into soup, sauces and stew. Motto: “Make the most of it.” One of the establishers of the Verspillingsfabriek is Bob Hutten, owner of a catering firm with the same name and partner. Pepijn: “We will introduce a Left Over day backstage. We cook with all the leftovers and functional food. To prevent waste.”


The electricity? Festival producer Willem de Leeuw sits down at the table: “We had diesel generators for years. Including particulate emission. We do not want those anymore. We use a brand new system by Green, an innovator in energy systems, for the first time. How it works: we get our power from the generators of the local authority, 160 amps. We save this power on enormous batteries, the Greeners. They provide power to the festival. At night, we charge the batteries. We only have a diesel generator stand by in case of an emergency. We do not expect that we need it.”


This year Boulevard welcomes Green Key at the festival. Green Key is the international label for sustainable companies within the recreation and food and beverages field. Pepijn: “They judge lots of aspects varying from communication, cleaning and energy to sustainable stock and textile. “If you work with Green Key, you go further than the common laws and regulations. “ A small note: “We do not want to show off. You do not need to show off your sustainability policy. Although, Green Key is an excellent measurement to conclude if we are on the right path.”

Read more on Green Key at Boulevard


In the category of cruel truths: the environment and nature thank a lot to the pandemic. Cancellations mean fewer sound and light installations that use power and fewer international flights and equipment. But covid-19 brings forth changes. “Only visitors who have a table can order. These are the agreements, which means we can use glass instead of plastic cups.” Sad for people without a home who benefit from the deposit system, but the environment is happy, concludes Pepijn. [EA]

Did you know that....

• We separate our waste at the festival
• We stimulate the audience, partners, and artists to travel to the festival by public transport or bicycle
• Our printed matters are SFC certified, and the number of prints is monitored and adjusted
• We do not use diesel generators. We only use them at specific locations.
• We do not use air conditioning in the festival tents to save power.
• We share materials and supplies with other festivals

We are aware of the damage to the environment that working international brings. We choose the train for travels until 12 hours, but some artists must travel by plane. Together with our European partners, we prevent unnecessary flights, and we make sure that makers do not travel to the Netherlands for only one performance.

Theaterfestival Boulevard thanks:
  • Gemeente 's-Hertogenbosch
  • Provincie Noord-Brabant
  • Fonds Podiumkunsten
  • Brabant C
  • VSBfonds
  • Fonds21
  • BankGiro Loterij
  • Cultuurfonds
  • Creative Europe Programme (EU)
  • De Versterking
  • Verkadefabriek
  • Theater aan de Parade
  • Apap
  • Performing Gender
  • Feminist Futures