Jean Philipse

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.”

Therefore we take sustainability measures in various areas such as energy, mobility, food and resources. Taking those measures has resulted in receiving the golden Green Key certificate in 2023.


  • We use Greeners for our energy supply.
  • 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.
  • LED lamps in the illumination cable, which is hundreds of meters long.


Our festival producer Willem de Leeuw about energy: “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.”


  • The organization is stimulated to use public transport or a bicycle to work as much as you can
  • We stimulate the audience, partners, and artists to travel to the festival by public transport or bicycle
  • Logistics from catering and production are combined to achieve as few truck movements as possible


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.


  • We use a lot of organic and local products for the food on the festival
  • There are vegetarian and vegan options at the festival
  • We have a completely vegetarian catering for crew and artists.
  • There is a Left Over Day at the crew catering to prevent waste
  • We work with the Verspillingsfabriek in Veghel



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.”


  • We have been using hard cups since 2010, to reduce the use of single-use plastic. By using a deposit, we also ensure that these hard cups can be used again and again. We only use glassware on the terrace at the wine bar and restaurant.
  • Our printed matters are SFC certified and the number of prints is monitored and adjusted. Moreover we search for sustainable options and green printers.
  • We share materials and supplies with other festivals, so we need fewer materials
  • We separate our waste at the festival
  • The t-shirts that our crew wear are made of ecological cotton. 
  • Our performance tickets do not longer need to be printed but can be scanned from a telephone.
  • Our festival is pin-only instead of working with tokens
  • We strive for sustainable collaborations with partners. A good example is Kleefkracht, with which we jointly test new sustainable materials in order to innovate, such as the new material greenboard. With Kleefkracht we work together for the signing of the festival.
  • We work with performers to look at sustainable ways of using materials. For example, the performance OVVIO by Kolektiv Lapso Cirk in 2023 used wood that was used a month earlier for Deventer op Stelten. This was made by a local entrepreneur, Bert Ros. After the performance, the wooden planks and beams went to three other festivals. To ultimately arrive at the Stichting Stadshout in Den Bosch which further processes the wood.
  • Since a few years Boulevard and Stichting Stadshout work together to organize wood workshops during the festival with wood from felled or fallen trees from Den Bosch. Children and adults can come and do carpentry and crafts for 11 days.


In 2023 Boulevard welcomed 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.”


Boulevard can proudly say that the GOLD level has been achieved in 2023. 


Read more on Green Key at Boulevard
Theaterfestival Boulevard thanks:
  • Gemeente 's-Hertogenbosch
  • Den Bosch Partners
  • Provincie Noord-Brabant
  • Fonds Podiumkunsten
  • VSBfonds
  • Fonds21
  • Vriendenloterij Fonds
  • Creative Europe Programme (EU)
  • Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds
  • Dioraphte
  • VandenEnde Foundation
  • Fonds ZOZ
  • Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur
  • Jan van Hoof Galerie
  • Apap
  • Feminist Futures
  • Performing Gender