Come together! That was the invitation and call of Theatre Festival Boulevard 2022 (4-14 August). A clearly rejuvenated group of visitors gave their generous response. The Zuiderpark, with its crowded floating bar as radiant centre, was the dreamed-of and open meeting place. Makers showed the need to come together: a world in stark confusion, where they sought healing, comfort, pleasure and togetherness with the audience.
Today, Theatre Festival Boulevard closed a sun-drenched 38th edition of the eleven-day festival. The heat of the last few festival days resulted in fewer people attending in the afternoon. As soon as the temperature dropped a little, the number of visitors rose immediately and significantly. It brought sweltering summer evenings to the park. After the exceptional editions in 2020 and 2021, 's-Hertogenbosch has its Boulevard back. The heart of the festival was in Zuiderpark and we returned to the Parade. Creators also performed at special locations and in theatres.
Boulevard 2022 welcomed 80,000 visitors. The performances and concerts in the Zuiderpark, in the BLVRD Theater aan de Parade and at the various locations were well attended. We were able to register 38,000 visits. Compared to last year's extra long 'one and a half metre edition', we see a slight increase in the figures.
The festival opened on Thursday 4 August with the world premiere of Born To Exist by British choreographer Joseph Toonga. Toonga moved the audience with great art and deep social urgency. It turned out to be a harbinger of things to come; a very committed generation of makers who attach importance to the relationship with their audiences. During the festival, 20 (Dutch) premieres by established, new and returning national and international artists took place. We stretched out twice in the night with our FOMO FATALE programme in which wayward DJs made Bossche nightlife buzz. This year Boulevard once again worked more intensively with makers and residents of the city. There was an exchange of expertise between local dance makers from the Bossche hiphop crew Cypher HQ, urban house Dukebox and (inter)national choreographers from the festival. In the Dom (the spherical tent in the Zuiderpark), people could reflect, talk and work in many programmes and work sessions.
Everyone is welcome
This edition of Boulevard reached a younger audience that eagerly visited performances in the Zuiderpark and could be found in the late evening in the BLVRD Theater aan de Parade. We worked in the capillaries of the city with choreographer Guilherme Miotto, who invited children from 's-Hertogenbosch West to work and play with his team of footballers, dancers and musicians in the Brede Bossche School De Kruiskamp. And we made our festival site accessible for people with physical disabilities. We built 28 wheelchair ramps and laid 640 square metres of wheelchair-accessible decking. The distance between the park and the shuttle bus was bridged by a golf cart for people with mobility problems. We supported the accessibility of the performances with audio description, sign language interpreters and/or written interpreters and organised the Gebarencafé (Sign Language Café) on Saturday 13 August.
Through Geef een Toegift (Give a Gift), 350 tickets were donated by our visitors for people living in poverty. This enabled us to make a large number of people happy, such as residents of COAs in 's-Hertogenbosch and members of the Quiet Community, Vanzelfsprekend?! Young carers and the Cultural Neighbourhood Family.