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How to wear a green BOA.

Looking back on the BRABANT OPEN AIR FESTIVAL 2012.

BOA shows that you don’t have to be the biggest festival to creatively reduce your carbon footprint. It has undergone a transformation in name and location, so there are bound to be some teething problems. As a result constructive criticism cannot be avoided, but neither should praise where praise is due. For BOA has given a lot of thought to find innovative, sustainable solutions to mitigate its emissions.

The move to Strijp-S in the city of Eindhoven, means that there is no grass to sit on. To compensate for the lack thereof, the festival is intimately sheltered by esthetically pleasing, vintage, industrial buildings. But no grass means a change in a festival attitude. If you look around, it becomes clear that this is not a festival audience: this is a nightlife crowd. They’re dressed up, waiting for the sun to set, to have a good time. And there is nothing wrong with that either, but it might explain the somewhat lukewarm response to the excellent daytime performances.

Here’s the line-up for the second day of the BOA festival:

12.30-13.15 Back Corner Boogie Band
13.45-14.30 Miss Montreal
15.00-16.00 Racoon
16.30-17.30 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
18.00-19.00 The Kyteman Orchestra
19.30-20.30 Milow
21.00-22.15 Simple Minds
22.45-00.00 Kaiser Chiefs


But on a sustainable level, BOA is curbing its CO2 footprint creatively, involving the Design Academy Eindhoven to design four water fountains that enables the BOA visitor to buy an empty, recycled water bottle from Brabant Water, which can be filled at a fountain at any time. The underlying intentions are several: promoting the high quality of the area’s tap water, limiting plastic bottle pollution and encouraging the audience to alternate alcohol consumption with water.


One of the biggest impacts on the environment in the music-industry are the audience travel emissions. To find a solution, BOA partnered with the NS railway company, to allow every festivalgoer to travel to the festival for only € 5,00, which is about $ 6,50, from any place in the country and back.

Responsible for recording the BOA Festival is DutchView. ‘Not a lot of thought has been put into the energy consuming world of television,’ says director Nico Roest. That’s why DutchView’s newest, more sustainable broadcast-van, the DV9, uses 30% less energy and cuts emissions by 40%.

The entire festival is powered by renewable energy, which is ‘a festival condition in this day and age’, according to BOA organizer Marc Meeuwis.

With strange blue outfits and lots of mandarins, the BOA ‘walking bins’ are walking the grounds, to reward every visitor with a healthy snack for disposing its waste in a bin. Bins are everywhere, but sadly as the day progresses a carpet of plastic beer cups is beginning to cover the grounds. BOA must have realized that it cannot influence the general mentality on a short notice, but it can think ahead by means of good waste management. Waste processing firm van Gansewinkel, is responsible for cleaning up the festival. Waste will be separated and plastic will be reprocessed into fleece clothing, plastic park benches and -lumber. One hour after closing time and every bit of waste is gone.

In my opinion, however beautiful the architecture, there ought to be grass for a genuine outdoor festival feel, but less subjectively BOA has reason to pride itself for its great line-up and sustainable commitments. 





© Circles on the Water, 2021