The Boom Festival, which takes place in Idanha-a-Nova, from July 22 to 29, will receive nearly 41,000 people from 177 nationalities, with tickets sold out in an hour and a half.
The 13th edition of this biennial festival that takes place in Idanha-a-Nova, in the Castelo Branco district, was canceled in 2020 and 2021, due to the covid-19 pandemic, and rescheduled for July 2022.
“We are going to receive some 41 thousand people in this edition. As always, the demand was immense, it far exceeded the supply. Tickets sold out in an hour and a half. The fact that the pandemic postponed last year’s edition did not reduce the enthusiasm of the ‘boomers’ at all”, Artur Mendes, from the organization, explained to the Portuguese agency.
In 2009, the year in which the Boom Festival was installed in the Herdade da Granja, the organization also moved its headquarters to the municipality of Idanha-a-Nova, creating, since then, the IdanhaCulta association, which is dedicated to social, cultural, recreational and environmental.
The organization finally acquired this 180-hectare property in 2017.
“We could receive more and more people, but it would be exactly the opposite of what we want, that is, we want to improve the experience, we want there to be balance. We could do Boom every year, but we only do it every two years and that’s also an investment in sustainability. Knowing how to stop, knowing how not to grow excessively is a responsibility that we fully assume. It is our commitment”, he maintained.
Artur Mendes highlighted that the Boom Festival is the cultural event with the most diversity from the point of view of nationalities: 85% of the public is foreign.
In this edition, 177 nationalities will be represented, especially French, German and Israeli.
“Dutch, Swiss, Swedish and Spanish are also present in large numbers. We have a North Korean visitor and three Polynesians. It is important to point out that it is not the specific contingent of a country that defines the Festival, nor is that what interests us. The important thing is the diversity of people from all over the world who live the Boom experience and who repeat it edition after edition”, he defended.
The program for this year’s edition has 21 official stages, 544 artists, 181 facilitators, 69 assistants and 100 therapists.
In total, there are 894 people who make up the 2022 program.
The extensive lineup includes performances by artists such as Agents of Time, Astrix, Acid Arab, Angélica Salvi, Burnt Friedman with João Pais Filipe, Club Makumba, Fogo Fogo, Kimi Djabaté, Norberto Lobo and Pantha du Prince.
“Many visit us for yoga, wellness practices, art, workshops, meditation, but other boomers just come here to enjoy the moment. Boom is also made up of little corners, detailed gardens, temporary architecture, eco-friendly designs, and a very specific human vibe. The idea of communion is what moves us. The Boom experience is about being Boom, not just looking,” said Artur Mendes.
The person in charge of the organization highlighted that they are on the farm all year round, where they have a permanent team and the work is daily.
“Let me give you some examples of what we do: we built a water treatment plant with a capacity of seven million liters to treat gray water from the festival showers and reuse it for irrigation, to support the regeneration and reforestation of boomland. We built 112 new showers with recycled plastic and 94 new bathrooms, some made with recycled plastic and others with recycled materials from car interiors.”
The organization of the Boom Festival will continue to limit bathing times as a way to help conserve water and has 100% compostable toilets.
After treatment and analysis, the compost is returned to the land to create soil in the forest part.
“As I told you, we are on the farm every day, we work every day, we take care of the land. Trees and vegetation are treated and respected. Since 2015, Boom’s reforestation program has planted 925 trees and 120 bush units,” she said.
The transport of the ‘boomers’ is another aspect to which the organization is especially attentive. In the last edition, in 2018, about 30% of the public traveled through the ‘Boom Bus’, an initiative created by the event in 2006.
To take advantage of this service, simply book the ticket and take the ‘Boom Bus’ at one of the stops organized in Portugal, but also in Spain, France or Switzerland, and it is yet another way to promote and make sustainability a reality, in this case through shared mobility.
“We still do not have the final data for this year, but it is an initiative that we will continue to promote. The effort to reduce emissions, however, does not end there. We promote, in collaboration with Liftshare, the transfer of free seats in vehicles for ‘boomers’ who travel with space available to share”, explains Artur Mendes.
This year, and for the third consecutive edition, the festival will also feature the ‘Boom Bike Village’, which welcomes ‘boomers’ who travel by bicycle.
In 2018, more than a hundred ‘Boom Cyclists’ were counted.
To the Lusa agency, Artur Mendes explained that the fact of being in the interior of the country is a factor that values, distinguishes and defines the Boom Festival.
“We are very happy with this choice. We are not even a music festival anymore, because we are much more than that. We don’t just offer concerts, nor are we where most people are throughout the year, that is, in the big cities. Of course, in Lisbon or Porto everything is easier, because there is a critical mass, the systems are in place, the public infrastructures are guaranteed, even a big concert with 60 or 70 thousand people is seen with, let’s say, a certain normality because of the authorities,” he stressed.
This official understands that inside “more work, more effort, more monitoring and much more personal and economic investment is needed.”
However, the effort has borne fruit: “People know us, they know that we are not just passing through. They know we have given back to the region.”
According to data provided by the organization, between October 2017 and October 2018, 84% of the people who worked at Boom were Portuguese and a total of 13.3% (214) of the employed personnel were from the Castelo Branco region.
In the 2018 edition of the festival, of the total of 203 construction suppliers (equipment, tools and materials), 183 were national (90%) and 63 from the region (31%).
As for restaurant and bar suppliers (the organization provides all restaurants with a list of national and regional suppliers), 73% were national.
“We are not here to import talent, we use and promote the region’s talent. We are not here to import food and other raw materials, we always try to use those from the region first. We are not here to use the public resources of the region, we treat the water, we moderate energy consumption, we reduce the footprint as much as possible. Living and being indoors should be this. A commitment to the region. The boom lasts a week, but our relationship with Idanha lasts and lasts the whole year”, she maintained.
Contacts between the organization and the General Directorate of Health (DGS) are regular and intensify during the festival.
“It is good for everyone that covid-19 has reached an endemic phase, because it is important to bring people together in cultural events. The fact that Boom is outdoors and in such a large area, 180 hectares, is a factor that sets us apart”, he concluded.