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bOing! Family Festival bounces back bigger than ever!

12 Sep 2017

Fast becoming a must-do event of the summer for families, the bOing! International Family Festival 2017 saw over 11,500 people interact with the festival with over 9,500 engaging over the course of the weekend and 2,000 engaging with Secret Encounters by C-12 Dance in Canterbury City Centre and Beastie at Sidney Cooper Gallery during the week running up to the festival. Families were drawn to the festival from across the South East, as well as a few international visitors.

The festival in facts & figures:
Over 6000 tickets sold, the festival saw an increase of sales by 20% on 2016.
Over 100 performances and events
Over 3,000 people entered the Pentalum Luminarium
246 workshop participants
868 attenders watched world bboy champions The Ruggeds perform Adrenaline
924 people watch local musicians perform in the Art31Kent busking area, 7 young dancers from Herne Bay High School performed the curtain raiser before The Ruggeds performance of Adrenaline and 12 members of Gulbenkian Youth Theatre performed pop up performances and 10 local young people helped organise the ART31Kent busking area. Plus 7 TECH31 members aged under 18 helped with the technical aspects of the festival.
Over 200 staff and volunteers help make the festival happen
1037 ice-creams and 947 hot drinks

Feedback from audience members has been incredible:
‘Fabulous fun for all the family.’ Festival attender
‘It was the best Boing yet.’ Festival attender
‘The Cirque du Platzak and Motosikai performances were A-MAZ-ING. My children decided to watch the circus a second time on Sunday, they loved it that much.’ Festival attender

‘Amazing festival! Variety of shows and events, suitable for all ages. We enjoyed it so much on Saturday, we went back to see some more on Sunday. We will try and not miss it next year! Thank you to everyone who organized and helped organising it. Brilliant!’ Festival attender

‘Really friendly festival for all the family. A great mix of art, acrobatics, music, dance, circus and fun.’ Festival attender.

‘Had a great day (Saturday) at Boing. I have a nearly 2 and nearly 8 year old and it catered fantastically for the whole family, with something for everyone. There were some fantastic acts, we loved the luminarium, Josephine bean, concerto para bebes and the circus. Well done Boing team, thank you.’ Festival attender

‘AMAZING! Luminarium & Kubla Khan fabulous for those with special needs.’ Festival attender

Following this brilliant weekend of celebration and creativity, Liz Moran, Director of Gulbenkian said:

“bOing! 2017 has been even more successful than we could ever have hoped for engaging nearly 11,500 people! More families than ever before attended performances at the festival. Thank you to all our wonderful international and local artists, staff, volunteers and audiences who made bOing! 2017 so special. Planning is already underway for bOing! 2018.”

Created by Gulbenkian, bOing! took place on Saturday 26 August and Sunday 27 August on the beautiful University of Kent campus in Canterbury, the festival showcased work by leading UK and international companies, artists and performers creating work that appeals to all ages.

The programme had a range of new work including bOing! Commission – Andy Manley’s A Little Wilder, world bboy champions from The Netherlands – The Ruggeds performing Adrenaline, Norwegian company Dybwikdans’ charming The Ugly Duckling, Portuguese company Musicalmente’s Concerto Para Bebes, Finnish company Race Horse Company’s Motosikai and Lone Twin’s Beastie. Alongside that bOing! presented the premiere of Kubla Khan by Oily Cart, the stunning Pentalum Luminarium and much more in a packed weekend of performance and activities.

Further information about the festival is available online at or call Gulbenkian Tickets & Information on 01227 769075.


ART31 takes its name from Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that ‘Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’.

ART31 is a vision created with, by, and for young people in Kent, championing the belief that all children and young people have an entitlement to access high quality arts and culture, to empower them to achieve their creative potential, and to genuinely engage young people as equal partners in any decision making that affects them.

The ART31 Youth Board is made up of young people from across Kent aged 13-25 who steer its governance, and influence policy and practice across the county and beyond, challenging the creative sector to examine existing ways of working and integrate young people into the core of their practice.

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