The Bolè Festival, the biggest food and music festival in Port Harcourt, took place recently.
The festival’s sixth edition took place in August, attracting thousands of visitors to the Yakubu Gowon Stadium. However, the excitement, experience and memories for many are still vivid in the vibrant city.
Bolé Festival 2022, themed Level up, is the sixth edition of the food festival, which began in 2016 to celebrate the iconic Port Harcourt street food. The festival celebrates the rich culture and variety ofpopular food with a scope of Southern heritage, attracting food enthusiasts and chefs, both local and international, from around the world. Bolé Festival grew from 300 attendees in 2016 to a record-breaking attendance of more than 25,000 people in 2021.
The festival included family-friendly activities such as music performances and the aesthetically stunning bamboo Bolè village, which hosted the famous Bolè stands, with attendees queuing up until 3 a.m. to try some bole and fish. Other side events included dance competitions, food fairs, comedy, and games.
The Bolè festival was founded by Nonso Iwuh in 2016, driven by a passion for promoting a southern heritage and lifestyle. Despite the rainy weather, the Bolè festival 2022 had over 28,000 attendees and more than 100 vendors across Nigeria over the two days. It was a classic case of “We Pin!” – a popular Port Harcourt slang that means “we are immovable!”
Speaking on the 2022 Bolè Festival, the Founder and Creative Director Nonso Iwuh said, “This is our sixth edition of the Bolè festival and the biggest so far. I am astounded by the evolution of the Bolè Festival over the years, and I am grateful to my team of brilliant, dedicated young minds who never fail to deliver. Our Bolè BFFs (attendees and well-wishers) are our greatest motivation; we are grateful for their trust and support. This year’s festival theme was “Level Up,” which symbolizes how we elevated our standards, resilience, and festival experience despite the pandemic’s setbacks
“At Bolè Festival, our identity and message are deeply rooted in food, culture, and community. It has allowed us to attract thousands of food lovers, brands, and businesses to celebrate our distinctive street food culture each year.” Elsie Alasia, Bolè Festival Marketing and Communication Lead.
Besides the food fair and games at the festival, the attendees enjoyed captivating musical performances by Ruger, Cavemen, and a variety of Port Harcourt’s best performances. Other celebrities and influencers who performed included Nedu Wazobia, Nas Boi and Mr Funny, among others.
Iwuh said regarding the next Bolè Festival, “Our 2023 edition is expected to be even more exciting. We are constantly looking for new ways to enhance the festival experience for our guests and partners.”