A stalwart stops- farewell Eric Boselie, Eindhoven247

Eric Boselie-EHV247
Eric Boselie-EHV247

Eric Boselie, director of Eindhoven247, retires today after 45 years of committing himself to the Eindhovenaars. Eindhoven News meets him on an afternoon to listen to his experiences and perhaps his life lessons. 

Pleasant and friendly, Boselie starts to chat comfortably …We have one hour to summarise his 45-year story. He gives all the attention and doesn’t seem in a hurry, even though he is on a tight schedule.


Born and raised in Tongelre…Boselie has always been active in the city. Hailing from a family of civil servants, working for the city felt very natural to him. His father was a union leader. He continued his education while he was working on his first job. He studied in the civil academy, which was a study for civil servants (HBO).  Boselie shares that he grew up in a part of the city where there was poverty, so he understands the ways of the world.

Director at twenty-one

Eric Boselie started his career working for the city of Eindhoven when he was a 17-year-old. At 21, he became the director of the parking unit of the city and was responsible for the automation of the parking facilities. Astounded by his career graph, I ask what he did so spectacularly to become a director at such a young age.

Boselie reflects, “I am not a traditional civil servant! I am street-smart and also have an eye for entrepreneurship. I get cues from listening and being in the background. By having an open mind and not judging, you can read the unspoken word. I was younger, so I didn’t overthink. I just wanted to support initiatives.”

In the eighties, his focus moved to events in Eindhoven. At that time, the events scene was picking up in Europe. So, with his flair for business, he worked hard to organise big events in the city. “Lazy but hardworking and street smart is an ironic quality which led me to this field, I guess”, reasons Boselie.

Dynamo Open Air

One of the biggest events initiated by Eric Boselie is Dynamo Open Air. It is a festival in Eindhoven which started in 1986 in the parking lots in the city centre. “Scouts, volunteers and carnival organisations also actively participated in putting together the event. We organised that in the city centre and where Meerhoven is now. We rented that place from the national govt. This is one of the best events I organised in my career,” recalls Boselie. Originally held to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Dynamo rock club in Eindhoven, it grew from 5,000 people in the Dynamo parking lot to 118,000 attendees in 1995. Dynamo Open Air was held (almost) every year between 1986 and 2005. It was reborn in 2008 as Dynamo Outdoor and in 2015 as Dynamo Metal Fest.

Glow Eindhoven

The GLOW festival is a light art festival held every November in Eindhoven.  Artists and designers present light art and design applications by using new media technologies. The GLOW festival was held for the first time in November 2006, and Boselie was instrumental in envisioning and executing such an iconic festival for Eindhoven. He affirms that it is a ‘real image event’ that gave Eindhoven an image of an iconic city, and he is one of the proud founders of Glow Eindhoven.

Dutch Design Week (DDW)

He organised the first Dutch Design Week, which initially started as design day and became a week soon after. Boselie considers DDW as the second big iconic event after Glow. “The rest of the country goes indoors in the cold months, and that’s when we go out. We avoid the competition from other events and also built our unique attractions”. Curious about how he managed to sell his ideas and raise funds, I inquired about his modalities.

“I know how the bureaucracy and the business world work, and I bridged these worlds to create a success potion. I had a keen eye for talented and committed people who weren’t important enough to get attention. And luckily, I still have that trait! I was committed to being the best in supporting the cause of the Eindhovenaars.”


In 2004, he started CityDynamiek, and this was the base organisation of the current city marketing organisation. When he started, they were only a team of six. “I like to call it a commando unit, and there are colleagues with me from back then. To be precise, four out of the six are still with me,” exclaims Boselie. That speaks loads about him. CityDynamiek was the third organisation in the country with an actual public-private enterprise. As part of this organisation, Boselie fostered slow and steady partnerships in the city among various organisations. “In the past, there weren’t many events in the city back then. CityDynamiek was an exception”.


In 2011, Eindhoven247 and Eindhoven365 were born. Eric Boselie and Peter Kentie spearheaded these organisations since then, and the rest is history… Eindhoven247 takes care of the events happening in Eindhoven and out-of-home city marketing.

Looking back

I casually asked if he would have done anything differently in all these 45 years, in hindsight. He pensively reaffirms, “Not much! You have to learn to be patient. Pace matters! Every organisation has a different pace, especially with democratic organisations, the pace is slower. So, you should know when to leap and when to sit on your hands… it’s a gut feeling, and you can’t learn that in any academy. You know it intuitively. Sometimes, I had to shelve ideas as the timing wasn’t right. I had to wait with the CityDynamiek idea for four years. You just have to believe that the right time will come and keep an eye out for the right opportunity.”

Notes to successor Roland Kleve

“Indeed, there are two wonderful teams (Eindhoven365 and Eindhoven247), so it’s important to guide and protect them while giving them space to flourish”, advises Boselie.

Feather in his cap 

Eric’s secretary cautions that his next guest has arrived, and I wrap up with the question of what he is most proud of in his long career.

“In the eighties and nineties, people weren’t proud to say they were from Eindhoven. My biggest achievement is making Eindhovenaars proud of their city by rebranding it into a happening city. I took risks as a civil servant, mostly calculated risks. I saw the little flowers (talents ) in odd places and gave them attention. As they say, the most beautiful flowers are found in odd places.”

Eric Boselie was talking to Beena Arunraj, editor-in-chief of Eindhoven News.

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