Brabantsedag the annual theatre parade returns this year after a pandemic break. People who don’t know Brabantsedag Heeze (yet!) are rare. If you have witnessed it once, then you’re hooked on it for life. As an official partner, Eindhoven News presents FAQs about the speciality of this annual gala.
People from Heeze talk with pride and enthusiasm about this most beautiful event, which keeps most of Heeze busy all year round, and under its spell. For the village of Heeze and fans from Brabant, The Netherlands and abroad,the last Sunday of August is a given. It has been so for more than sixty years.Why? These are the answers.
8 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BRABANTSEDAG
1. IS THE BRABANTSEDAG A PARADE? IS THAT REALLY FUN?
Fun… That is an understatement! Talk to any member of our audience of tens
of thousands of spectators and they will describe that last Sunday of August as
an unforgettable spectacle of rolling theatre sets, with thousands of actors, full
of music, play, emotions, movement, and interaction. The ‘biggest theatre
parade of the year; no exaggeration here!
2. AH, JUST LIKE A CARNIVAL PARADE?
NO. NOPE. NOT EVEN CLOSE.
We love carnival too, especially the beautiful creations in the carnival parades
all over Brabant. But Brabantedag Heeze takes it many big steps further.
Brabantsedag brings the history of the Duchy of Brabant to life. The rolling
and towering theatre sets all have a subject that is linked to the annual theme,
the source of inspiration for the sixteen float building groups. The parade
brings past events from the Duchy to life, creatively translated into our time
and imposing by original designs, moving play, and daring technique.
3. IS THE BRABANTSEDAG IN HEEZE? WHERE IS HEEZE?
Heeze lies south of Eindhoven. The village is easily accessible by train, bike, or
via both the A2 and the A67. Heeze has its own castle and is surrounded by
acres and acres of woods and moors; it’s called the pearl of Brabant for very
4. SO HOW DO YOU PREPARE ALL YEAR-ROUND?
The construction season starts with the theme presentation, at the end of
October or the beginning of November. The theme for the coming edition gives the
float building groups inspiration and directions, and they’ll know which
conditions their designs must fulfil.
With this theme in mind, the brainstorming and design process starts at many
kitchen, meeting, and bar tables: ‘Which topic or which person should we
choose?’ The builders and designers will research their topic extensively online
and in archives. The subject of their story must after all be historically correct,
and understandable for a broad audience.
Then, the first tentative design drawings see the light. Drawings are submitted
to Stichting Brabantsedag, which monitors the high standard of creativity and
diversity. The groups also consult and support each other; they review each
other’s designs, give tips and advice, and exchange techniques,
expertise, and materials. They each contribute to ‘their’ biggest theatre parade of the year, among other things via the joint platform for groups.
Spring is the season of elaborating: What will the float look like? How will this
be achieved technically? The story? The clothing? The play? The costs? The
music? The message?
In June, Heeze starts to bubble visibly, when the enormous building marquees
rise everywhere. Then the real construction starts, with a tight deadline of the
last Sunday of August. The three busy summer months are dedicated to
building, brazing, welding, glueing, and painting. In the meantime, the
members of the groups also develop into actors, stylists, makeup artists, and
fashion designers. The costumes, the decoration, the music, the play; in short,
the story comes to life. And all that happens with a lot of fun together!
5. HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL TAKE PART IN THE
Stichting Brabantsedag is particularly proud of their 16 float-building
groups. Together they bring about 2,000 active buildings and actors into
action. Their families, colleagues, neighbours, and friends also make
indispensable contributions. From Stichting Brabantsedag, there are another 150 volunteers behind the scenes who organize the Brabantsedag all year round, in working groups such as Sponsoring, Marketing & PR, Programming, Technical Service, Finance and more.
On the last Sunday of August itself, there are also several hundred volunteers
on the job around the parade. All in all, Brabantsedag Heeze is carried by around 4,000 people from Heeze and the surrounding area; not bad at all for a village with about 10,000
inhabitants, right? And even better: each and every one of them is a volunteer
– but a professional and dedicated one! – with no pay at all.
6. CAN I JUST BECOME A BUILDER IN A BUILDING GROUP?
Yes, you can. Everyone is creative, everyone has an – unexpected – talent;
designing, carpentry, welding, painting, acting, makeup, and making costumes.
Every float building group consists of these talents and skills. Feel like
participating? Then contact the group and they will help you further!
7. HOW HAS THIS BEEN SUCH A SUCCESS FOR 63 YEARS?
In all modesty: Brabantsedag is just unique! That’s because of the involvement
of all those hundreds of people contributing and carrying the event.
Then there is the event as a complete experience: atmosphere, music, street
theatre, art, performances, artists, good food and drinks, with something for
everyone, young and old.
But the main factor is and will be the incredible and high level – literally! –
the creativity you will admire in the streets of Heeze, every last Sunday of August.
Brabantsedag truly is something you’ve never seen before. Besides, every year
the parade is a spectacle anew because of the changing and challenging
theme: floats become even more beautiful and elaborate, drama more
impressive, stories more interesting, emotions more powerful, techniques
8. WHAT DOES IT ALL COST?
Time. Energy. And indeed euros. The business community of Heeze, the local
hospitality industry and shopkeepers are doing their bit, but our partners,
main sponsors, sponsors and sub sponsors are particularly valued fellow
And let’s not forget our highly esteemed audience: by buying a ticket (presale
until August 1 only at 10 euros, presale August 1 st -27 is 11 euros (children up to 12 years free of charge), grandstand 12, 50 or 25 euros) they will contribute to an even bigger and more beautiful theatre parade next year!
You can buy your tickets at https://www.brabantsedag.nl
You can also win free tickets to Brabantsedag by answering some questions on the Eindhoven News quiz.
Source: Stichting Brabantsedag