Festival Belluard Bollwerk International


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Dear all,

For the first time in the 34-year-long history of Belluard, the fortress plays host to only one project for the entire duration of the festival. Since early May, the young gaming-theatre collective machina eX has been busy developing Bastion 2492, an immersive experience somewhere between computer game, play and installation. A dark plot unfolds within these medieval walls: in groups of 12, the audience works as a team to solve a series of puzzles and perform various tasks to get to the heart of the story. 

As usual, the Arsenal, hosting bar, restaurant and ticket office is the centre of the festival. Just around the corner, Moroccan choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen and her horde of Corbeaux officially opens the festival on 22 June. Coprouduction, a dance performance involving a professional, an amateur and a black BMW, takes place a stone’s throw away; also the Arsen’alt is the venue for intimate performances and projects that offer festival goers a close up and personal experience or embark them on short rambles around the neighbourhood. But more than anything, this year, the Belluard serves as base camp for festival goers before they set off on artistic treks to discover projects in the city, the suburbs and the countryside. The Festival veers off the beaten track and explores the changing face of the city of Fribourg, goes to its borders and further out into nature. 

Coaches leave from the Belluard complex, ferrying the audience to secret locations in and around the city. Opening into the Night by the Zurich collective mercimax is an expedition into the vastness of the universe, while Massimo Furlan’s Travelling takes festival goers on a fun and fantastical trip through familiar, yet strange parts of the city. Music in the funicular railway, an architectural structure in the Rue des Epouses, a concert in the Tour Vagabonde, another in the middle of the bowling lane, and an audiovisual installation on the blueFACTORY site can be discovered on foot. blueFACTORY is also the venue for the mother of all closing parties on 1 July, after a concert involving a bunch of synthesizers. Public transport takes festival goers to the Boulevard des Champs and the Universal Exhibition at Schwarzsee, while shuttle buses bring them to the Magdelena Hermitage where giant moles perform a series of Troglodyte concerts, and to a dinner date with Manon & Jean de Florette. The latter sees the Comp.Marius set up its timber rostrum somewhere deep in the Fribourg countryside and invites festival goers to enjoy an unforgettable afternoon of moving and humorous story-telling, fine performances by a fabulous cast and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.  

The 2017 edition of the Belluard Festival sheds new light on the everyday, as seen through the eyes of the artists. Join us on our expedition into unknown places, which are right here on our doorstep! 

Anja Dirks and the Belluard Festival team