Food, fun, thrills at 2022 Bole Festival in Port Harcourt
Thousands of visitors were attracted to the sixth edition of one of the big food and music events, Bolè Festival, which took place at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, Rivers State recently.
With the 2022 edition themed ‘Level Up’, the vibrant city of Port Harcourt attracted both local and international food enthusiasts and chefs.
The Bole Festival, which celebrates the iconic Port Harcourt street food, began in 2016 to showcase the rich culture and variety of the popular food with a scope of Southern heritage. The festival grew from 300 attendees in 2016 to a record-breaking attendance of more than 25,000 people in 2021.
The 2022 edition lineups include 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 3am to try some bole and fish. Other side events include dance competitions, food fairs, comedy, and games.
Despite the rain, the Bolè festival 2022 had over 28,000 attendees and more than 100 vendors from across Nigeria for the two days that the event lasted. It was a classic case of “We Pin” – a popular Port Harcourt slang which means “we are immovable”.
Speaking on the 2022 edition, the Founder and Creative Director, Nonso Iwuh, said: “This sixth edition of the Bole Festival is the biggest so far. I am astounded by the evolution of the festival over the years, and I am grateful to my team of brilliant, dedicated young minds who never failed to deliver. Our Bolè BFFs (attendees and well-wishers) are our greatest motivation; we are grateful for their trust and support. The theme of this year’s edition,‘Level Up’ symbolises how we elevated our standards, resilience, and festival experience despite the pandemic’s setbacks”.
The Marketing and Communication Lead, Elsie Alasia, said: “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.”
Aside from the food fair and games at the festival, the attendees enjoyed captivating musical performances by Ruger, Cavemen, and a variety of Port Harcourt’s performers. Other celebrities and influencers who performed include Nedu Wazobia, Nas Boi and Mr. Funny.