Royal Park Live and Zwarte Cross

Finally, it took a while, but I am ready to share the story about Royal Park Live and Zwarte Cross. I am sorry it took a while, but getting everything online (in Dutch) is already a big task and I also have a life (fulltime job, boyfriend, cat) next to everything Bouke..;)

On July 16th Bouke and ElvisMatters band played on Royal Park Live; a Dutch festival which is celebrated in front of Palace Soestdijk and goes on for a week.
Everyday there are 2 performances and on its ending day (Sunday) Bouke played in the afternoon with his fabulous ElvisMatters band. 
This festival gave Bouke an audience of 5000 enthusiastic people, a big stage in front of the palace, and lots of sunshine. 

A real highlight, cherry on the cake, golden touch, for Bouke, was his youngest son Harrie, who he called on stage to sing ´My Boy´ for him and dedicate it to both his sons; Jochem and Harrie.

Bouke & ElvisMatters band played a lot of classic Elvis songs which are also on the Bouke rocks Elvis setlist.
Extra songs were ´Hurt´ (while singing that song he shows how incredibly well he hits a note) and ´It´s Now Or Never´.

The amazingly put together Elvis-Medley made people swing, dance and sing.
To see everyone wave during ´The Wonder of You´ was a very special moment. It showed connection between Bouke & band and audience.
For me personally it somehow was an emotional moment; sometimes the realization comes what has all happened in a few months, after following and supporting Bouke for this many years (since 2006) and always believe he would make it someday.

This festival was truly a Royal, Golden experience. Funny fact; after the great performance was done, it started raining..

Hardly a week later (July 21th) Bouke & ElvisMatters band were invited to play on a even bigger stage; at Zwarte Cross 2023. 
This festival is visited by 200.000 people each year and is celebrated for one weekend. Friday, the day of Bouke´s performance, was the opening day. 
Zwarte Cross is a festival which originally started with motorcross and over the years they have made it bigger and bigger.
Several stages, shops, lots of food booths, a standup-comedian area, attraction fair, a camping, ITS BIG.
While I come from the neighborhood of were the festival finds place, I have never visited it before.. Now because of Bouke I did.. (kind of feel ashamed.. BUT I will go back next year!)

Playing on this incredible big, amazing stage, meant giving the performance of a lifetime, in front of 45.000 happy people. Let me say; very happy people! Literally everyone is happy at Zwarte Cross.
The phrase ´Nøhlen is dodelijk´ which means; ´complaining is deathly´, is used as a one liner of the festival. So really no one complains! Even not when it started raining AFTER Bouke´s performance.

Before Bouke started playing, the stage was given to another Dutch artist, one that is famous for a longer time in this country.
So it´s kind of cool to say this guy: Snelle (Lars) was Bouke´s supporting act.

What a show Bouke & ElvisMatters band have given here!
After Royal Park Live I thought; ´no, hard to beat this one - one of my favorites in 17 years´. But I was wrong.
Zwarte Cross, at least to me, was even better, amazing!
45.000 HAPPY people, a fully sunny BIG field and a very energetic Bouke & band. 

Bouke even said it himself afterwards; ´when you feel the energy of the people, you get more excited
There were people dancing, singing, even people that took each other on the neck to see more of Bouke & band.

The performance was a little bit shorter than at Royal Park Live, but he could have easily made a 2 hour show at Zwarte Cross. 
The people kept screaming that they wanted more.

Wow, what an experience.
Immediately told Zwarte Cross to invite Bouke again next year.
That would be so awesome!
If he does, then please be fast with buying your tickets, since this festival always is sold out in 2 hours!

More video´s of both festivals you can watch on my youtube-channel.
More photo´s you can find in the Dutch stories which includes photo-albums of both festivals:
Dutch story Royal Park Live
Dutch story Zwarte Cross
Please, when you use my pictures mention my website. I have put a lot of energy, time and hard work into these publications. I´ve seen my photo´s going around without my name, and it makes me feel sad that I have to start using copyrights or watermarks (for the video´s) - cause I really don´t like that, but I will do from now on..

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Michelle Shepard
een jaar geleden

Well written story, thank you so much. This is such great news. I am so excited for him and the band. I hope one day that I will be able to see him live in the US. Love to Bouke and the Elvis Matters band.

Sharon McClarrie
een jaar geleden

Love every performance Bouke and Elvis Matters band are magnificent

Tammy Borges
een jaar geleden

Irene this is great! Love your insight on the whole experience. Maybe I will get to be there one day. It sounds fantastic.

Loretta Sigmon
een jaar geleden

Thank you so much for the time that you have taken to share Bouke and his music with fans in the USA; I LOVE HIS MUSIC - what a talented man.