"Bal à Fives" of Lille

1. Context

Fives, a former working class neighbourhood in the eastern part of Lille centre, can be defined as traditional and cosmopolitan. Since the end of industrialisation, Fives has been a neighbourhood in full renewal. This change enables it to reinvigorate itself based on a strong social mix but also its residents’ commitment.

The project has its origins in Fives dance hall, unused for a long time. The hall was restored in 2004. Given that Lille City Council wished to reinvigorate the cultural life of the neighbourhood, in 2006 it decided to launch a cultural season called “Bals à Fives” as the common thread of sustainable development. The initiative, framed within its Agenda 21 for culture, is governed by an approach based on sustainable development, which has continuously evolved to improve and expand good practices applied to a cultural event.

“Bals à Fives” reflects the social and generational mixing of the city and is therefore an intercultural exchange keenly anticipated and valued by participants.

2. The project

The “Bals a Fives”, a pilot project for the implementation of Lille City Council’s Agenda 21 for culture, has followed the precepts of sustainable development for a cultural project focused on a determined area: the Fives neighbourhood. The “Bals” is a festive event in constant evolution:

  • a demanding multidisciplinary artistic programme, mixing local and international amateur and professional artists from different geographic and time origins.
  • a local project seeking to raise awareness among residents of the different artistic styles featured in the dancing sessions and to involve the residents in the event through the implementation of awareness-raising actions.
  • an expansion of good sustainable development practices devoted to the organisation of events through the monitoring of local cultural operators
  • expertise in the field of sustainable events.

The main actors of the project are the following:

  • The different city council services: administrative and financial infrastructure of the project, logistical production of the event (technical team, borrowing material), communications, safety, …
  • The partner associations of the dancing sessions: artistic programming (artistic contract, reception of audience, artist).
  • Local associations (artistic partner of the dancing sessions and territorial associations), local structures, traders, residents of the neighbourhood: organisation of awareness-raising workshops, local communications centres.

High quality and varied multidisciplinary artistic programming reflects Fives cultural diversity.

3. Goals and challenges

The objective of the project “Bals à Fives” is to participate in the invigoration and cultural development of Fives through quality and varied multidisciplinary artistic programming that reflects its cultural diversity. The project also sought to encourage the residents to participate in the preparation of the project and promote good practices in terms of sustainable events among cultural operators and actors.

4. Lille-Fives and culture: which impacts, which results?

The most important point related to the real impact of the project is that “Bals à Fives” reflects the social and generational mixing of the city and is therefore an intercultural exchange keenly anticipated and valued by participants. In fact, we are re-adapting this pilot project according to the implementation of our Agenda 21 for culture. It is difficult to provide advice to other cities and contexts but the main advice would be to always build the project with the people, artists and residents of the neighbourhood in keeping with what is being done at a local level.

5. Other information

Website: http://www.lille.fr/cms/accueil/culture-lille/Spectacles-et-concerts/bals-a-fives


This article has been written by B. SAINGIER, production manager at Lille City Council.

Contact: bsaingier(at)mairie-lille.fr


"Bal à Fives" of Lille