There is still a week to go before the big Lego fair at the Geelse university of applied sciences can welcome thousands of lovers of the building blocks, but some members of Bricks-and-More (BAM) are already busy with the preparations. Because the organization, which in fact arose from the parent committee of the free primary school Sint-Hubertus in Geel-Ten Aard, is once again presenting a true showpiece this edition. After the 3.5 meter high replica of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, builder Peter Wouters has completed a new project: an extensive model of Tomorrowland’s main stage, including the famous rolling hill and a crowd of festival goers.
“I actually had this idea before I started building the Burj Khalifa, but I didn’t really know how to approach it,” says the creative mind in the BAM company. “I started the construction after our fair last year. During the summer the construction activity comes to a standstill, but I have been working on it for almost a year. This is a copy of it Book of Wisdomstage of Tomorrowland from 2019. Here it is of course called Book of BAM.”
However, the project has grown into a much greater result than he initially planned. “I started with the center part of the stage and gradually expanded along both sides. At a certain point you get an idea of how broad it will become. When I had finished, I thought that the famous green slope in De Schorre in Boom should not be missing. And when it was finished, it seemed quite empty and I started looking for figures that would form the audience.”
The company found this at a Dutch dealer in second-hand Lego who is a regular seller during the Geelse fair. “I wrote to him asking if we could find enough Lego figures from him,” says BAM chairman Pieter Van Aerde. “He asked ‘how many do you need?’. We asked for three thousand. “Come on down,” he said. We assumed we would loot his entire stash, but you couldn’t even tell the difference. That man really has an incredible amount of Lego material. We are then yesterday (last Thursday, ed.) started placing all those figures in the decor. In the end it turned out to be 2,549 Lego figures. And then we got tired of it. (laughs)” And to perfectly recreate the world-famous festival, it includes a real light show and video screens. A real DJ will even play music during the fair.
With real water
Book of BAM is only a fraction of what the fair has to offer. This now occupies an extra floor on the campus, so that the whole area grows to 5,000 square meters. There is work to be admired by 168 builders from ten different countries. Among them also Dirk Denoyelle, about twenty official Lego Masters and the American brothers Joel and Jonathan Neuber. “They made an island Pirates of the Caribbean after all, with boats on real water. One of them is currently living in Germany for a year for his work, which means we can show the work here exceptionally.”
Bricks-and-More Winter Edition will take place on Saturday 11 (2 p.m. – 8 p.m.) and Sunday 12 November (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) on the Thomas More campus in Kleinhoefstraat in Geel. Tickets cost €6.5 (3-12 years) and €8.50 (+12 years).