'You only discover Tilburg when you live there, not when you just visit.'

There is a reason why many young talents stay in Tilburg. To work or do business, often after their studies. In this series we find out why they stick around and how they rank the city.

This time: Tyrone Tjon-a-loi (1993), student Trend Research & Concept Creation in Lifestyle at Fontys and the brain behind open-minded platforms Goldfished, Ninja Patrol, Podcast City and T*Agency.


"I ended up in Tilburg for my studies, and I'm not done with it yet. Literally, that is, haha. I just do so much on the side, and school can sometimes be a hard fit. By the way, all things I do match with my studies. But now I'm working on my thesis, an assignment for the municipality of Tilburg, and then my studies will be finished and - fingers crossed - I will have my diploma. As a student, but also as a young person living here in Tilburg, it is incredible how easily everything is accessible. If you set up a concept, then everyone is willing to listen and help you, whether it's the authorities or the municipality or whatever. And are you looking for an internship for school or study? Then you can easily walk into an entrepreneur here. A chat and it is often arranged. Tilburg is a city full of opportunities and possibilities. To all young people who come to live or study here, I would say: come out of that bubble and go into the field."

"The real Amsterdam culture you hardly come across anymore. Here you can still find that pure folksy culture."


"I did an internship in Amsterdam for six months. That often seems like the place to be for culture. To be honest, I found it mostly overhyped and touristy. Give me the warm south. Although, for my taste, going out in Tilburg could be a bit more spiced up for such a big city. Tilburg doesn't really have anything exciting to offer me, apart from Club Smederij and 013. But when it comes to the creative scene: in Amsterdam everything is already there. Tilburg is in transition, here they are pioneering.


There is still plenty of room to build and create. It's one big playground. So much is still possible, and if you currently live here, you help lay the bricks. Subconsciously, there is a real Tilburg culture, one of tackling problems and working together. The real Amsterdam culture is hard to find. Here you can still find the pure folksy culture. And what's more, we are proud. Proud of Tilburg and of the South.

"Landmarks that define the face of the city for ever. You just have to dare and do that".


"You know, the inner city, it doesn't do much for me. It's a bit of an impersonal space with little greenery, especially in the newer places. And that while with the climate challenges we face, it's smart to take care of that. So downtown is not so much my thing. Except for the Dwaalgebied, there is a good atmosphere. But the neighborhoods around the city center, oh my, love them! The Korvel for example is my favorite area. Superfine vibe, many cultures together, toko's where you do your shopping for your dinner, you know. Or the Spoorpark, the largest citizen's initiative in the Netherlands. When you're there it feels like you're in a metropolis. Very 'un-Tilburg' and therefore typical Tilburg. Just like the LocHal in the Spoorzone. Such things lift the city to a whole new level. I sometimes envy how they are much more daring with architecture in Eindhoven. But hopefully we will continue here in Tilburg, like with the Stadsforum, and it will not be scaled down because of the costs. These kinds of landmarks determine the look of the city forever. And you just have to dare and do that."


"The corona pandemic is a tough challenge for everyone. Everything is interrelated and you notice that in the city. Personally, I find it challenging as well. With Lockdown Libi, an initiative of Ateliers Tilburg in collaboration with Studio Bangana and Pieterboys, we help young people get through that time. We organize a different event each time. What we have done so far? Music feedback sessions, where you can send in your demos and they will be judged in a live stream by rapper Antoon and producer Skiba. Online cooking sessions with ThommyCooking, for example, "How To Pimp Your Instant Noodles. Philosophy sessions, such as with Valentine's Day a Zoom session with philosophers Lotte Spreeuwenberg and Jenny Janssens about love. With theses on marriage, influence of the church, love for your partner versus your friends. And so on. 

You also have T*Agency here, an initiative of Theaters Tilburg that focuses on young adults between 16 & 30. T*Agency builds a community for these people and lets them organize things at the theater.

There is a super offer for young people if you are looking for fun or want to go into depth, or both. We do everything we can, but it should be even more visible. For everyone who is young and alone at home in Tilburg: send a message to T*Agency. Come and join us."

"It feels like we are just getting started".


"What is really a miracle for such a big city is that living here is still somewhat affordable. I live in the Piusstraat. Super cool atmosphere and I'm in no time where I want to be. I hope that there will be more investment in North, South and West, so that these areas also get more charisma and energy. And I am a fan of high-rise buildings. When I ride into Tilburg by train - look out and see the towers and construction sites - it really gives me a city feeling. It feels like we are just getting started. More and more young people are choosing to stay in Tilburg. There are also more and more international students, so that it becomes a melting pot of cultures and on the streets you hear all kinds of languages singing together. The city is growing. You know, you only discover Tilburg when you live there, not when you just visit it."