About us / History

The Krakow Festival Office was founded in 1997 as a municipal cultural institution. First of all, the goal of the Kakow 2000 Festival Office was to organize prestigious events in practically all areas of culture. The five-year programme was carried out in connection with the granting of the title of a European Cultural Capital 2000 to the City of Krakow. Several projects were carried out in that period, including a few dozen festivals, and as a result the Office established itself as a major organiser of cultural events in Poland and Europe. In view of the Office’s unique experience, contacts and know-how, the City decided that its activity would continue beyond that period. Since 2005 the institution has operated under its present name -- the Krakow Festival Office.

Today the Krakow Festival Office produces and promotes great cultural events of local, national and international outreach. These include prestigious ad critically acclaimed musical events – from the Misteria Paschalia Festival enhancing the atmosphere of the Holy Week, through the avant-garde concerts of the Sacrum Profanum Festival and the prestigious Opera Rara Festival, to the spectacular Krakow Film Music Festival, considered the world’s most important festival devoted to screen music. The Office also acts as the operator of the strategic programme Krakow- UNESCO City of Literature, and literary festivals: the Conrad festival devoted to prose and the Milosz Festival focused on poetry. The Krakow Festival Office also deals with theatrical art (the Divine Comedy Festival). It is a promoter of such cultural projects as the Netia Off Camera Festival of Independent Cinema, and the Krakow Live Music Festival. The Krakow Festival Office publishes Karnet monthly, manages the ICE Kraków Congress Centre (twice selected as the best congress centre in New Europe), and the Krakow Film Commission. It administers eight InfoKraków Tourist Information Centres, runs the portal Kraków.Travel and Kids in Kraków – a platform collecting information on the most interesting initiatives for children in Krakow and Małopolska

The team of the Krakow Festival Office spares no effort to keep the highest standard of concerts, festivals and every other project it has carried out for years. The events have earned an excellent brand name among critics and audiences alike, as well as among the Office’s partners all over the world, and attract crowds of culture lovers to the city. To our great satisfaction, we can see crowds of music aficionados -- sophisticated classical music connoisseurs and pop music fans – drawing to Krakow from all over the world–. The city has become a European cultural centre comparable to the greatest and the most active metropolises on our continent. It is also noticed by the media. The prestigious Press magazine sets Berlin as a model city of culture – adding that in Poland only Krakow represents the same way of thinking about culture and stressing that territorial marketing experts mention first and foremost Krakow as a model example of how to use culture to build the city’s image and to attract visitors. The opinion-making Wprost weekly goes even further and announces: Krakow breathes deep! 

Krakow’s events also receive coverage by the most prestigious titles of world press, e.g. The GuardianBBC Music MagazineFrankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Gramophone. Our concerts are broadcasted by Polish Radio 2 and 3. The stars appearing at our events are often hosts to TVN programmes – Dzień Dobry TVN and Co za tydzień which get an audience of millions. Our events can easily compete with the world’s greatest concerts and festivals as far as production standards and the use of modern technologies are concerned.

In 2016, The Krakow Festival Office, on behalf of the City of Krakow and 52 initiatives co-organised by the Municipality, submitted an application to the International Festivals & Events Association, and as a result Krakow was granted the prestigious title of the World Festival & Event City 2016.

The international Jury awarded the title to Krakow in recognition of the City's consistent efforts in establishing its position as the leader among Festival Cities of Central and Eastern Europe. Special appreciation was given to orienting City Festivals towards even greater involvement of local communities and strengthening the city`s cultural identity.

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