We have already made great achievements, but we are constantly changing to respond to the needs of participants in our events.

Our history dates back to 1997 when Kraków was preparing to take on the mantle of European Capital of Culture. The celebrations included over 570 cultural events, and the city needed an institution which would organise and coordinate activities and promote our city at home and abroad. That was the origin of the Festival Office Kraków 2000. We changed our name to Kraków Festival Office eight years later, and since 2020 we have been known simply as KBF. We still have the same goal: to develop culture in Kraków and to develop through this culture.

The first director was Bogusław Sonik, followed by Jolanta Róża Kozłowska, Agnieszka Gilarska, Magdalena Sroka, Izabela Błaszczyk and Magdalena Doksa-Tverberg. The current director of KBF is Carolina Pietyra. Our institution was and is shaped by people who bring their own experiences and interests to its activities, and who are able to make the most of what they learned with us in later stages of their careers in senior positions at national institutions, NGOs and international cultural networks. We talk about our work every day on social media, in the press and at meetings at the Potocki Palace – and you will encounter many of us at events we host.



Our longest-running brands include music events acclaimed the world over. Since 2000, we have been celebrating the shortest night of the year alongside thousands of Cracovians and tourists at the Wianki Music Festival. Over the years, the outdoor stages have hosted representatives of all music genres, including major stars such as Marillion, Jamiroquai and Lenny Kravitz. Since 2003, we have been celebrating experimental music during the Sacrum Profanum festival. The festival has hosted up-and-coming artists, veterans of the avantgarde and alternative musicians, including Aphex Twin, Jonny Greenwood, Kraftwerk, Mike Patton and Sigur Rós. The Misteria Paschalia festival has been marking the special atmosphere of Holy Week since 2004. Events hosted in historic churches, concert halls and the Chapel of St. Kinga at the Wieliczka Salt Mine have resounded with Jordi Savall, René Jacobs, Fabio Biondi and Leonardo García Alarcón. The Krakow Film Music Festival, famous for its spectacular productions, has been the key event in May since 2008. Co-hosted with RMF Classic, the event has hosted winners of Oscars and other prestigious awards, with the artists including Hans Zimmer, Volker Bertelmann, Elliot Goldenthal, Howard Shore, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek and Alexandre Desplat. KBF is also partnered with the Kraków Live Festival – a summertime event covering a wide range of popular music genres, from hip-hop via rock all the way to electronica.



Since 2013, we have been the strategic operator of the Kraków UNESCO City of Literature programme which includes a wide range of activities supporting authors, the publishing industry and readers. Together with the Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation we organise the Conrad Festival celebrating prose. Every autumn since 2009, authors flock to Kraków to discuss their books and some of the most important issues of the contemporary world. Past guests of the festival include Svetlana Alexievich, Paul Auster, Martín Caparrós, Dorota Masłowska, Herta Müller, Wiesław Myśliwski, Amos Oz, Orhan Pamuk, Arundhati Roy, Olga Tokarczuk, Oksana Zabuzhko and Serhiy Zhadan.
Launched the same year, the Miłosz Festival is inspired by the former Cracovian Meetings of Poets of the East and West held under the patronage of Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz. Ferida Duraković, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Oswald and Charles Simic are just some of the leading figures of global poetry who have attended the festival so far. The programme of the Kraków UNESCO City of Literature project also includes events such as the Writing School, Reading School, literary residencies and the Kraków UNESCO City of Literature Prize for authors, translators and editors.



KBF is also involved in filmmaking. We operate the Kraków Film Commission whose mission is supporting cinematic productions in the city and throughout the Małopolska voivodeship. We also work with organisers of important events, such as the Kraków Film Festival mainly dedicated to documentaries. We are also proud to be involved with the Mastercard OFF Camera International Festival, which turns Kraków into a capital of independent cinema every year.


Interdisciplinary activities

In 2021, marking the centenary of the birth of Stanisław Lem – acclaimed author and futurologist who continues to be a major influence on readers all over the globe – we launched the Megabit Bomb Festival of the Future. The one-of-a-kind event, bringing together the worlds of culture, science and technology, is co-organised with the Future Poland Institute. The debates, exhibitions and workshops explore themes which are likely to define the world in the coming years. Participants in the festival include Prof. Jerzy Bralczyk, S. Małgorzata Chmielewska, Dr. Sylwia Chutnik, Prof. Aleksandra Przegalińska, Filip Springer, Adam Wajrak, Prof. Karolina Wigura and Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia.


Potocki Palace

We have been co-hosts of the Potocki Palace since 2021. The creative space at the Rynek Główny is open to locals and tourists alike. The venue is the home of the Kraków UNESCO City of Literature programme, as well as being a space for discussion among readers and authors. The extensive programme also includes low-key events from the worlds of music, intermedia and visual arts, as well as workshops and integrative meetings encouraging participants to exchange diverse experiences.



KBF has been involved in publishing for several years. We run the popular website Karnet, providing information on the most fascinating cultural events in the city, and the official municipal tourist portal Kraków Travel. We publish three magazines: the bilingual “Kraków Culture”, the specialist quarterly literary journal “Czas Literatury” and the monthly “Kraków i Świat”. We also support thought-provoking new publications through the Kraków UNESCO City of Literature programme.


Further back…

In the past, we have also managed a range of other popular projects such as the St. John’s Fair, Kraków Art Salon and Pierogi Festival. KBF was also a co-organiser of the avantgarde Opera Rara festival. We have also been closely involved with tourism: until November 2022, KBF was the administrator of nine points of the InfoKraków tourist information network. We were also responsible for founding and launching the ICE Kraków Conference Centre, which we managed until September 2022.


Our partners

Miasto Kraków
Agencja Rozwoju Miasta Krakowa
Unia Europejska