History

The KBF was established in 1997 as a municipal cultural institution. The first objective of the institution, then known as the Krakow 2000 Festival Office, was to organise a series of prestigious events covering nearly all areas of culture – this five-year programme was linked to Krakow receiving the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2000. The projects carried out during that time, including several dozen festivals, have consolidated our position as an important organiser of cultural events in Poland and Europe. Our unique experience, contacts and know-how guided our decision to keep the Office active post-2000. We adopted the Krakow Festival Office name in 2005.

Today we simply refer to ourselves as the KBF, from the Polish acronym for culture, business and festivals. These are the main areas that define who we are and what is our mission in Krakow.

We deal with organisation and promotion of large-scale cultural events with local, national and international scope. These include prestigious and critically acclaimed music events – from the Misteria Paschalia Festival, which highlights the atmosphere of Holy Week, through the experimental concerts of the Sacrum Profanum Festival, the sophisticated and avant-garde Opera Rara Festival, to the spectacular Film Music Festival in Krakow, which is believed to be the most important festival devoted to screen music in the world. We run the strategic Krakow – UNESCO City of Literature programme and organise the Conrad Festival dedicated to prose, as well as the Miłosz Festival presenting contemporary poetry. We publish the Karnet monthly, which offers the residents of Krakow all information about the most interesting cultural events in the city. We manage the ICE Kraków Congress Centre, which has been recognised among the best congress centres in New Europe as many as five times – including two awards for the best congress centre. Our structures also include the Krakow Film Commission, whose mission is to support film productions in Krakow and the entire Małopolska region. We also work for culture and business in the area of tourism – we operate a network of nine points of the InfoKraków city information network, and we are the publisher and administrator of the Kraków Travel portal. We do not forget about the youngest residents of the city – the Kids in Kraków portal is a platform gathering information about the best initiatives for children, we also focus on people with special needs – we publish the Kraków for All profile, addressed to them and their guardians. We are also promoting a number of cultural projects as the Mastercard OFF Camera International Independent Cinema Festival and the Krakow Live Festival. Our activities also include showcasing theatrical performances – we have been supporting the Divine Comedy Festival for many years now, and the visual arts community also enjoys our ongoing support, which entails the organisation of the Krakow Art Salon. We are also responsible for performances and events attended by thousands of people, including such as Wianki – Celebration of Music and St John’s Fair, as well as more niche and smaller scale events such as Krakow Picnics, outdoor cinemas or Krakow Book Fair.

The audiences of our events and projects are always at the heart of everything we do, but we also do enjoy when our actions meet with the admiration of juries and award committees. In 2016, thanks to the application submitted by the KBF on behalf of the City of Krakow and 52 initiatives co-organised by the City, Krakow won the prestigious title of the 2016 World Festival & Event City awarded by the International Festivals & Events Association. The international jury of experts decided to award the title to Krakow, in recognition of Krakow’s perseverance concerning building the city’s position as a leader among the festival cities in Central and Eastern Europe. Among the reasons given for distinguishing the city was orienting the festivals in order to engage the local community and strengthen the cultural identity of the city.

 

Our partners

Partner
Partner dla Krakowa
Partner dla Krakowa
Partner Strategiczny
Mecenas KBF