culture in Poznań

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Where to go? What to see?

Poznań has seen scores of festivals over the years. Proven formulas and remarkable locations ensure high turnouts of visitors from Poznań and beyond. During the spring and summer seasons, Poznań offers events that are either open-air, which is the majority, or housed in extraordinary venues.

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Malta Festival, photo: Maciej Zakrzewski

One of the most remarkable events is Malta Festival Poznań, held continually since 1991. The Festival hosts theatre troupes from around the world, and additionally features dance and drama performances and music concerts.

The Pyrkon Fantasy Festival has grown over a dozen plus years from a small convention to Poland's largest fantasy festival. Set on the premises of the Poznań International Trade Fair, Pyrkon offers three days of great fun to more than 40,000 buffs of every possible fantasy genre. You can meet a book author, listen to an engaging talk, play a board or an electronic game, join a cosplay contest, or make new friends. Importantly, as the event has grown more professional, it has not lost any of its spontaneity. Pyrkon also transcends generations: participants from its early editions today bring their children, often all dressed up as their favourite characters.

One festival that defies convention is the Animator International Film Festival. This week-long celebration of animation culminates with a contest for creators from around the world. The winners are in part chosen by the spectators, who confer an audience award. Other than cinema screening rooms, the festival offers showings in a specially prepared tent, used also for night concerts and film screenings to live music.

As for book lovers, Poznań has a host of literary festivals to offer. Fans of mysteries with elements of a thriller get to meet their favourite authors at the Granda Crime Story Festival. They can also attend a forensic science workshop and a lecture on police techniques. The Plot Festival and the Poznań Poet Festival are held alternately in the Zamek (Castle) Cultural Centre, enabling prose and poetry buffs to meet eminent authors, attend concerts and take part in discussions. Since 2015, the occasion is also used to confer the Poznań Literary Award.

The Zamek Cultural Centre holds the  exciting OFF Cinema international documentary film festival as well as the music festival Ethno Port, which offers a unique perspective on world music. During the latter, artists inspired by the musical traditions of their regions present not only their own work but also, through their music, help audiences to get to know the countries of their origin. The organisers make sure that each edition of the festival features music from all continents, thus creating opportunities for multicultural meetings.

The Enter Enea Festival is a musical feast for the lovers of jazz and Leszek Możdżer. As the Festival's Director, Leszek Możdżerbrings fantastic musicians from around the world every year. Concerts are held outdoors by StrzeszyńskieLake. The open-air experience makes listening to music all the more attractive. The relatively new music festival called the Spring Break also deserves a mention. This three-day event is a series of concerts held on small stages in local clubs. Most of the invited bands are the projects of young Polish artists. Their performances are accompanied by workshops and discussions.

Every two years, Poznań becomes the venue for the prominent Mediations Biennaleaudio-visual event. Exhibitions in multiple locations throughout the city offer a pretext to discuss the role, forms, state and organisation of contemporary art.

Poznań does not neglect the youngest audiences, who are given the Sztuka Szuka Malucha (Art Seeks a Toddler) festival, featuring theatres from around the world. With audiences whose ages start as early as three, performances differ from those dedicated to adults, often enabling the youngsters to interact with the artists.

Julia Niedziejko

© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2018