Culture in Poznań



The Pyrkon Universe

Three days in fantasy realms teeming with fantasy creatures, a multitude of thematic zones, competitions, concerts, and ample space for fun, spontaneity, and socialising: all this at the 21st Pyrkon Fantasy Festival to be held on 16-18 June.

Photo of four young people in disguises. - grafika artykułu
Photos from PYRKON 2022, courtesy of Pyrkon Archives

Following a two-year interruption caused by the pandemic, Pyrkon immediately smashed attendance records with over 56,000 visitors. Its 2023 programme is once again brimming with attractions tailored to cater to the tastes of fans of every imaginable fantasy genre.

Delve into a dozen or so thematic zones, each catering to buffs of specific niches and those who are out to try a little bit of everything from the Pyrkon "cake". Whether you are into manga, anime, RPGs, board and electronic games, cosplay, comic books, or meets and greets with literary authors and film producers, Pyrkon has it all. Explore book, gadget, and souvenir stalls, or satiate your thirst for knowledge in the science zone where learning is effortless. Given Pyrkon's status as a multi-generational event, where the earliest attendees now bring their own children, a dedicated children's zone has been established complete with an area for enthusiasts of Lego blocks, a passion shared by both kids and adults alike, featuring fantasy-themed Lego sets.

Year after year, Pyrkon's special guests evoke anticipation and ignite passionate emotions. Among the luminaries gracing the literature zone this year is Dmitry Glukhovsky, a prominent Russian author, columnist, and journalist, best known for his series of post-apocalyptic novels, Metro 2033. Glukhovsky has been vocal in his condemnation of the Putin regime's invasion of Ukraine and continues to actively express his views on social media. Currently residing in exile, with an in absentia political trial against him pending in Russia, Glukhovsky remains optimistic. On a social platform, he has announced his attendance at Pyrkon, declaring: "I will gladly sign books, pose for photos, engage in conversations, and offer free hugs, particularly to girls, but boys as well. I've missed you all."

Fans of Terry Pratchett's literary work will surely be delighted by the presence of Rob Wilkins, the former assistant, friend, and custodian of the literary heritage of the esteemed author of the Discworld series. Joining him is Piotr W. Cholewa, the translator of Pratchett's novels. A fascinating experience is promised by an encounter with Gaja Grzegorzewska, a celebrated Polish crime writer who ventured into science fiction with her novel Selkis last year, and who has co-authored a script for the fantasy series Cracow Monsters, now available on Netflix.

The feature film and TV series zone will have no shortage of the likes of Edward James Olmos. Joining their ranks this year is Polish actor Maciej Musiał, renowned for his roles in the popular Netflix TV series 1983, The Witcher, and 1899. Moving beyond Poland, Pyrkon will welcome the German actor Thomas "Tom" Wlaschiha, known for appearances in such series as Game of Thrones and Stranger Things, as well as the Romanian illusionist Victor Dorobantu, who played, wait for it, the Hand in the highly acclaimed series Wednesday.

Prepare for exciting activities in the science zone featuring such fascinating personalities as Tomasz Rożek, the presenter of "Science. I like it", Prof. Szymon Malinowski, co-founder of the website and the central figure in the documentary "It Is OK to Panic", and Piotr Kosek, author of the popular science YouTube channel "Astrofaza" that boasts over 400 documentaries. Representing local talent from Poznań are Agnieszka Jankowiak-Maik, a.k.a. "the History Teacher", and her slightly less (for now) renowned sister Anna Jankowiak, nicknamed "the Knowledge Witch".

The outdoor stage will showcase a diverse line-up of performances by Dziewanna, Jeremiah Kane, Jelonek, Łysa Góra, Tassack, Runika, and Żniwa. For avid cosplayers, the highlight of Pyrkon is undoubtedly the Masquerade, a prestigious competition that captivates the Poles who are into dressing up as their favourite characters. Since 2022, it also served as a qualifier for the European Cosplay Gathering championship. The selected Polish team, consisting of a solo contender and a group of two or three participants, will compete in the grand finale in Paris with the full support of Pyrkon. When engaging with cosplayers, bear in mind one crucial rule: attending cosplay does not imply consent. Do not mistake a person's costume for an invitation to harass them. Always seek permission before touching or photographing cosplayers, or anyone else for that matter.

The festival events will be held on the grounds of the Poznań International Fair. This year, Pyrkon's official accommodations will be located at Scout Camp Poznań on Lake Strzeszyńskie. Transformed into Pyrcamp for three days in June, this venue will serve as a campsite, complete with designated meeting areas, campfire spots, a communal room, bathrooms, showers, and a kitchen. If you find yourself overwhelmed and lost amidst the multitude of Pyrkon attractions, look for the festival staff wearing orange t-shirts. These Pyrkon volunteers are tasked with ensuring the event runs smoothly and will gladly assist you or direct you to the nearest information desk. To learn more about the festival, refer to the festival's updated website at

Will this year surpass the previous turnout record? Is it even possible to attract an even larger crowd?

Although the exact outcome remains uncertain, breaking records is not the primary objective. For over two decades now, Pyrkon has boldly gone where no fantasy festival has gone before.

Mateusz Malinowski

translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski

  • Pyrkon Fantasy Festival,
  • 16-18 June,
  • Poznań International Fair grounds,
  • admission: PLN 120-269 (whole festival pass), PLN 35-179 (one-day pass)

© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2023