Play at Home

25 December 2021

How we play the game depends on our opponent.


Bartosz Suchecki, “Kraków Culture” magazine

When the pandemic pushed our daily activities well into the defensive, Kraków’s culture reached for the municipal VOD platform PLAY KRAKÓW. And thus the virtual space, initially seen as a temporary substitute, quickly became a second home for many artists and institutions who continue to use it to showcase their events.

To gain access, all you need is an internet connection and a free PLAY KRAKÓW account. The rest is taken care of by 52 institutions including universities, theatres, orchestras, museums, foundations and cultural centres, which have published over 1100 materials between them. But how do you make sure you don’t get lost among it all? Take a look at our preview of the coming months.

Keep your ear to the ground

We start our virtual journey through cultural Kraków with a trail marked by festivals. Fans of mountain hikes and treks gather at the 19th Krakow Mountain Festival. On 4 and 5 December, PLAY KRAKÓW brings a live stream from the festival studio, with on-demand films available throughout the month.

One of the main figures we focused on in recent months was Stanisław Lem. The platform presents meetings from the Megabit Bomb Festival and compositions inspired by the author’s works: Piotr Tabakiernik’s lemelki and the audiovisual spectacle Infinite Couplet, commissioned by the Patchlab Festival from the Iranian artist Ali Phi. The Conrad Festival, held under the banner “The Nature of the Future”, also marked the Year of Lem with many similar references.

Virtuosos on demand

Things have been busy in the world of music. PLAY KRAKÓW presents concerts from the Sacrum Profanum festival, held under the banner “Maturity”, as well as the accompanying Post Scriptum programme. Fans of early music are transported to the Iberian Peninsula with the Misteria Paschalia Festival. Cinephiles have the perennial favourite Krakow Film Music Festival, including the FMF Gala in Three Seasons recorded in the summer in Jordana Park. The Audio Art Festival encompasses object theatre, vocal performance, installations, opera and improvised and ambient music.

Kraków is undoubtedly Poland’s capital of jazz, which is also reflected on the platform. In winter we will see four concerts held as part of the Kraków All Souls “Zaduszki” Jazz Festival and the gala Great Meetings held as part of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of PWM Edition. The Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art in the Sukiennice hosts piano virtuosos Adam Makowicz and Leszek Możdżer, while Stanisław Słowiński and guests perform the Four Corners of the World Symphony at ICE Kraków.

Magical choice

We move smoothly from jazz and world music to classical sounds with the recording of the world premiere of Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa’s opera Wanda, and pop with the cycles Partnership for Music 2.0 and Music for Planet Earth, as well as a performance by winners of the HEMI Music Award Izzy and The Black Trees – but there is more to life beside music!

PLAY KRAKÓW also presents stories of many fascinating people such as guests of the Mastercard Off Camera and Divine Comedy festivals. The platform takes us to exhibitions at the Museum of Krakow and the MOCAK, and explores the history of Wawel Royal Castle. We’ll also find a selection of feature films and documentaries, as well as entertainment for kids such as Pomelody Classes, Fairytales from All Corners of the Globe and Sinfonietta Karaoke.

And don’t forget to take along your intuition for your digital exploration! Maybe listening to a concert inspires you to explore an exhibition or watch a film? Leaving PLAY KRAKÓW isn’t easy – there’s nowhere like culture!

Photo: FMF Gala 2021 by Monika Stolarska

A version of this article appears in Winter ’21 edition of “Kraków Culture” magazine.
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