My member sheet

National Circus Festival of Ireland

Tralee , Ireland
Type of organisation
festival
Main discipline
circus & street arts
Type of activities
advocacy
facilitating professional meetings
programming
training / education / professional
Year established
2001
Circostrada member since
2021
Other networks the organisation belongs to
Contact Person
Con Horgan (Director)
Address
Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland
778R+MP Tralee, County Kerry, Irlande, Tralee - Ireland

NCFI began as a way to connect people together. People with a shared passion and love for circus. We started with no resources, no money, no venues, no partners and organised the first ever festival on a payphone! Since then we have grown to be Ireland’s largest and most representative circus festival and one of the most exciting festivals in Ireland.  We have done this by connecting people together. Connecting the local council to our vision, connecting the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, Siamsa Tíre, to their circus roots, connecting the people of Kerry, Munster, Ireland and beyond to the amazing circus heritage that is here in Ireland.  Passion, dreams, magic and poetry, making the impossible possible are all parts of our world.

Risk is a big part of circus. The things our artists do are literally death defying. Audiences come to circus to be amazed, to see the artists walk the line of life and death, to live life on the edge, to do the things they would never dare to do. Our festival inspires and shakes up each generation that experiences it. The festival has altered the cultural fabric of Tralee. The greatest international stars of circus and street theatre are brought annually to the town, a place that would not traditionally have seen much of this art form. Circus is a gateway art form, bringing people to the wonder and joy of the arts. When audiences come to our shows and have an amazing, uplifting and fun experience, they are more likely to engage again with the arts, with theatre, with music, with life enhancing and culturally enriching activities. Members of the public have taken trapeze classes and also taken part in a clown marching band, learned to walk a tight-wire, taken workshops in street theatre and circus dramaturgy, culminating in performances over the festival.  Local artists are contracted each year to reflect and create based on what they see, feel and experience over the festival weekend. 

We offer a place where people can learn to fly, to defy gravity and to move with poetic grace and beauty. We offer hope where ordinary people can do extraordinary things.  We create community where once there was disparate unconnected groups.   

The festival has been growing sustainably annually, bringing with it our local partners and community, our sector and an ever increasing local and national audience.  The activities of the festival have been instrumental in the development of a local and national awareness of and appreciation for contemporary circus. The festival has programmed such luminaries as Leandre, Gandini Juggling Project, Kamchatka Theatre Company, Svalbard Company, Baccala Company and Fauna Circus.