"Krokusfestival is an inspiring meeting place where the widest possible audience of children, young people and their (grand)parents can become acquainted with quality (inter)national children's art that entertains, surprises, imagines, slows down, amazes. In addition, the festival stimulates the creation of creations for/with a young audience and develops a meeting and deepening role for professional (inter)national creators and programmers."


1. Krokusfestival as an adventurous place of imagination 

Krokusfestival presents high-quality and layered performances that surprise, imagine, slow down, renew and/or amaze. Live performing arts (with three premieres every year) are central, with a focus also on less obvious genres such as (interactive) installations and performances. We will continue this operation and place the following new emphases in 2023-2027:

  • To further connect with the lifeworld of children and young people, Krokusfestival presented projects with new technology for the first time in 2017-2022. In 2020, there was the symposium Digital arts in TYA and the performance I Infinite by Tom Dale Co. In 2021, within a culture/culture grant with KIKK Festival Namur, Ugo Dehaes worked on a new robotics installation. In 2022, French company Adrien M & Claire B will come to the festival with three projects on sensory manipulation, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. In the period 2023-2027, we want to further develop our focus on presenting new technology by collaborating with experienced partners such as KIKK Namur, Festival Digital Gent, Werktank Leuven and IMPACT-Théâtre de Liège.

  • The youth performances of Krokusfestival editions 2023-2027 will be programmed in collaboration with our youth collective De Stokers.
  • As a booster, Krokusfestival wants to offer new and different makers the right context to present their work. With HET LAB@KROKUS, the festival gives space to show projects under development in the workplace as work-in-progress to the public on the one hand and to a selection of programmers on the other (with subsequent feedback). We set up a collaboration with LUCA School of Arts - Drama (Leuven) giving drama students the opportunity to explore the landscape young audiences (creation and presentation).

2. Krokusfestival as an (inter)national presentation venue

Krokusfestival is a window on the world that shows foreign productions to Flanders, but also Flemish productions to the world. In these times, when both climate and corona encourage us to live more locally and sustainably, it is even more important to continue this dual international operation in a more sustainable way. But we are utterly convinced that there is an inestimable value in the 'import' of international productions and the 'export' of Flemish performances: the encounter with 'the other'. That is exactly what is crucial in these times, especially for children. Offering them that open view, that artistic 'other', is for us a fundamental right of every child.

Thanks to its built-up reputation, its extensive international network and the presence of 200 (inter)national programmers every year, the festival offers great exposure and (inter)national playing opportunities for Flemish productions. Peter Sunesson of Dansstationen Malmö: "Krokusfestival is one of the most important platforms in Europe when it comes to performing arts for young audiences. It is a unique meeting point where artists, programmers, producers get together and continue to develop and strenghten the culture for children."

We will continue this operation and set the following new emphases in 2023-2027:

  • Krokusfestival wants to deepen its sustainably by establishing five company trajectories (Kopergietery, fABULEUS, Zonzo Compagnie, Laika and tout petit).

  • We want to provide a sustainable response to the challenges of our international operation. First of all, we pay ecological attention to our own operation (administration and archiving). In addition, we want to make the relationship with foreign companies more sustainable by making agreements on transport/relocation, by offering extra playing opportunities, for example in a tour after the festival (KROKUS on Tour) and by organising artistic exchange labs for foreign and Flemish makers together with HET LAB in order to connect the international and the supra-regional/Flemish context.

3. Krokusfestival as an inspiring meeting and networking place

Krokusfestival focuses on artistic dialogue with (inter)national professionals by organising a number of formal and informal symposia and networking moments. There is also THE LAB@KROKUS, where professionals give feedback on work-in-progress.  We will continue this operation and set the following new emphases in 2023-2027 through our participation in new, international networking platforms (e.g. 10CHILDREN).

4. Krokusfestival as a challenging deepening venue

Krokusfestival has faced challenges before. In 2009, contemporary dance for young audiences was hardly present in Flanders. Krokusfestival then organised two exclusive dance festivals (2009 and 2011) and invited choreographers to essay their findings on that dance landscape in De staat van de jeugdddans (The State of Youth Dance). In 2011, the internationalisation of our landscape was barely noticeable. Krokusfestival then set up, with the Creative Europe-supported project, Fresh Tracks Europe with partners (production houses and festivals from Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Austria and Belgium).

In 2015, the arts young audiences also thrived outside Europe. Krokusfestival then set out the five-year trajectory Think local create global in which we focused on more sustainable partnerships rather than mere playing opportunities.