Ncfi began as a way to connect people together. People with a shared passion and love for circus. We starred 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 representative circus festival and one of the most exciting festivals in Ireland.

We have done this by connecting people together. Connecting our national and local partners to our vision, connecting the national folk theatre of Ireland 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, 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 perform each year in Tralee, 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 they 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 tightrope, 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.