PORTO FRANKO festival was founded in 2010 by young Ukrainian artists: composers Roman Grygoriv, Illia Razumeiko and a painter Yaroslav Zen.
They were the first to capitalize on eclectic architecture of Ivano-Frankivsk to make a multifunctional stage of it. Thanks to the festival, the local community and tourists have had a chance to see the city space in a new light, since the festival events have taken place at various locations that had never been used as stages for performances and concerts before. Among them are: the old city rampart (defensive wall), the courtyard of a former Austrian railway station (a present-day medical university), ruins of Pniv castle, sand stage on Vichevy square etc. The festival claims a special credit for breathing new life into one of the most remarkable historical spots of Ivano-Frankivsk – Pototskiy Palace (almost demolished in the 20th century), which is now turning into a modern art gallery.
In 2011, the festival was held in a format of chamber post-avant-garde experiment featuring modern Polish theatre CST in dialogue with a pioneer of Ukrainian performing art and a resident of another Ukrainian “porto franko” (Odessa) Uta Kilter.
In 2016, the festival revived in tandem with a renowned Ukrainian festival brand – Gogol Fest. Thus, that year the festival amalgamated potential of two festivals under the name of PORTO FRANKO Gogol Fest. Owing to this cooperation, guests of the festival had a chance to see legendary performances directed by Vlad Troitskyi that originated in “DAKH” Contemporary Art Center: “Dog’s Cage”, open-air concert of Dakh Daughters band, opera-requiem „IYOV“.
In 2017, the festival again becomes one of the leading events in Ukrainian culture life, featuring in its theatre program a unique performance “A Hunger Artist” by Eimuntas Nekrosius and a dramma per musica “HAMLET” directed by the General Manager of the festival Rostyslav Derzhypilskyi and Co-founders of the festival Roman Grygoriv, Illia Razumeiko. A ten-thousand audience was gathered by Romanian band “Subcarpati”. The local Museum of Arts hosted MISSA SOLEMNIS – a mess that combined music of five world religions with the sound of a bamboo pipe organ Bambuso Sonoro invented by Hans Van Koolwijk from Amsterdam.
2018 – PORTO FRANKO festival under a new slogan air_port will unite romance of futurism in the sounds of avia turbines at the opening show – the Futurist opera “AEROPHONIA” – and impressive aerodynamic installations integrated in the city space. The festival will represent modern art in a row of intermedia performances, such as a unique ballet “Oh, Magic” by a cult Austrian artist Simon Mayer and a range of concerts and installations dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the last “big dreamer” of European music avant-garde – Karlheinz Stockhausen.