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Established in 1974 by Prince Rainier III, every January the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival turns the Principality into the global capital of the circus.

The event, which is presided over by H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie, presents a selection of the best acts from circuses all over the world.

Acrobats, jugglers, animal tamers, clowns, contortionists… and of course animals perform beneath the famous Fontvieille Big Top for a prestigious show lasting around three and a half hours.

In addition, each year the Festival rewards the best performances by presenting prizes in the form of Gold, Silver and Bronze Clowns.

There’s also New Generation, which is held after the Festival and has been recognising the best young artists since 2016.

A great fan and connoisseur of the circus arts, Prince Rainier III established this new event in 1974 to “select the best acts and promote the circus throughout the world” at a time when the circus in Europe laid dormant. Today, the International Circus Festival has become an unmissable event for circus artists and amateurs who dream of achieving international recognition from their peers. Following the death of her father, Princess Stéphanie assumed his mantle, getting involved in organising this annual celebration.

© Direction de la Communication
© Direction de la Communication

In 2020, the 44th Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival gave pride of place to man’s most wonderful conquest, the horse, with performances from the Knie Swiss National Circus riding team. “We wanted to showcase the performance and beauty of the horse. Returning, ultimately, to the origins of the circus, which began on horseback,” Princess Stéphanie explained to Monaco-Matin.

Presented by Ivan Frederick Knie and Maicol and Wioris Errani, the Circus Knie Cavalry won a Golden Clown and the Audience Choice Award. Performances by the famous Shandong Acrobatic Troupe and the Kiev Circus Academy, as well as the big cat number presented with a gentle touch by Sergey Nesterov, have made an impact during this year’s innovative festival.

The 2021 Festival was cancelled due to the health situation caused by the Coronavirus crisis.

“The circus is full of generous people. They give their all during a performance, offering audiences happiness and a chance to dream.”

H.S.H. Princess Stephanie, President of the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival.

© Direction de la Communication
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Le Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo

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