The 2024 Festival Season starts in Ghent with Smells Like Circus

The 2024 Festival Season starts in Ghent with Smells Like Circus
Around About Circus at Smells Like Circus, 16-20 January 2024, Ghent, Belgium.

The 2024 Festival Season starts in Ghent with SMELLS LIKE CIRCUS! Curated by one of the consortium partners, Circuscentrum, the festival hosts a Professional Programme in collaboration with Around About Circus. From the 16th to the 19th of January at VIERNULVIER, there will be three days of talks, meetings, presentations and discussions to gather and share reflections on the artistic panorama. Join us on an exploration of the evolutions within the circus sector through lectures, research, and debates! For professionals and open to everyone interested, the program is free, in English and takes place (mostly) in the Foyer Theaterzaal. 

Sign up for the SMELLS LIKE CIRCUS Professional Programme

SMELLS LIKE CIRCUS brings to Ghent a surprising 2024 edition juggling the boundaries of contemporary circus through stunning performances, with this year’s programme zooming in on the figure of the clown.  

Smells Like Circus Visual Identity 2024

In its seventh edition, the festival is organised by a partners’ consortium, VIERNULVIER and Miramiro, in collaboration with CAMPO, KOPERGIETERY, Circuscentrum and Cultuurcentrum Evergem.


Smells Like Circus 2024 trailer



Open to the Professionals, Circuscentrum is also organising activities with the INCAm network, an international magazines network on circus arts that focuses on circus media and critique and its development in the sector. For three days, 17-18-19 January, in the foyer of VIERNULVIER, a delegation of European members will be welcomed in Ghent to discuss the future challenges and opportunities of the network with the participation of external guests from the media and international cultural policy sectors. The first two days, Wednesday and Thursday, are for discussing the network mission, assets and feedback. On Friday the 19th at 2 PM, a hybrid digital meeting with all INCAm members both at SMELLS LIKE CIRCUS and connected online will add to the conversation and share thoughts to close the three days of meetings. 

INCAm members at Smells Like Circus 2024


Around About Circus at Smells Like Circus 2024 is moderating two meetings with artists. The first is the format SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS BEFORE BREAKFAST. On Tuesday 16th, from 8:30 until 10 AM, in the foyer of VierNnulVier, a Very Early Morning Talk with Breakfast included. This year's edition will gather conversations about clowning with Micha Goldberg and Geert Belpaeme. Our guests will talk about their experiences around the topic, the similarities and differences in approaches to their artistic practices and reveal sources of inspiration, from movies to books and scientific research. With a pastry and coffee in hand, we will delve deeper into the how and why of their work.

On Thursday the 18th at 10 AM at VierNulVier, Around About Circus will moderate the interactive presentation and debate DATING OBJECTS AND DEVOTED OBSESSION by Grengsgeval. The company presents the result of their practice-based research into newly created circus objects, for which they collaborated with architects Felix Fasolt, Frederik De Smedt and Alice De Smet to share their insights, questions and preliminary findings. 

Grensgeval, Dating Objects and Devoted Obsessions


From 2:00 - 2:45 PM, at De Expeditie, join the Try-out: Open Atelier - Monochraturé. The artists of Defracto invite you to an open studio where you can see fragments of the new work and discover the material that makes up the universe of 'Monochraturé'. Feel free to explore, ask questions and start conversations with Margot, Pierre, Guillaume, Sylvain, Loyse, Camille, Paul, Dimas, Fabrizio and Yann. 

Monochraturé will premiere at the end of 2024. The open atelier is a moment to share the creation process with the audience as part of a 10-day residency at Miramiro's workspace. SIGN UP To participate

From 4:00 - 5:30 PM at VierNulVier, join the talk Circus Without Circus, a glimpse into the EU project melting circus with not-circus practices. What can circus artists learn from other performing artists, and vice versa? How similar or different are their practices? What happens when you let an acrobat experiment with an industrial designer? How big is the gap between a trapeze artist and a filmmaker? What choices do a contemporary dancer and a circus artist make when they do two weeks of free artistic research? Various players involved in the European project will shed light on these and many other questions.  

Circus Without Circus © Alain Julien


On Saturday 20, at 5:30 PM at VierNulVier, we will join The Circus Dialogues Archive presentation! After ten years of dialogue and exchange, shape-shifting between open letters, books, encounters, symposiums, research weeks and meeting each other around our artistic practices, The Circus Dialogues starts 2024 with the launch of a new website and archive.