Many countries, cities or juggling clubs hold their own annual juggling convention or juggling festival. These are the backbone of the juggling scene, the events that regularly bring jugglers from a wide area together to socialize. The attendance of a convention can be anything from a few dozen to a few thousand people.
The principle focus of most juggling conventions is the main hall - where any participant can juggle freely, share and learn tricks, and try out multi-person passing patterns. Additionally, more formal "workshops" are often organized, in which expert jugglers work with small groups on specific skills and techniques. Most Juggling Conventions will also include a big show (open to the general public), competitions and juggling games. Many juggling conventions host some kind of Renegade Show, an open stage where anyone can, at short notice, get up and perform just about anything.
The Juggling Edge maintains a searchable database of past and upcoming juggling festivals and events.
Types of juggling conventions
Conventions can be split into three distinct types, though all call themselves "Juggling Conventions":
These last three to ten days and can attract between 150 and 5,000 people. Most attendees camp, pitching tents within the convention site, and this is covered by the cost of attendance. Onsite there are usually food tents, bar tents, various sports halls or large bigtops for juggling space. During the day there can be shows, workshops, games, parades and exhibitions. Every night there is entertainment provided in the forms of professional shows, open stages, late night stages, live music, parties and more. The largest festival style conventions are held in Europe.
Some notable festival style conventions are:
- The European Juggling Convention - The world's largest convention visits different European countries each year. The first EJC was held in 1978 in Brighton, England and attracted 11 jugglers from five different countries (England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, USA). The convention lasts 7 to 9 days. In 2011 it was held in Munich, Germany and attracted over 7200 jugglers from all over the world. The 2013 EJC was held in Toulouse, France; the 2014 EJC will be held in Millstreet, Ireland.
- The British juggling convention - a 5 day juggling convention in the UK, now attracts between 750-1,000 each year.
- Israeli Juggling Convention - runs for 5 days over the Passover holiday and is held in a national park in the north of Israel. It attracts between 1200-1400 jugglers.
- Berlin Juggling Convention - Germany's largest juggling convention, about 600-800 people attend each year. It is very cheap and some food is included.
- Circulation - A 3-5 day multicultural juggling festival in New Zealand currently in its fifth year of operation attended by up to 300 people.
- The Dutch Juggling Convention - Runs each year in a different city in the Netherlands and is attended by about 500 jugglers.
- The Bristol Juggling and Circus Skills Convention - a 9 day convention held in southwest England. It isn't very large (about 300 people) but has a very dedicated core group that return year after year.
- The Bungay Balls Up - a 10 day convention held in Suffolk, UK - small and friendly, held on a working farm.
- The Turkish Juggling Convention - From now on this convention will be 7 days in Sundance-Antalya (more than 300 people)
- The Swedish Juggling Convention - Four day convention inside a gymnastics hall. Always held over the estern holiday, in Partille, outside of Gothenburg, Sweden.
- Sydney Juggling Convention - Sydney, Australia - a four day convention held over the Australia Day long weekend in late January each year.
- Brianza Juggling Convention - Imbersago (MI), Italia - a four day convention held over the long weekend in May each year (about 1000 people)
These are held in city center hotels or conference centers. They are invariably in North America and slightly more expensive than the European Juggling Convention. Camping is only rarely an option, as most are held in hotel convention centers. Notable conference-style conventions are :
- The IJA Summer Festival - The first and longest running juggling convention. It is held in different cities each year, with the largest attendance in the 1990s with up to 1,300 jugglers. In 2004 it was held in Buffalo, New York, and attracted about 800 jugglers.
- The World Juggling Federation Convention - the first WJF convention was held in Las Vegas in December 2004 and attracted 150-200 jugglers.
Small, regional conventions that can actually last up to two or three days. These usually attract between 25 and 250 people, have workshops throughout the day and a show in the evening of the main day. At these conventions accommodation and food is not normally provided. They are usually held in sports centers, schools or universities. Some notable one day conventions are:
- Chocfest - in York, UK
- Juggle This - in New York City, USA
- Leeds Juggling Festival - Leeds, UK
- Durham Juggling Festival - Durham, UK
- Nott A Juggling Convention - Nottingham, UK (usually early March - Nottingham Juggling Club)
- Bath Upchuck - at University of Bath UK
- Oxford Juggling Convention - at Oxford Brookes University UK
The four largest conventions
The most well attended convention is the European Juggling Convention (EJC), along with the British Juggling Convention (BJC), the Israeli Juggling Convention (IJC), and the IJA Festival (IJA), and they all take place annually.
The BJC occurs every spring, the IJC is staged over Passover, and the EJC and IJA are summer festivals. The BJC takes place in Britain, the IJC in Israel, and the EJC in Europe, as one might expect, but the IJA Festival has so far proven to be an exclusively North American event, despite it being the principal date in the calendar of the International Jugglers' Association.
Dates and locations of the four largest festivals
|Year||British Juggling Convention||European Juggling Convention||IJA Festival||Israeli Juggling Convention|
|2014||BJC 27: Darton||EJC 37: Millstreet, Ireland|
|2013||BJC 26: Pickering||EJC 36: Toulouse, France||IJA 66: Bowling Green, Ohio||IJC 20: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2012||BJC 25: Southend||EJC 35: Lublin, Poland||IJA 65: Winston-Salem, North Carolina||IJC 19: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2011||BJC 24: Nottingham||EJC 34: Munich, Germany||IJA 64: Rochester, Minnesota||IJC 18: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2010||BJC 23: Huddersfield||EJC 33: Joensuu, Finland||IJA 63: Sparks, Nevada||IJC 17: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2009||BJC 22: Norwich||EJC 32: Vitoria/Gasteiz, Basque country, Spain||IJA 62: Winston-Salem, North Carolina||IJC 16: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2008||BJC 21: Doncaster||EJC 31: Karlsruhe, Germany||IJA 61: Lexington, Kentucky||IJC 15: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2007||BJC 20: Nottingham||EJC 30: Athens, Greece||IJA 60: Winston-Salem, North Carolina||IJC 14: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2006||BJC 19: Bodmin||EJC 29: Millstreet, Ireland||IJA 59: Portland, Oregon||IJC 13: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2005||BJC 18: Perth||EJC 28: Ptuj, Slovenia||IJA 58: Davenport, Iowa||IJC 12: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2004||BJC 17: Derby||EJC 27: Carvin, France||IJA 57: Buffalo, New York||IJC 11: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2003||BJC 16: Brighton||EJC 26: Svendborg, Denmark||IJA 56: Reno, Nevada||IJC 10: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2002||BJC 15: Whitstable||EJC 25: Bremen, Germany||IJA 55: Reading, Pennsylvania||IJC 9: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2001||BJC 14: Cardiff||EJC 24: Schiedam/Rotterdam, Netherlands||IJA 54: Madison, Wisconsin||IJC 8: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|2000||BJC 13: York||EJC 23: Karlsruhe, Germany||IJA 53: Montreal, Canada||IJC 7: Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sachne)|
|1999||BJC 12: Durham||EJC 22: Grenoble, France||IJA 52: Niagara Falls, New York||IJC 6: Yafit, Jordan Valley|
|1998||BJC 11: Bristol||EJC 21: Edinburgh, UK||IJA 51: Primm, Nevada||IJC 5: Kibbutz Tuval|
|1997||BJC 10: Nottingham||EJC 20: Torino, Italy||IJA 50: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||IJC 4: Hebrew University, Givat Ram, Jerusalem|
|1996||BJC 9: Edinburgh||EJC 19: Grenoble, France||IJA 49: Rapid City, South Dakota||IJC 3: Hineni Center, Downtown Jerusalem|
|1995||BJC 8: Norwich||EJC 18: Goteburg, Sweden||IJA 48: Las Vegas, Nevada|
|1994||BJC 7: Manchester||EJC 17: Hagen, Germany||IJA 47: Burlington, Vermont|
|1993||BJC 6: Birmingham||EJC 16: Leeds, UK||IJA 46: Fargo, North Dakota|
|1992||BJC 5: Coventry||EJC 15: Banyoles, Spain||IJA 45: Montreal, Canada|
|1991||BJC 4: Leeds||EJC 14: Verona, Italy||IJA 44: St Louis, Missouri|
|1990||BJC 3: Exeter||EJC 13: Oldenburg, Germany||IJA 43: Los Angeles, California|
|1989||BJC 2: Bath||EJC 12: Maastricht, Netherlands||IJA 42: Baltimore, Maryland||IJC --: Eilat|
|1988||BJC 1: London||EJC 11: Bradford, UK||IJA 41: Denver, Colorado||IJC 2: Eilat|
|1987||EJC 10: Saintes, France||IJA 40: Akron, Ohio||IJC 1: Eilat|
|1986||EJC 9: Castellar, Spain||IJA 39: San Jose, California|
|1985||EJC 8: Louvain la Neuve, Belgium||IJA 38: Atlanta, Georgia|
|1984||EJC 7: Frankfurt, Germany||IJA 37: Las Vegas, Nevada|
|1983||EJC 6: Laval, France||IJA 36: Purchase, New York|
|1982||EJC 5: Copenhagen, Denmark||IJA 35: Santa Barbara, California|
|1981||EJC 4: London, UK||IJA 34: Cleveland, Ohio|
|1980||EJC 3: London, UK||IJA 33: Fargo, North Dakota|
|1979||EJC 2: Edinburgh, UK||IJA 32: Amherst, Massachusetts|
|1978||EJC 1: Brighton, UK||IJA 31: Eugene, Oregon|
|1977||IJA 30: Newark, Delaware|
|1976||IJA 29: Los Angeles, California|
|1975||IJA 28: Youngstown, Ohio|
|1974||IJA 27: Sarasota, Florida|
|1973||IJA 26: Livingstone, New Jersey|
|1972||IJA 25: Rocky Hill, Connecticut|
|1971||IJA 24: Rocky Hill, Connecticut|
|1970||IJA 23: Los Angeles, California|
|1969||IJA 22: Los Angeles, California|
|1968||IJA 21: San Mateo, California|
|1967||IJA 20: Fallsburg, New York|
|1966||IJA 19: Salem, Massachusetts|
|1965||IJA 18: Bronx, New York|
|1964||IJA 17: Wheeling, Virginia|
|1963||IJA 16: Wickford, Rhode Island|
|1962||IJA 15: Erie, Pennsylvania|
|1961||IJA 14: Bristol, Tennessee|
|1960||IJA 13: Madison, Wisconsin|
|1959||IJA 12: Wickford, Rhode Island|
|1958||IJA 11: Ashtabula, Ohio|
|1957||IJA 10: Chautauqua, New York|
|1956||IJA 9: Norwalk, Ohio|
|1955||IJA 8: Lancaster, Pennsylvania|
|1954||IJA 7: Elkhart, Indiana|
|1953||IJA 6: Erie, Pennsylvania|
|1952||IJA 5: Altoona, Pennsylvania|
|1951||IJA 4: Williamsport, New York|
|1950||IJA 3: Jamestown, New York|
|1949||IJA 2: Jamestown, New York|
|1948||IJA 1: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|