JuggLINCOLNvention 2013 Review

Lincoln Juggling Convention 2013This year saw the first ever JuggLINCOLNvention. Located just a wee bit south of Grimsby, JuggLINCOLNvention was held in the beautiful rural location of Cabourne Parva. The grounds of Cabourne Parva are beautifully kept and feature a lovely area of woodland as well as a large field big enough to hold the campsite, outdoor juggling and games areas and the marquee for 24 hour juggling.

The site also featured a little café that served delicious food from breakfast through to dinner and a bar area where you could purchase cold beverages and the bands could play in the evening.

Camping was available on Friday and Saturday night meaning that you could make full use of the day and night on Saturday – a good move by the organisers. Rocking up late on Friday afternoon gives you a chance to set up your tent (in our case the Fun-Ra Towers) and catch up with some familiar faces.

JuggLINCOLNventionWith a good night’s sleep behind you, you’re then set to wake up at the crack of… err… mid-morning for the workshops that start at 11am. For a small convention in its first year JuggLINCOLNvention put on a great workshop timetable with contact staff, two hula hoop workshops, juggling, slacklining, contact juggling, parkour and aerial acrobatics workshops all available.

The Earth Bound Misfits were also ever present to keep children entertained with their kids’ circus skills workshops as well as being an integral part of the organising and venue teams.

If you thought the workshop line up was good then you’ll love the show bill! Kevin, who organised the show, spent the last year or so scouring other festival and convention stages and cherry picking his favourite acts. Particular attention was given to young, up and coming acts. In fact the line-up filled you confidence in the future of juggling. Max Salthouse (a BYJoTY entrant) was, I believe, the youngest in the show with his technically skilled Blues Brothers themed act. Max is certainly one to keep your eye on over the next few years, he’s got great skills and a great attitude. Also representing the “yoof” was another BYJoTY star, Charles Brockbank whose club juggling act really impressed me; technical, very funny and professionally put together. Charles is off to Circomedia this year and I can see him doing very there and later as a professional performer.

JuggLINCOLNventionA BYJoTY veteran and now organiser, Ieuan Maiden Evans also performed in the show. Ieuan’s excellent ball juggling routine with his trademark green balls was a great start to the second half of the show. Also making sure the older generation aren’t left totally in the dust was Gale Francis with her beautiful double hoop routine. Gale’s act relies heavily on isolation type moves and the glorious decoration on her hoops emphasised the illusions created with those techniques. Mark Steyn, clad in a black leather kilt and not much else (calm yourselves boys and girls!) performed a contact juggling routine even more impressive than his pecs! Also in team older-than-25 was Chazz whose contact staff routine was alright.

Headlining the show was another young act, though too old for BYJoTY these days, Alan and Sadie. Their comedy ball-juggling routine is fast becoming a convention favourite and they showed JuggLINCOLNvention why. Their routine is very funny, super-cute and contains some mind-boggling two-person juggling patterns.

The icing on this already tasty cake was the stage’s setting: outside on a beautiful evening as the day turned into dusk, the stage was a rustic but adorable construction in the wooded area of the venue. So lovely was the stage (and venue in general) that a certain hooper has decided she’s going to get married there. She just needs to find a fiancé first!

Two live bands followed the show as the first JuggLINCOLNvention celebrated its success. This led to a very lazy Sunday morning as people slowly packed up to return to the harsh reality of Monday morning.

JuggLINCOLNvention really is a convention to watch over the next few years. Well organised and in a beautiful setting, their aim is to extend it next year with the ultimate goal of turning it into a five-day affair further down the line. Adding an extra night will certainly help to attract more participants from further afield and word of mouth about this year’s event will spread far and wide and ensure an even better turn out in 2014.

You’ll be able to hear updates about next year’s event through JuggLINCOLNvention’s Facebook page and website and, of course, we’ll keep you updated in our news and events sections so watch this space!