Travelling: 28th of July-24th of August – Part 4; An Introduction to the 38th European Juggling Convention

The European Juggling Convention is the world’s biggest juggling convention. It takes place in a different European country every year and was in Ireland in 2014 – my, and many other Irish people, first EJC! It runs for nine days from Saturday to Sunday the following week. It’s like a regular convention in that people give workshops, there are masterclasses, lots of shows, people playing games. It’s also different in that it’s longer, all camping (conventions in Ireland have little to no camp space), has people from all over the world, and thus has pretty much every circus discipline you can imagine.

We had arrived a day early to Bruneck, on the 31st of July. As had a lot of people who were currently camped outside the gates. One of our party new someone who might be able to get us in so we made our way straight from the station to the site – and magically passed inside when our small party was mistaken for the much larger group of circus students from Berlin. We had infiltrated the EJC a day early!


The camp site was still very empty save for a few tents belonging to organisers and volunteers.

We didn’t bother trying to leave camp again and just set-up our tents near the trees,

The small blue dot by the trees is my tent.

shared the food we had and went to the bar tent “The first one’s free”.


Day 1) There were some romantic views to behold.

As well as some not so romantic.


People mostly arrived today so it was time to check out the camp, the town, and collect my ticket!

EJC is like a small town. It even has its own rocks!


Then I went into the actual town of Bruneck to get some supplies and have a look around.

I then returned to perform my civic-juggler duty and get people registered!

My ultimate language goal is to be proficient enough in three languages to work at an EJC registration desk. This year I settled for shouting at people asking did they need pens or paper – Stylo? Peann? Páipéar? Stift? That evening Matthias Romir had a solo show which was a Very big deal to me. He’s one of my favourite performer. He’s a great juggler but he has great stories as well. After which we all went to the bar, where people juggled and danced and drank – and that is what you can expect from a regular first day of a convention!


Published by Blue Hanley

Galway-based Theatre-maker who loves circus, conventions and travelling.

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