48th Annual Isla Vista Juggling Festival!

Memorial Day weekend people came from far and wide to attend the 48th Annual Isla Vista Juggling Festival in Isla Vista! The longest-running juggling festival in the world!

Here are my photos in two galleries! Here are my videos!

The event was a bit smaller than usual due to UCSB making it impossible to reserve any indoor venue more than a couple of weeks in advance. Is there anyone at UCSB who can cut through the bureaucracy so that they can make reservations for next year? The UCSB Club Juggling is an official campus student organization. They just need a department to sign off to be the sponsor. No money needed.

Thanks to the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District for giving Little Acorn Park over to the Festival for free.

Juggling festivals are a chance for new people to come by and try juggling for the first time. This young woman was visiting from Ireland and giving it a try.

The festivals are also a chance to perfect advanced skills. If you come to a juggling festival, you will see skills and tricks that are almost never seen in a circus or other big public show. Because they can’t be done to perfection every time.

Standing on a ball seems difficult, but maybe it is easier if you do it while juggling three clubs?

Here two families and one other guy did six way club passing. Locals Matthew and Morgan Thornley along with Los Angeles long time visitors April, Chuck and Ryan Fernald. Yes, they dropped a lot, but six way club passing is beyond anything you will see in a circus.

Kyle and Connor passed seven clubs between each other, which is more than the usual six between two jugglers.

Jack, Jeri and Oz Kalvan are a professional juggling family, who have been coming to the Isla Vista Festival since long before Oz was born. Here was one of their amazing feats that they just happened to do in the park!

Not everything at the festival was about juggling. Here Michael Toso did a very long walk on a slack line.

Here Joshua Knight juggled clubs while balancing on the slack line. Amazingly, he was able to retrieve dropped clubs.

Rebecca Shipe managed to balance on the slack line while hooping… and juggling a bit!

Edgar Yudkevich balanced on the slack line on a unicycle! Then juggled clubs!

One guy tried to juggle six clubs. While Cal State Long Beach Math professor and department Chair Will Murray juggled five clubs for a long run. You should know that juggling five clubs is a rare skill.

As smooth and consistent as he is, he said he gets stage fright if asked to perform in a show. Fortunately, Public Show organizer Danielle Bushar was able to round up some other stars for the Public Show on Saturday evening in the park.

Which brings me to the Public Show! Here Danielle posed in her sparkly Emcee outfit.

“Hex the Flow Physicist” kicked off the show with her hoop moves.

Three and four ball tricks are usually no big deal. Even I can do those. But a good juggling artist can make them into something cool. Here was what one young man delivered.

Later, Gideon continued with his three and four ball tricks.

Rebecca Shipe did a brief hoop performance on the slack line for the crowd. At the end she juggled balls at the same time. She admitted she is not a great juggler! But she was still an impressive hit with the audience! I was certainly impressed!

Beedon is the husband of Hex and he did “staff juggling”. A bit like juggling clubs, but they offer some additional artistic opportunities.

Edgar Yudkevich bravely performed for the public show finale. There was a lot of clowning around. But toward the end he really came through with something I have never seen before. Way impressive bit on the unicycle on the slack line which you have to see to believe.

The Isla Vista Juggling Festival is a fund raiser for “Standing Together to End Sexual Assault” (SBSTESA) formerly known as the Rape Crisis Center. This is in honor of Isla Vista juggler Patty Laney who was raped and murdered back in the 1970s.

Here Danielle pulled raffle tickets. The raffle was part of how the event raised money. Along with donations for the public show.

The Santa Barbara Juggling Association and Club Juggling at UCSB meet all year round to juggle, learn new tricks and teach anyone who wants to give it a try!

Here http://www.sbjuggle.org/ you can find more information!

Robert Bernstein


Written by sbrobert

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  1. @qmc, @yin yang Thank you for the kind words. People get stuck in a rut and miss out on such unusual events!

    They really are looking for help regarding UCSB. Does anyone know how to cut through the bureaucracy so that they can reserve a campus facility for next year? Money is not a problem. Thanks for any tips, suggestions, connections or ideas!

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