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Old 04-21-11, 12:27 PM   #1
IJA Busking
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Hat Announcing the first IJA Busking Competition!

The International Jugglers' Association is hosting its first annual Busking Competition this summer at the annual festival in Rochester, MN. The full announcement is below. We hope to see some of you there; while the competition is not strictly limited to jugglers, it is a juggling festival after all, which will naturally receive some consideration during the selection process and competition. Thanks for your consideration! Any questions or comments can be e-mailed to , and you can follow the event on Facebook for updates.


The IJA is proud to announce the first annual IJA Busking Competition, the competition where you, the IJA membership, will be the judges!

Thanks to the generous support of our anonymous donor through the IJA “Fun Fund,” we're excited to be able to offer $2,000 in prize money in this competition! How that money will be divided amongst the competitors is up to the IJA spectators, so practice your best routine and be ready to bring your “A” game to the competition.

The competition will be held at this summer's festival in Rochester, Minnesota, on Friday, July 22nd from 1-3pm. If you'd like to throw your hat in the ring and participate in the competition, read on.

Aspiring competitors must submit a demo video of themselves by May 30th. You must send a link to your demo on YouTube or to, and demos should be no more than 10 minutes in length. If you'd prefer to deliver your demo video in a different way, you may send an email to and we will try to accommodate your request.

A panel of prelims judges will choose 9 competitors for the competition, with that number subject to change based on the number of submissions. You may use whatever skills or talents you choose, keeping in mind that you'll be performing for a juggling audience, and judged accordingly. All prelims competitors will be notified of the preliminary results by June 21st.

The format of the competition in Rochester will allow for 20-minute performances, with multiple competitors performing simultaneously. Weather permitting, the competition will be held outdoors, with audio equipment provided if desired. In case of inclement weather, the competition will move indoors. A more detailed description of the format can be found below.

Whether you're an accomplished street performer or a newcomer who has always wanted to give busking a shot, we're looking forward to seeing what you've got, and seeing you in Rochester! Keep an eye out here for more details between now and the festival.

The IJA Fun Fund Committee

The Rules/Format:

In the previous announcement, we had given a quick summary of the format of the competition. This led to some confusion and misunderstandings, so we've decided to disclose the complete format for the competition at this time.

The goal is to have 9 competitors. Since there may be more than 9 people interested in competing, anyone wishing to compete must submit a 10 minute “audition” video by May 30th (changed from the original date of April 30th). A panel of preliminary judges will review these submissions to select the 9 actual competitors for Rochester, and all applicants will be notified one way or the other by June 21st. There are no rules or guidelines on the format of these video submissions; do whatever you think will convince the judges that you’d be an entertaining competitor. If we don’t get a sufficient number of applicants, then the competition will be altered to contain 6 or 8 competitors.

On the day of the competition, some number of festival attendees will be selected on a first-come-first served basis to be “judges”. Those judges will be responsible for determining who gets the $2000 in prize money provided by the Fun Fund. The number of judges will depend upon the number of festival registrants; for the sake of this explanation, we’ll use the number 200. The “judges” will receive “IJA Bucks”; pretend currency that will be a placeholder for the actual prize money. So if there are 200 judges selected, each would receive $10 in IJA Bucks.

The actual competition will take place in 3 rounds. In each round, 3 competitors will perform. If the number of competitors is changed to 6 or 8, then the competition would be adjusted accordingly to have fewer rounds or competitors per round. Each round will allow for a 20 minute act. The competitors in each round will be performing simultaneously; they’ll be spread out enough that they shouldn’t actively interfere with each other, but are close enough so that spectators and “judges” can freely move between the competitors as their interest moves them. The goal would then be to have each set of 3 performers roughly in a triangle so they’re equally spaced. Which competitors go in which round and in which position will be determined at random.

The location for the competition is to be determined, but the goal and hope is to have it outside in Rochester in a location that will receive local foot traffic and spectators. We’ll be working with the city to find a suitable location that hopefully has local traffic, meets local regulations, and is conveniently located near the festival site.

Each competitor will be provided a small portable amplifier and headset microphone if they wish. In response to their act, the “judges” can donate their IJA Bucks however they see fit. They might choose to give all of it to one performer, they might choose to spread it evenly amongst the competitors. This is entirely up to them. In addition, we’d hope that there is enough foot traffic to generate donations from non-IJA spectators as well, and naturally these actual cash donations are the property of the competitors.

When the competition ends, each competitor can cash in their IJA Bucks. In return, they’ll get an equal amount in real dollars. We’ll also count the amount of IJA Bucks each competitor received, with the top 3 receiving trophy prizes.

Hopefully that clears up some of the questions. We hope this format strikes a balance between a structured competition and honoring the skills and feel of actual busking. We’re looking forward to some entertaining acts, and excited to be able to reward the competitors for their work and skill.
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busking, festival, juggling

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