I'm impressed with the IJA knowing where their festival is going for the next 4 years. What are the IJA doing that the EJA is not?
Disclaimer: I've never been to an IJA festival, so I'm not very clear on the details.
My gut feeling is it's probably much easier to organise an IJA festival. No camping, just a hotel or conference centre, and fewer attendees so it doesn't need such a big venue. No outdoor space, so no need to hire in temporary infrastructure.
Maybe somewhere between a 1-day convention and a BJC in terms of difficulty?
Also, I don't know how the financials work. Are any of the organisers paid? Does the IJA subsidise it out of membership fees?
I think the bigger difference that allows for longer term planning is that the IJA has a festival team that organise all the IJA tests - the EJC is a completely different team each year,
Pretty straight forward for one team to scope out 4 venues and line them up one after the other compared to 4 teams in 4 countries who can’t confirm a date with their venues because they don’t know if they’ve won the bid or not
The IJA has a designated and consistent Future Festivals Director, Mike Sullivan. He'd been advocating us getting a few years ahead in order for us to have better leverage/negotiate better prices with the venues, and worked hard and made it happen. 15 years ago, the IJA was pretty much on a year-by-year basis. We've also begun revisiting past, successful sites more frequently, and it looks like we're tending toward a new venue once every ~3 years.
The things the IJA looks for are:
* Large hall
* Separate, quieter rooms for workshops
* Carpeted flooring
* Food options nearby
* Hotels nearby (preferably connected)
* Renegade venue nearby
* Interesting things nearby (sometimes busking festivals, the Basketball Hall of Fame, or Mexico)
* Price low enough
There is a document somewhere I can find if you're more interested in the selection criteria. As you imply, I think it would be pretty easy to find a mediocre IJA venue, so we are able to be potentially more picky than the EJA. Regarding the size, I reckon it was easier to find venues when then IJA was hitting higher numbers festival attendees (high hundreds/low one thousands) - fewer venues were out of the budget. Not sure how it would be if attendance went up to >~2000, as the EJC has most years.
Almost none of the IJA (organization) organizers are paid. Mike Sullivan's fest site visits are paid for by the fest sites. A festival organizer for a particular is paid, but usually isn't involved in selecting the fest site.
Feel free to hit me up with other questions. I recently became the chair of the IJA, so either I'll be able to help (or I won't know, and I'll find out so that I'm able to help).
 - This is the one-line answer to your question.
 - I don't actually know this. Maybe finding locations a few years in advance would make it easier to find those locations.
* Carpeted flooring
Any particular reason for this one? All the other points make sense but that strikes me as a, "who pays for accidental damage" argument waiting to happen & must rule out a huge number of potential venues.
I recently became the chair of the IJA
Best of luck you mad fool! The ERS supports US & Canadian dollars, Spanish & French language options are in place (although not translated yet), the easy to understand audit history makes handling of customer orders simple & at the low low price of free (other than PayPal charges) is considerably cheaper than Your Membership. Just saying...
Hard floors are much more fatiguing, so many of the not-circus-fit-but-still-want-to-juggle-8-hours/day people dislike it. I fall pretty squarely in that camp, too. And don't get me wrong, we don't always get everything we look for. But we do look. This last year was fantastic: linked hotels, gym, and Renegade venues! Many mini ballrooms for workshops, etc.
Thanks! I don't mind admin stuff, so we'll see how it goes. I don't yet understand the (dual) back end of the IJA websites, what handles what, etc., but some day soon I should be in a position to know if you're serious about a shift to the ERS and evaluate that option.
I heard that Americans are just way better team workers than Europeans? For example, europeans would never be able to make something like the Simpsons.. or something similar.
Sorry if that touched a nerve Void! The person that told me that is *extremely* intelligent. She's a TV producer (hence the Simpsons example). It was something that stuck, I think there's probably some truth to it. But it's cool if you disagree.
It's okay, I was mostly just having fun. But without citing specific instances and data, it seems like a very hand-wavy sweeping statement that's just a bit risible. Has your friend ever heard of CERN, or the EU (admittedly, only 27/28ths recently), or Interpol, or Interrailing, or graphene, or the Channel Tunnel or .... etc etc? YMMV.
I suppose we could throw achievements from Europe and the US at one another but that wasn't really what I meant. I've found that work ethic and general work behavior does vary from one part of the world to another. In the US they take little time off and there is (famously) great emphasis on team building. Actually, neither of those things are my cup of tea at all but they do lead to better organisation and results. That wasn't to say that great team work doesn't exist in Europe of course, just that it is more common in the US.
To return to the TV show example, here in the UK and the rest of Europe we don't produce TV shows that bang out such a consistent large amount of quality episodes. Look at all the amazing series from the US over the past 10 - 20 years. Hundreds of quality episodes, from each program, year after year. We don't do that. Here it lasts maybe a season or two, it's short term. This is because we don't have the same kind of team work.. or so I'm told.
Mike mentioned the 'Future festivals director'. These kind of ideas come when a team is well connected and there is good communication. A good team is more likely to have foresight IMHO. Perhaps the EJC team also has one and the team is just as strong and well connected as the IJA? I don't know. I was just offering my opinion as a (kind of) question to the original question. My apologies if it came across as insensitive, stupid and ridiculous.
Or maybe it is because the US has the largest movie/tv industry in the world.
I could think of 10 more equally plausible theories why you see more long running US series than EU ones, but I'm by no means an expert and none of them will be any valuable without data to support the correlation..
Also, even if the US has better team players, I don't really see how that improves festival planning. My experience in the EU convention scene is that info and data is easy to come by, everyone is approachable and loads of people volunteer and work very well together to make large events happen, quite successfully if you ask me!
Perhaps I'm totally off the mark then. I can type away sometimes without giving it enough thought.
Out of interest, which festival is the better organised out of the two?
Which is the better banana, this apple or this orange?
They’re different events catering to different audiences with different expectations and requirements. “Which is better” doesn’t seem to make any sense to me
But aren’t they both bananas? Same kind of expectations, audiences and requirements?
I can only share my experience on the team of EJC2016 (and I'm happy to do so if you have more specific questions), although I've attended many ejcs it's hard to judge the organizing skill from the outside. They were all great fun!
I've never attended an IJA, I would not be able to make any useful comparison...
Just arrived at EJC2019, I'm looking forward to an amazing week! See y'all there :D
To go back to the OP - The IJA is setting up its festivals several years in advance and the EJA is not. As I understand it the EJA determines where the next years convention will be at this years convention. If the EJA wanted to, it could change that policy and determine the year after next. It would probably take a few years to get it working. Basically it’s a EJA policy position.
No, the EJA is working towards being three years ahead, at present it is only two years eg Newark was decided in 2017. Unfortunately this year the EJC 2020 organising team had to pullout after a years work because the new regulations at their venue/country meant EJC wouldn't be possible. So the EJA (jugglers at the EJC) are having to re-choose where 2020 is going to be (and where 2021 is going to be at the same time). The problem will always be finding organising team who want to volunteer a huge amount of time and energy and maybe for some volunteering 4 years ahead could be daunting as you could be in a whole different situation (eg team members move house, change jobs, have children, have new commitments etc).
I have never been to an IJA, I feel they might be easier to organise as they are much smaller, the hotel takes care of all the accommodation, etc, they are nearly always in the same country so the regulations don't change much, but this shouldn't knock the achievement the IJA has of being four years ahead in deciding where IJAs are going to be, which the IJA should be congratulated on
Interesting difference between IJA and EJC fest organizing: while the IJA selects a venue/location multiple years before, the person who is going to organize the festival isn't usually decided until ~1.5 years before the festival. I'm somewhat surprised with how well that works.
I found that the things on IJA schedules are much more watertight/guaranteed, whereas EJC events are more fluid in their timings . For example, on Day 2 of EJC I couldn't get in to see the open stage, and the open stage was cancelled on the second Saturday, which wouldn't fly well at an IJA. So it seems like the crazy numbers of the EJC come with some extra challenges, and some extra understanding toward limited availability and occasional cancellations.
Maybe some day I'll be able to comment more on fest organizational logistics, but today is not that day!
 - BING BONG - I can't mention something this without giving a shoutout to the people who put forth the necessarily herculean effort to make the gala show happen despite the wind's best efforts. Very impressive!
I think it would be much more difficult to find an organising team for the EJC after already having decided the location than for the IJA. The EJC is in different countries, we speak different languages, imaginge having to organise a festival in a country where you don't speak the language… So, choosing the organising team and the venue at the same time makes sense to me.
I also believe that the IJA is an easier event to organise. You don't have to provide camping space (with showers, toilets, cooking areas...) for an unknown number of people, the number of participants is smaller and I imagine the risk of selling out show tickets is minimal. If the festival hotels sells out you just let people book their own hotels.
I'd also like to add that I have been to 6 EJCs, and while the access to shows (other than the gala show) has never been guaranteed, I think this year is the first time that anything has been cancelled. Of course tents are more sensitive to extreme weather conditions than real buildings are.
Even besides the weather issues this was probably the messiest EJC out of the 8th I've been to. Such a shame that the show tents were small and uncomfortable :(
Glad I got to run into you. Shame we didn't get to hang out more, and sorry for having to sit through my unorganized workshop which I gave whilst I was sleeping :p
Interesting! I guess I'll just have to go to a few more EJCs to get a better flavour for things. How unfortunate (/s).
And it was cool to meet you! The workshop was still fun, especially the working in groups. Enough autonomy that we could help each other, or do weird stuff if the assigned task was on the easy side. One aspect that we took a little bit to figure out was starting the counting (i.e. if the timer started at 0 or 1).
Aaaaand EJC 2020 is now the same week as IJA 2020. Disappointed by the outcome, and the lack of consideration from the proposing party (who said at the EJA meeting they hadn't bothered to check when the IJA was, and were surprised it overlapped).
Yeah. I am disappointed that a lot of people didn't seem to care. This is something that the EJA should consider in the future. While the organising team are the ones choosing the dates, and the jugglers at the general assembly are the ones who choose the organising team, the EJA could at least advise against having the same dates. It seems like nobody thought of it this time.
It isn't even about how many people would have liked to go to both events, it is more that I feel that we shouldn't compete against each other.
Let them fight it out! The winner of the two can absorb the other and then go on to create a global super-festival. This festival will crush any would-be competitors.
Oh, come on. The EJC is obviously the better festival, just look at the attendance numbers. ;)
I would however like more juggling conventions in the world, not fewer!
They hadn't last week, since they were hoping to win the bid for 2020, but they are aiming for similar to this year. So most likely 1st week of August.
IJA now has festival destinations and dates under contract through 2024, and we are in final negotiations for 2025.
2020 - El Paso, Texas - July 13-19, 2020
2021 - Wichita, Kansas - July 12-18, 2021
2022 - 75th Annual - Cedar Rapids, Iowa - July 11-17, 2022
2023 - South Bend, Indiana - July 17-23, 2023
2024 - Green Bay, Wisconsin - July 8-14, 2024
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