Isla Vista’s 42nd juggling festival, known as the world’s longest-running regional Juggling Festival, will take place from May 11 to May 13 in I.V. and on the UC Santa Barbara campus.
“[The festival is a] combination [of a] social and learning event, with people from all over generally enjoying a common interest together,” said Master of Ceremonies Brent Fiasco. “There are people who I know only from juggling fests that I look forward to seeing and catching up with.”
Tickets for the show are $17 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors.
The festival will be held at different locations in I.V. and UCSB, with the festivities at People’s Park beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday as well as in the Multi-Activity Court (M.A.C.) in the UCSB Recreation Center (Rec Cen).
“Open juggling” will be the primary festival activity, where festival-goers can practice freely or partake in collaborative group juggling. Other activities include a circus arts festival show as well as fire and glow juggling in the evening, according to the festival’s Facebook event page.
The festival will also feature a ticketed show, much like the original event from the festival’s origins, according to Fiasco. Jugglers with a variety of styles and talents will perform at I.V. Theater on Saturday evening.
“I.V. was the first juggling festival I ever attended,” he said. “The public show definitely helped my career path as a performer.”
The event was first held in 1976 to honor local juggler and UCSB student Patty Laney, according to Fiasco.
Laney, who was 21 at the time of her death, had been an avid juggler and activist for women’s rights on campus before her murder. In her honor, the juggling community of I.V. began organizing a benefit show which ultimately turned into the now-three-day festival.
“It is an extremely welcoming environment and commonplace for people to approach total strangers for help or to engage in group juggle passing,” Fiasco said.
Profits from the festival will be donated to the Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA) organization, formerly named Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center.