nine ball flash
Chocfest 6
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Ok, I'll get this out the way first. Here's dave and his latest project which seemed to occupy most of his Saturday and Sunday.

Please modify this photo in microsoft paint. Add hearts, red noses, bulges in trousers, anything. Email it back to me. The best one I get wins a prize.

Barnesy Balls

Chocfest 6: 27/01/01 - Review by luke burrage: just/finished/it

I worked on Thursday night from 9pm to 6am Friday morning, then on Friday night until 1.30am. Because I had slept all Friday afternoon I got one whole hour of sleep and so I was only mildly tired when I arrived at the Langwith hall. I was one of the first people there and was set to writing a sign for the raffle ticket booth. This was a very important job because that was the only way the convention made money. It was free to get in but you had to make a minimum purchase of raffle tickets. The tickets were 1 each. That is each, not per strip.

Winning the 5 ball endurance - Sean someone

After a few hours of juggling I joined a beer and food expedition. By the time I got back to the hall the games had already started which was a surprise. Most of the conventions I've been to have held the games at the end of the afternoon rather than the start of it.

Still, this means that I only entered a few of the games. I presume the Stredging World Championship was held before I got there so I couldn't defend my title.

One thing I did notice is that there was only two or three americans in the room and they seemed to win most of the games. I think they are way too competitive.

Or maybe everyone else had already started drinking... totally untrue, but sounds quite plausible.

Winning the 3 club gladiators - Sean someone

40 foot club bounce

One game that I think everyone enjoyed was "break the radical fish". What you did was bounce the club from one side of the hall to the other and the ones who caught it won, or something like that. I'm not sure what you did to win but me and my club passing partner didn't.

On another note, earlier in the day I broke one of my juggling clubs as soon as I got it out my bag. I really should buy myself some new ones.

Just after the games there was a pretty dismal attempt at a giant toss up. And then another one.

It didn't do anything for me.

I spent the rest of the afternoon juggling/chatting/videoing/swapping tricks with Sean Mckinney and Ben Beever. I liked Seans propshop beanbags.

tossers, all of you

two people juggle a pitiful number of objects
While sitting at the edge of the hall eating a sandwich and drinking coke I watched Hairy and Ben (picture) pass balls between them. It was pretty amusing seeing them flash 16. After a mad flurry of flying arms and barnesy bags they both paused, searched the floor around their own feet, checked the floor around their opposites feet, counted the balls in their hands, double checked the floor again then let out a "hmph" of triumph. I think Ben might have raised an eyebrow in celebration.

Well, it's not every day you break a world record is it?

Just after that I asked the hairy one if he would teach me how to pass balls because I'd never done it before and it looked like fun. We tried 5, then 6, 7 for a bit then tried 16. A big jump, I know.

We didn't quite do it but we managed 12 between us a few times. Not bad for 10 minutes practice, eh?

I went to the pub, drank some, came back from the pub, drank some, the show started, drank some, got distracted by the show then went and drank some.

I'm not proud of my behaviour on Saturday night but I thought I better put in a short explantion why the review of the Chocfest Show might not be all that helpful.

some guy who compered

Well, here goes:

This is Dave from Liverpool. He did some cool tricks with 3 and 4 balls.

This is Dave from Liverpool, but a different Dave. We've all seen him do his diabolo stuff before. See the top of this page for a better photo which includes his face.

This is Geoff from across the pond. He did something with his balls and a small child. He ended his act with a 7 ball flash with the last ball caught on his neck. Cool.

This was the Georgini Devilstick Project. Nice routne but doing it to Robbie Williams 'Let Me Entertain You' is just sooo last century.

At some point before or after the interval (I can't quite remember) the raffle was drawn, the cakes were judged and future conventions were promoted. I didn't win anything on the raffle and didn't win anything on the Chocfest Chocolate Cake Challenge. I did, however, promote a juggling convention but only because Little Paul told me that he had to bulid up the numbers or else the feature wouldn't go ahead.

I was going to do a 7 ball juggle and catch the last one on the back of my neck (to top the guy before) but from the time I walked from the back of the hall to the stage I had lost one of the balls. So, inevitably, I did the drink the drink and juggle at the same time trick. I did a 6 ball multiplex pattern to make it more interesting.

There was a chocometer on stage which measured the chocolateyness of the cakes. Paul Tricket won and was given a very fragile Beard Radical Fish cast out of solid milk chocolate. It had to be kept in a padded box to stop it from breaking.

That makes it just slightly stronger than the new Radical Fish prototypes then.

The picture of it above was taken with the camera held upside down, sorry... It looked so much better in rel life.

Sean Mckinney did two acts, at either end of the second half. Here he is doing 5 balls really low. He did loads of other stuff but it was trick after trick that I can't even describe let alone do. 5 ball continuous back crosses? Easy.

Stu and Loopy Lu did a rythmic bounce juggle tap dance routine. I thought it was really cool until they started juggling and dropping. (Hmm, that picture is the best one of the show yet. Looking at the video footage I shot of the show it's quite amusing to see it getting wobblier and wobblier.)

Gonzo Moose, aka Mark and Pascalle, did a magic routine that I can't remember much of. The one thing I do remeber is that there was no magic involved. I'm sorry about the photo as well, but that was the best one I got.

"What the **ck?" I hear you say. Well, there were no surfers in the show but I've decided to tell anyone reading this that I actually do a lot of photography and most of it is a much higher quality then what can be seen on this page. That picture is one I took for a univercity assignment. You like it? Good.

Ok, back to Chocfest.

Men in Coats did a cool act but I missed it because I was at the bar through most of it. This is the "That's All Folks" ending...

Sean Mckinney finished off the show with another act which, if I remember correctly, really impressed me and everyone else. I don't think I can do him justice by describing the act in any detail whatsoever. So I won't.

This review is certainly getting less and less helpful as it goes down the page. Sorry.

After the show every one packed up their gear and headed off home or to where ever they were staying that night. Lots of use went back to a very high ceilinged house to sleep. I ate a Chicken Kiev Pizza which looked, smelled and tasted suspiciously like a chicken and ham pizza.

That wasn't a very good closing statement for a juggling convention review.

Overall: Chocfest 3 was my first ever convention and still one of my favorite ever. Chocfest 6 could easily have topped it for me but the whole experience was marred by the alcohol drinking. Don't do it kids, it's not hard and it's not clever... even so, it can be quite good fun

Personal high point: From an all round excellent day, watching Sean Mckinney sprawled on the floor of a pizza shop trying to reach a pound coin that rolled under the counter must be the image that will stay with me.

Personal low point: Sean flicking the previouly mentioned pound coin over his shoulder and hitting me just below the eye. It didn't hurt so much at the time but when I sobered up it was quite painful...

And this review is pretty low too.

2001 Luke Burrage