Aongatete a short ride from Tauranga hosted a wealth of local, national and international participants in New Zealand’s annual Juggling and Circus Festival. As a first-timer (and new to juggling full stop!!) I’ll fondly remember the festival as one of the most friendly and inclusive festivals I’ve attended.
4 full on days and nights of hanging out and being inspired by a wealth of talented people and a good amount of beginners along the way. The overall feeling of people hanging out together, trying out new things and giving up their time to help everyone out was immense.
Tucked away at the Aongatete Outdoor Education Centre with limited connectivity to the outside world we all provided a never-ending stream of our own and each other’s entertainment. Each day had a vast array of workshops including club passing, contact juggling, hugging, diablo, magic, handstands, the list was almost endless and the expertise and knowledge freely passed on was priceless. small tips and tweaks to techniques that saved weeks of frustration in learning a new skill. 4 days wasn’t enough time to try even half the workshops – there is next year for that!
A short bushwalk led away from the festival to glorious pools showing the best of New Zealand
Just 50 metres from the camp was a great opportunity to check out the Glow-worms at night, though dragging yourself away from the fire-juggling was pretty tough.
The Gala show (and the infamous Renegade show) was worth the ticket price alone. A great variety of acts up close and egged on by a massively supportive crowd. As always it might not be best to sit up the front in case you end up dragged into the show itself – note to self for next year 😉
The final day culminates in the festival Olympics. This is best described in the small sample of events in the pictures below
Massive amount of thanks to everyone that made the festival possible and are working away already to bring next years festival to life