Posted by: Jack | November 13, 2006

Seattle Jugging and Footbag Festival (SJFF)

Friday evening, Anna, myself and two friends from the Evergreen State College Juggling Club drove up to Seattle for the 5th annual SJFF. We were told that a majority of those attending would be footbaggers and so we were slightly worried that the event might be a little boring. Upon arriving, we quickly realized we had no idea what the sport of footbagging is like these days. The video below is just a very short sample of a guy practicing up. You can barely see the bag but the footwork is the important part anyway. One thing we found really funny is that these guys will “kick it” all day, every day, yet almost every single time someone finishes a “set” it seems mandatory for all present to give a quick high-five of congratulations.

Late Friday night we attended the Renegade Show. This was informally associated with the festival and was essentially a variety show with an emphasis on juggling. A friend of ours from Olympia was the MC and had the entire crowd roaring. Some of the acts were among the most impressive demonstrations of talent that I’ve ever seen.

After a late, late party Friday night and very little sleep, we returned to the festival on Saturday and did lots and lots of juggling. I tried to get some good photos but as is generally the case, digital pictures in the gymnasium would be impossible without a very nice camera. I did bring my trials unicycle along and was fairly surprised to find that none of the other attendees had really seen trials unicycling before. It was a big confidence booster when dozens of people cheered after I just rolled down a few stairs. Things got a little more exciting when I started doing some aerial tricks.

Saturday night we attended the All 4 Limbs Show which was more formally associated with the festival and toned down a bit so as to be a little more family-friendly. Nonetheless, this was an amazing show. Featuring a 5 time world champion footbagger who juggled 6 balls using both hands and both feet, a world champion jump-roper who used to star in Cirque du Soleil, a Broadway magician, and my personal favorite, Nanda. Nanda is a group of four guys about my age who call themselves Kung Fu Acrobats. Their street style show is actually a comedy act with an amazing display of physical talents. If you ever have the chance to see them, don’t miss out. I found a video of them from a few years ago on google video. It’s pretty low quality and not quite as refined as the show we saw but still pretty cool.

Nanda in Cancun

And of course there was another after show party which went very late into Sunday morning. It also happened to be at the house we were crashing at so eventually we decided that if we wanted to get any sleep we needed to just drive back to Olympia. And thats what we did. It was an extremely entertaining weekend, we met a whole bunch of fun people and I have a few new tricks in my juggling repertoire.



  1. Hey! I stumbled across your site just now, and just HAD to comment 🙂 I missed SJFF this year for the first time since its beginning (2000) . . . I happen to know the guy in your video here. His name is Dylan Fry, and he (like me) is from Victoria, BC. I also thought I’d note that the 5 time footbag champ who juggles 6 balls with hands and feet is Peter Irish.

    I’m happy you enjoyed the event, and maybe we’ll get to meet at next year’s SJFF 🙂


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