For more information about running a bar at a BJC see the Bar page.
2008 - Doncaster
The Doncaster venue provided all catering and bar facilities as well as obtaining the necessary TEN from the council. They had two indoor bar areas, as well as a mobile bar which they put in our marquee at the entrance to the big top. No complaints from them about their takings. Indoor bar areas were much appreciated since the weather was cold.
2009 - Norwich
In 2009, the bar tried selling lager at £3 per pint, and as a result sold almost none at all. The bar staff were all employees of the bar company and just turned up for their assigned hours to put beer over the bar. They were not interested in whether the bar space worked well or made a profit.
2010 - Huddersfield
In 2010 the team made an extra effort to explain BJC to the bar staff. As a result, the bar brought in 10 barrels of locally brewed beer, and sold it at £2.50 a pint. They sold out.
The 2010 bar staff put a lot of effort into creating an "atmosphere" that would attract more customers. For them this meant low lighting and very loud music: while at times there was a lively party going on, at other times everyone in the bar disappeared to the adjacent marquee purely because it was quiet and they could see to play board games.
In retrospect it worked very well that there were two adjacent marquees so there could be a party space and a boardgame / chat space.
In 2010 the owner of the company was actively involved and keen to make sure his bar was providing what the jugglers wanted.
2011 – Nottingham
Volunteers ran the bar at the BJC and all money went to the BJC.
Three core members
All three were core members of the BJC 2011 team. Ron and Paul were members of the Nottingham Juggling Club, Paul is also the wife of Jane Randall, Jak was previous organiser of the BJC in Norwich.
Harvey Hadden were going to provide a bar at their venue, though for some reason that didn't quite happen. They had a 24 hour premise licence which included Sale of Alcohol by retail. Research done at Bungay Balls Up 2010 suggested that jugglers want a bar run by jugglers for juggler; which went with what a BJC was about, so when they were unable to source a bar Ron's team offered to run it. They used Ron’s Personal Licence to be the DPS for the event.
The team sourced real ales and spirits from wholesalers, working out costs and potential profits. Their philosophy was "buy enough to last a few days and you can always buy more", especially since any left over at the end would have to be thrown out.
Ron decided to take notes and run the bar as he would have done at work, cashing up, stock takes, rotas etc to enable to take the information for future organisers of BJCs.
2012 – Southend
Ron passed on all the information to Louise who was landlady of The Miley in Rochford, to enable her to set the prices etc. She ran the bar in a marquee in the camping field and had a special Juggler's Ale brewed for the event.
2013 – Pickering
Ron's team were asked to run the bar at BJC 2013.
Using the figures from last time they were able to set up profits and source real ales and beers again. During the event it was realized that the event wouldn’t break even and as such prices rose to try and make more profit.
The big difference between Nottingham and Pickering was in regards to licencing, the venue in Pickering did not have a 24 hour licence and Temporary Event Notice (TEN) was required to extend the current licensable objectives.
These were set at
Regulated Entertainment – 12:00 – 00:00
Sales of Alcohol by Retail - 12:00 – 01:00
2014 – Darton
The team were asked to run the bar again. Having two years worth of figures really helped, 25 barrels of real ale lasted until 02:50 on the last night.
Again a TEN was needed to cover licensable activities
Regulated Entertainment – 11:00 – 01:00
Sale of Alcohol by Retail – 11:00 – 03:00