Jugglers are good at making their own entertainment, but most BJCs have had some program of organised entertainment in the evenings (other than the Public Show).
A boss and a budget
Ideally, one member of the team should have evening events as their main responsibility - even if they "subcontract" a lot of the organising to other people who each run an individual evening. The boss of evening events will need a budget: BJC 2008 did things on the (very) cheap at £1000.
If you are booking artists or bands, the earlier you start making phone calls the better. Good artists may be booked up well in advance, at least for Friday and Saturday night.
Your artists and bands will all have technical requirements for sound equipment, possibly lighting equipment and perhaps personnel to run same. It's worth considering this when you do the bookings - hiring in equipment is expensive, and moving it around is time consuming and risks breaking something.
A band booked for after the main show is great for atmosphere, but remember somebody will need to be on site during the public show to direct them to the right place and make sure they have everything they need to get set up.
Shows will normally require at least a couple of hours for get-in, during which they need exclusive use of the space the show will be in, as well as all the sound and lighting equipment and the people to run it. It also takes a noticeable amount of time to get an audience in or out of a venue, so this needs considering if you want to run shows back-to-back in the same space.
The shorter the get-in you give a show team, the more likely they are to start late. You can reduce the risk by providing the show team with one or more runners, preferably practical people with backstage experience, as well as access to a car and some cash for emergency gaffer tape purchases.
Previous evening events have included:
- Shows of various kinds - open stages, circus school showcases, BYJOTY, Britovision, Juggle Jam, renegade. All of these have the advantage of being very cheap.
- Cabaret shows, fire shows, or a performer or group with enough material to fill a show on their own. Often the artists will want at least their expenses paid, if not a fee.
- Parties with DJs. BJC 2007 had a fancy dress party.
- Bands or singers. BJC 2008 splurged most of the budget on a large swing band Les Vegas and the International Playboys of Rhythm to play after the main show.
- Pub quizzes. BJC 2010 had a quiz on previous BJCs.
- BJC 2008 had Modern Jive workshops, followed by a gramophone DJ Dennis Teeth playing jazz and swing records.
Some jugglers don't want to have their evenings 100% organised, but just like to hang out, chat with their friends and play board games. They will be happy if you can find them a warm, quiet and well lit space near the bar with some chairs and tables. Some may want to spend every moment they can juggling.
BJC 2010 had two marquees next to one another. One had the bar, the large sound system, various bands and DJs, and low lighting; the other was behind those speakers and stayed well lit. Both were well used in the evenings.