Whether you’re new to the juggling community or have been going to festivals for decades, here’s a guide to making the festival a supportive and inspirational environment for all. Thank you to the women and nonbinary people who contributed to this document.
First, we recognize that everyone deserves to be here. Guests have the right to enjoy the festival without fear of harassment, discrimination or condescension, and everyone should acknowledge and respect this right.
Second, all within the festival gym, show, and social space agree that harassment or violence of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes – but is not limited to – offensive verbal comments about age, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, religion or lack thereof; deliberate intimidation; and unwelcome sexual attention, all in accordance with applicable government laws.
Third, we recognize that everyone has a different cognitive makeup. This can affect someone’s comfort level and practices in social situations. If you find yourself struggling socially or emotionally, seek out a friend or festival organizer for support. Likewise, if you notice someone getting overwhelmed, checking out, or otherwise struggling, find out how you can support them. This could include grabbing them a snack or offering a listening ear. They might not want your help, and that’s okay too.
Fourth, ask for permission. This includes permission for physical touch, using another person’s props/belongings, and taking photos/videos of them. Taking photos/videos during the show is at the discretion of the IJA Festival, but it is best to consult the individual performer beforehand.
Fifth, be considerate with your words. Don’t make assumptions about pronouns, relationship status, or experience level. It’s okay to ask! Those attending a juggling festival are frequently open to advice, opinions and coaching, but checking in before offering these things ensures that everyone’s on the same page.
Finally, as a group, we agree to hold ourselves accountable for our words and actions. A calm and direct intervention – using this code of conduct as a reference – can make the space feel that much more welcoming and safe for everyone.