Street Performance World Championships

It’s been pretty quiet in terms of post frequency here this past while, partly due to busyness and partly due to trying to form this post in my head. Here goes.

SPWC – I had never heard of it before some time in March when Darragh started mentioning it & how he was going to be involved & how much he was looking forward to it. What started out as a trip to Cork to see some SPWC & visit my sister turned into volunteering for both the Cork and Dublin leg of the festival. I had no idea what to expect but was more than pleasantly surprised by the whole experience.

Grant Goldie as That Man
Grant Goldie as 'That Man'

Out of the 2 legs, Cork was my favourite purely down to the venue (Fitzgerald Park) being able to cater better for the festival and the crowd it attracted. I was mesmerised by the sheer range of stuff I saw from fire juggling to a man going through a squash racket to a man on a 12ft unicycle. And loads more besides. My personal favourites from the festival were ‘That Man’ (Grant Goldie) and Mr. Toons, both for different reasons. The ‘That Man’ show was magical – it combined more “traditional” street performance trickery such as juggling but Grant had the very special skill of being able to interact & click with the audience down to a tee. And all without speaking a word. His contact juggling piece had me totally hypnotised, absolutely beautiful to watch & there are some beautiful shots of this on

Mr. Toons was amazing just for the sheer uniqueness & craziness of his show. From the 12ft unicycle to the giant balloon into which he climbs it’s just mind boggling to watch let alone wonder how on earth he came up with such an idea. Check out the pictures on – has to be seen to be believed.

Relaxed by Phil OKane (click for more)
'Relaxed' by Phil O'Kane (click for more)

It’s rare to see such a mixture of generations all mixed together enjoying the day & that for me is one of the things I loved most about SPWC. Anything that gets families, friends, kids & big kids out, about & laughing together is a winner. Being able to do that for free & in the open air (& thankfully sunshine for the most part) was icing on the cake.

One thing that also struck me over the two weekends is how much the performers themselves seemed to love doing their shows. From time to time I’ve had chats with my dad about various professions, our own included & how most of the time you can take a step back and say “funny way to make a living!”. Certainly applies here too to all involved from the performers to the organisers and everyone in between! But I’ll bet they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Blowing Bubbles #2 by Phil OKane
'Blowing Bubbles #2' by Phil O'Kane

Thanks all for a fantastic experience & hopefully we’ll do it all again next year :)

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