Launched in March 2007, EmeraldCircus.com was Ireland’s first website and forum for jugglers and circus performers to get together and grow stronger as a community. The sites membership grew steadily reaching just over 1000 registered members in November 2012. The forums are where most of the community gathered and shared information and an account was not needed to access most information posted on the forums with only areas like the “Performers Wanted” section restricted to logged in members.
Between 2007 and 2011 EmeraldCircus.com was a feature at every Circus Festival and Juggling Convention in Ireland (after 2011 we had to skip a few here and there) and in 2009 we got to run our own mini convention as part of the Street Performance World Championships. EmerladCircus:Live ’09 (EC:Live) was a huge success for the site, the community and those attending the festival. It was so popular it was missed in later years with many attendees of the SPWC asking us where the juggling and circus workshops where in 2010 and again 2011, only to be as disappointed as ourselves when we informed them our space in 2009 was given to another group. In 2010 we were allowed to officially claim a space (the same space that is unofficially claimed every other year by jugglers) in the centre of the park for jugglers and circus performers to just chill out and do what they do in front of a large crowd, in 2011 even this space was reallocated to another group… But the Jugglers are a persistent gang and have juggled in the same location at the SPWC since it started in 2006 and will continue to juggle there in the future. EmeraldCricus.com was also involved with the organisation of the Dublin Circus Festival from 2009-2014 and the Tralee Circus Festival in 2011 and 2012.
EmeraldCircus.com grew over the years thanks to the support of many people from the members of our community to our sponsors and those who promoted the site every chance they got. Over the years EmeraldCircus.com had a strong relationship with Jugglin Dublin and Richard who owned the shop was one of the most active supporters of the site supporting it in every way he could from getting the name out there with his customers to helping to fund some of the equipment needed for EC:Live ’09. It’s safe to say EmeraldCircus.com would not have got to where it has without the support we received from Richard and all the members of our community and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE who has been part of EmeraldCircus.com at any point over the years. Your contribution to the site and the community no matter how small you might think it might have been was part of what makes the community behind EmeraldCircus.com what it is today… A large community of amazing people, doing amazing things and sharing their amazing knowledge with each other and to each new generation of amazing people.
In 2011 we held the first EmeraldCircus.com Community Awards an award system where nominees were selected and voted for by the community on the forums. In August 2011 we had an award ceremony and featured a gala show which was put together by the Dublin Circus Project. This was hugely popular and will be a major part of our plans going forward.
In November 2012 the forums were hit hard by SPAM and other malicious attacks which forced us to close them as all accounts including the main administration ones were locked out making moderation and repairs impossible. In mid 2012 a number of groups started using Facebook pages and groups to inform their members of what’s happening and regular members were using Facebook to arrange meetups and events making the forums a bit unused in their last few months. While visitor numbers never really dropped the amount of fresh information being posted was becoming less and less as new committee members in various groups focused their attention on social networks to get their information out. With this new trend in information sharing taking content away from the forums the decision was made to scrap the forums and the entire site and start again from scratch with a new more social media integrated EmeraldCircus.com.
With the forums gone our community set up the “Circus & Juggling Ireland” Facebook group and this along with poor mental health led Merlin to the difficult decision to take some time away and have a long overdue break from trying to keep up with everything. In 2014 EmeraldCircus.com was officially taken offline and all work and promotion stopped on the project completely. This was never meant to last as long as it did, but a complete mental breakdown for Merlin in 2017 followed by global issues in 2020 meant things just never got the chance to get going again properly.
That is until late 2021 when Merlin added Des and Blú to a chat and decided to see if it they would be interested in helping bring EmeraldCircus.com back from the dead. The response was that he was a couple of weeks late to a conversation that had already taken place and they were going to approach him about bringing everything back. So with a new team, lots of ideas and enthusiasm, we got to work. Around the same time Des was offered the opportunity to run a renegade at Slane Castle in the Big Top for “Circus Gerbola presents A Celtic Voyage” a historic show where the three main circus families of Ireland came together to take part in a single production. It was quickly decided that this night would be the time to announce that EmeraldCircus.com was returning and with the National Circus Festival Ireland only a month away we were going to officially relaunch there. So we reached out to everyone, letting them know about the renegade and got as many as possible to Slane for what was a great night of Circus and after show shenanigans.
It is an honour and a privilege to be associated with such an amazing community (all the jugglers and circusey people worldwide), to have met the people we have met and to be in a position to meet more amazing people, never knowing who or where it will be makes each day special. How many communities can say that those members who are the rock stars of the community known worldwide often by just their first name can be idolised online one day and then be sharing their knowledge and chilling out at the next festival or convention with those who idolise them and watch their videos over and over on YouTube? We are part of a community where you get to meet your heroes, not just see them on a stage and maybe get an autograph or photo if your lucky, but actually meet them, talk to them, chill out with them and learn from them, but most importantly you can become friends with them, because in this community although some are more experienced then others in the skills department we are all equal, discrimination has no place here and everyone is welcome. EmeraldCricus.com did not start this community, we just help a small part of it communicate with each other, the community is worldwide and growing every day, it was here long before us and will be here long after us.