Posted by Little Paul, 2012-07-06 11:55 BST
You say "From experience, I also don't think celebrities draw many extra jugglers to attend an event." but I can think of one notable example.
BJC2K in York was the BJC which booked Anthony Gatto - attendance was *huge* compared to the years immediately before and after that BJC. I don't think there's much doubt that AG was part of that draw (although the enormous amount of publicity that the York guys did in advance to make sure every juggler in the UK knew AG was coming obviously had an effect!)
It would have to be someone really special to make me go just to see them these days, but is that me being a jaded old fart? Do younger jugglers feel differently? Or are celebrities less important to see in person now that they're all over the internet?
I don't know.
I suspect the "big names" I would be excited about seeing at an event don't have much of a crossover into mainstream juggling community. I'm more excited by the idea of jugglers attending who have something interesting I can talk to them about than I am someone who can bust out burly siteswaps or whatever.
You raise an interesting point about paid attendees though.
I don't have a problem with paying performers to be in the gala show, or to run a series of special masterclass workshops or something (much like I wouldn't have a problem paying a mechanic to work on my car) - but *only* if they're invited and booked by the person putting the show together.
I'm not a huge fan of people who approach festivals and say "I'd like to be in your show, or run some workshops - I'll want paying though" which is more than a little cheeky in my book! I wouldn't pay a mechanic who approached me uninvited and offered to work on my car, why would I pay someone who is begging to perform at my event?
At the lower end of the blagging scale I've encountered people who turn up on the day saying "I've driven a minibus full of kids from my local workshop - can I have my usual group discount" to which the response was always along the lines of "we don't usually give you a discount, so you can pay full price like you did last year"
All in all, I'm happy for people to be paid for their services if we've approached them to provide those services. I'm not so happy for people to try and take the piss.
Has that drifted off topic a bit?
 I have met some mechanics who I would make an exception for though... pwhoar ;-)