Jump Fest AVL
2018 | Asheville
From what we have heard, Jump Fest Asheville is very different than the "original" Jump Fest in Colorado. So if you are looking to book that event, this review will be almost completely useless since they are so different. Jump Fest AVL is an event for experienced parkour athletes looking to get down and dirty with the outdoors in a small group setting. If you like getting outdoors, don't mind going with the flow and you are a capable traceur, this could be a great event for you!
Pisgah Forest is a beautiful nature oasis with lots of flowing water and lush green mountains. Beautiful escape from day-to-day city life and the daily grind.
Too small to create the "vibe". Since there were only 4 participants this year, it was hard to find the tribe vibe, and also made it hard to capture the full potential of what the event has to offer. While this was a bit disappointing, it certainly left lots of room for 1:1 interactions and I definitely saw a LOT of potential for the event as it grows. I think having at least 8 people would make the tribe vibe possible and create a really epic experience.
Overall, the event was very free form. One of my favorite lines from the "welcome" email sent out by Justin was "try not to get arrested" in reference to sleeping on rooftops downtown for one of the nights. During the days, there were 1-2 planned activities/locations, but in general it was very free form and there was a lot of time to do your own thing.
The first two nights were meant to be spent "on the town": literally sleeping on buildings. But since it was only 3 of us the first night, we opted for beds and a good night of rest. The second night we ended up sleeping "out" and although it was a bit of a drag looking for a location, freezing a bit, etc, it was certainly a great experience. Why? Because once you do something, it becomes a bit less mythical, and I ended up using the demystified "roof method" to my advantage when I was trying to save some $ on my trip to London.
On the third day, we packed up the cars and headed out to Pisgah Forest. The last 3 nights were spent hammock camping at a site there. There was a ton of epic nature all around, and we took day trips to different waterfalls as well as "Sliding Rock": an awesome 60'+ natural water slide.
I think, as an organizer, Justin did his best to make good of a tough situation: a seminar with only 4 signups. However, I do think this is why seminars should SET registration cutoff dates if signups aren't going well, and potentially cancel a seminar. I can understand all of the reasons for not wanting to cancel, but I think the two main reasons for cancelling may have been heavier in this case:
not enough revenue to make it profitable for the instructor/organizer
not enough people for the tribe vibe
At the most, Justin probably brought in $1500 from the event, maybe even $1000. After paying for meals, reserving the campsite, gas, guest instructors/helpers, etc, he was MAYBE looking at breaking even for 4 full days of his life. This is just not enough to motivate anyone, and motivation is key for any seminar leader. I would rather pay $500 to go to a seminar where the leader is incredibly enthusiastic and motivated, than $100 to go to a seminar where the instructor doesn't want to be there. I don't throw this idea out there to say that the camp was not worthwhile for me as a participant AT ALL: I truly enjoyed the experience and got to spend some serious QT with one of my best friends. I say this because I would have understood if the camp had needed to be cancelled, and I think it would have been a better experience for the organizer and some of the other participants had he cancelled.
Amor y Paz,
Bad publicity for the event/brand
Some students may have booked flights: in this case I was the only one who had, and would have totally been OK with the camp not happening had Justin contacted me
Loss of $ on things already booked: in this case the campground and possibly needing to compensate other people for the time they committed to the project