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Millennium Jam 2007 - Final Report

2 July 2007

Now that the dust has settled ,the adrenaline levels have gone back to normal and complete recovery is imminent , it’s good to sit back and take  a closer look at a hectic week of balloons , entertainment , competitions and more balloons . 

And a hectic week it was ......

It started with the arrival of the first attendee from Spain  ..... on Thursday ! 

He said he just couldn’t wait and came early to help with the lobby decor . No problem !

Michael Gjerek and his team arrived on Friday and created a stunning , colossal vase with giant flowers .What a show piece and definitely the most beautifull eye-catcher ever  ! As if that was not enough , he unveiled a few days later an enormous peacock ! Hundreds of photos were taken and ohhhh’s and aaah’s were in the air whenever  attendees arrived for Kidsalabim . This first edition of The European  Festival for Kids Entertainers was a big success with  lectures from top draws Trevor Lewis and Silly Billy , two very well received balloon workshops of Graham Lee  and  the ‘conférences’ of the charming french ventriloquist Ciboulette . 

But the Millennium Jam die-hards were getting impatient and couldn’t wait for the balloon festival  to start . That happened on Monday evening with mother-of-all-balloon-competitions ‘The Iron Latex Man Challenge - New Edition’ ! Dennis Hogers of HaHA Entertainment had worked on it for months and the result blew everybody from their socks ! A hilarious intro-videoclip with himself and Guido Verhoef , well edited iron-pumping music and several unexspected F/X made this ILMC the best ever ! When all of a sudden , the lights went out , the ambiance peaked like never before ! The Iron Latex Man of this year was the unique Ori Livney from Israel ! The tone was set for the days to come ..... 

The next morning the Crew of Guido Verhoef took over : in less than 12 hours they built a catwalk , set up sound and lighting , created a backdropand ,organised the backstage , had the models  in line and moved a small mountain to get everything ready for the 2nd Millennium Jam Balloon Fashion Show . The team was ‘Venetian Carnaval’ and the level was even higher than last year . The presentation and stage direction was excellent and the 14  designers did an incredible job . My sincere thanks to all of them ! Unfortunately  , the winner takes all  and once again the Jury  voted unanimously for the amazing Japanese Balloon Artiste ‘par excellence’ Rie Hosokai . What a creation and what a presentation ! Also very impressive and mindblowing was the creation of Ingrid Hogers from Holland . The intricate weaving patterns and attention to detail were simply never seen before and very much appreciated by the audience . 

The party after the Fashion Show lasted till the early hours and the first signs of sleep deprivation were visible the next morning when the workshops started .

All workshops  were well received  but some got raving reviews . Once again the Slovenian Balloon Master Michael Gjerek was outstanding in his two different workshops ! Well prepared  and very skillfull he made his innovative techniques all look so simple . Balloon Art at his best !

He also put up a mini-exhibition with some of his best and funniest balloon photos : I hope you didn’t miss it because there were some real gems on the wall .

Another excellent wortkshop was  the one of Ori Livney from Israel . Excellent feedback and praise from all attendees ! 

The next highlight was the Stage Competition  with 10 acts and  M/C  Bibo on a roll ! He was witty , self-confident and sometimes razorsharp ! Top class !

Perhaps for the first time , the result of the stage competition was undisputable and everybody agreed . Tomate of Argentina demonstrated what you can do with one balloon !   A lot  !

Runner-up Graham Lee showed us with British flair what  British humour is all about !  And  the talented Manon from France was a true revelation and a well deserved third ! Congrats to all the participants for the hard work and the courage to go on stage and be judged by your peers !

The  Gala was a nice closing of  our yearly event . The M/C Bibo had brought in some reinforcement with his impro-compadre  Olivier and his co-MC of last year Rafaël !

The announcement of the winners of the modeling competition didn’t hold many surprizes  and everybody agreed that Graham Lee was the rightfull European Balloon Entertainer of the Year . 

This was a fantastic Millennium Jam but it was only possible thanks to the help and support of many volunteers , teachers , manufacturers and ..... you all ! My sincere thanks and see you next year for a week of hilarious chaos and general mayhem !  

The TMJ-Team 

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