Are you looking to book a primary school circus show to wow your pupils and staff?
Do you have a circus project that you want to start with an inspirational event? Or simply celebrating a school milestone or headteacher retirement.
Do you want a big top on your field or just bring the magic of the big top to your school hall? Anything’s possible and we love circus in schools. The combination of excitable school children mixed with the magic of circus is a recipe for an extremely enjoyable and rewarding way to spend our days.
This is for the school that really wants to stand out. Sending a message to the community that this is a school that goes the extra mile to provide unforgettable experiences for their pupils. If you like the sound of this, read a couple of recent examples below.
The children at St Margaret’s Community Academy in Lowestoft were welcomed to school by Lucas riding around on his unicycle as the parents dropped the kids off. The excitement was building and there was a wonderful buzz about the playground. We had arrived the day before to set the big top up, a cute little time-lapse of this can be seen below and was shared 57 times by people on the schools facebook page.
The day kicked things off with a circus show for half the school, 270 excited children packed into our cute little red and white big top. Warming us up with much hilarity and winding up from ringmaster/clown PeteZa. The circus show featured a 4 person cast of Pete, myself (Lucas), Moses and Joanne. For a small cast show there was a lot of variety on display, we had acrobatics, clowning, unicycling, aerial hoop, handstand, club passing, hat juggling, cigar boxes etc etc. It was so much fun to perform to these wonderful children and they came out with some delightful comments post show. One boy bounced up and down and hugged me saying ‘When I grow up I want to be you’. Another couple of lads said ‘You’re my favourite’. But I won’t go on about that or brandish it across the internet.
The Year 6’s were treated to a ramped up schedule of circus workshops which on top of all the traditional circus skills also included; Trapeze lessons, tightrope walking and unicycling lessons. The hidden message in all of the workshop sessions is always to teach the kids the value of perseverance when attempting to accomplish a new skill. One chap in Year 6 did not get off the unicycle for the whole session and he really did so well. He managed to ride about 3 metres in only 45 minutes which is really impressive stuff.
Back in February, a larger team of Bigtopmania’s finest performers were in action at Northampton University. We had the same big top up on campus there and it was a similar set up in terms of equipment. As well as running sessions for the students to experience the circus skills and try new things we were also there to provide fun for the children of Preston Hedges Primary School.
Big top mania gave a great show to the Year 5 pupils today! Huge thanks to the Changemaker team and CyGen for inviting us! pic.twitter.com/BwTO85bKBl
Do you have a school in mind that might like to book a bespoke circus experience for their local school community? Please do get in touch with me directly on email@example.com and I’ll be happy to assist and advise on how we can facilitate the most wonderful big top event for your school.
If you are thinking of university marquee hire, or for any other academic or student event propose, white clear-span frame marquees are lovely of course and they can create incredible, large indoor spaces for fantastic events.
But why not add a unique touch and step out from the crowd! Grab some colour! Boost your event theme and visibility!
Are you planning next years College Summer Ball, Student awards ceremony, Open day, PTA Function, School fete, Theatre production or Freshers fairs?
You may well need one of our tents! Or even some entertainment!
Bigtopmania have been lucky enough to work all around the country for various colleges, schools and universities.
In recent years this has included 3 trips to Scotland for St Andrews’s Big Top Balls with mammoth circus tent installs; various Oxford and Cambridge University summer balls, Bristol University, Birmingham University, Colleges including Bedfordshire, Chichester, Schools including Harrow.
It seems our alternative is proving to be a popular option for university and college event marquee hire…we are currently in talks with University of Northampton for a Feb 2018 event.
Summer 2017 schools, colleges and University marquee hire fun & frolics…a few recent events!
Most recently we supplied 2 brand new colourful circus tents/big tops to Bristol University for their fresher’s event on The Downs. The brightly coloured 12m round with new 8 foot walls for larger feeling space and a brand new 6x12m traditional marquee. The 2 tie in nicely to each other but helped to give the event a colourful focal point in the middle of their site.
Earlier in the season the boys had a good journey up to Cambridge for a short days work where only the roof of a fairly small open-sided tent was required as a bit of sun/rain shelter and also to add to their circus and funfair theme at the Newnham College Garden Party.
At Chichester College we supplied the large red and yellow tent for their student induction week and Principal’s address.
At Newport School in Barnstaple we supplied a large 400 seater theatre tent for various activities, children theatre show and the school’s anniversary. A small dressing room tent was installed behind therein one.
For Bedfordshire, Shuttleworth College student awards ceremony 2016 we supplied a large 500 seater red and white tent which they all used for the student ball after..
At Dumpton School in Dorset, we supplied a lovely tent with patriotic theme and circus trapeze rig for their PTA summer ball.
At Harrow school we supplied for about the 7th time, a marquee for the Grove boarding houses leaver’s meal.
For Leighton Park School in Reading in Feb 17, we supplied a selection of linked tents for their GCSE drama production of WoyZeck. Fabulous photo album here.
Casting the mind further back to last year, the team were working hard in Oxford in the beautiful grounds but pouring rain! We even had a very close call with a lightening strike. For a rather large Oxford university marquee hire install at Wadham College Wonderland ball of 4 Big Tops and various small tents.. What a beautiful event.
Whilst here you will see a 5 pole Red and White Big Top supplied to Bristol University Wills Hall Founders Ball for the welcome drinks reception at their 2016 summer ball. Let’s hope there was lots of drinks and lots of people to be welcomed!
Planning a University Event in 2018?
Please do get in touch as soon as possible, a lot of dates are already taken up for 2018 with weddings and festivals being every present in our schedule, but we will do our best to fit you in and add some circus sparkle to your event!
After years and years of setting up weddings for our lovely customers, it was time for mini chief to marry his princess charming, Lucas and Aimz have been together 8 years now, Aimz is a full-time teacher but can often be found in our children’s area’s teaching hundreds of children trapeze lessons. Lucas popped the question in rather spectacular fashion at Camp Festival in 2016 during Fat Boy Slim’s headline set. You can watch the magical moment here.
So 8 months on, endless evenings of planning, discussing, discussing some more and discussing of our discussions and we were in business. This was our chance let our imagination go wild, use all our experience and remember stolen ideas from previous customers, spend months building things out of pallets, have an on mass hokey cokey as a first dance and become Mr and Mrs Wintermei!
Colourful Circus Tents or Vintage Canvas marquee? Both! Bigtopmania Wedding
If ever there was a time to pull out all the stops and make use of our stock, it’s your wedding day. Plus when Aimz asks Pete in a nice polite fluttery eyes way, Pete became the ultimate ‘yes’ man. Can we have a champagne tent? Can we have a dinner marquee and a party tent? Dancefloor? Glitterbal? Think we need a stage, Yep, Yes why not! ok, sure, leave me in peace! It really was amazing to showcase what we can do, whilst trying to hold ourselves back from going to mad, because what goes up, must come down. But you only get married once and we wanted to give everyone a weekend to remember. I’m going to let the pictures do the talking in this article as I don’t want to gabble on forever.
It was a nice chance to introduce some of our friends to our canvas marquee that not all of them would have seen and also great fun to decorate it to our own unique taste.
We had some fantastic help from lots of wonderful friends and would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again.
Venue – Koa Tree Camp, we couldn’t have picked a more friendly wonderful place to hold our event. The owners were super helpful throughout the set up and take down and allowed us loads of freedom to create our mini festival. Even cooking up a quite incredible friday night Moroccan feast for 80 of us! The main plus for this venue was being able to accommodate lots of our guests in beautiful log cabins, geo domes and bell tents. Thanks Koa Tree! We will be back!
Wedding Cake – Rough Read Cakes aka Polly Harte – our lovely friend and cake boss, who made us a wonderful naked masterpiece of maybe 5 different flavours. You know the cakes good when it all gets eaten and the bride didn’t even get any!
Flowers – Snowdrops Another generous friend donating their expertise, Lou and Mike did a magical job with complete creative control over our floral arrangements, we didn’t really know what we wanted so we trusted their judgement and they got it 110% right!
Food – ReJuice & Pretty F******g Good Toast – Our friend Tom Fletcher runs a food waste juice company, the original thought was to have a food waste banquet but due to the difficulty in forward planning with food waste, we went for just incredible food from these lovely folks.
Photography – Michael Wells Photography, we didn’t know Michael before the wedding but we now feel like we’ve gained a friend, he was a wonderful part of our day and captured it beautifully as you will see if you gander through these pictures.
Videographer – Sam Mulvey, a recommendation from a friend and has since become a football team mate, video is not released yet but we will get it out soon and give you all a wonderful reminder of what a smashing time it was!
There was a circus show by some of the Bigtopmania faithful, including Oneface Mapacha and Loudini! and Lucas even joined in himself, Moses doesn’t drink, and there was some suggestion that the reason for all the dropping was that Lucas had been too much on the vino. but it turns out he had actually not drank yet, it was just the nerves!
Music wise, at the church the romantic atmosphere was made even more beautiful by an acoustic aisle walk music from Meg Emrys and Charlie Hurt. We also had a few wonderful DJ sets from FlutterbyOne, Josh Hyams, Debbie and Lou. We also had the fabulous Mudflappers, a swing dance troupe from London who gave a short demonstration before teaching us all a sequence and then throughout the night they were just absolute stars at keeping the dance floor moving. Highly recommend!
It was an utterly astounding day and we love reminiscing and hope you enjoyed reading this article to give you a little insight and maybe an idea of what we could do with you for your magical big top/festival/circus wedding.
Anyone that follows our movements on Facebook or has seen us at all manner of events around the country will know that a large portion of our summer season is spent supply festival children’s area’s to some lovely events across the UK festival circuit.
A festival children’s area the whole family can enjoy!
We want to create a fun filled area that keeps the kids amused of course. However we aim to create a beautiful space that has a little bit of something for everyone. The idea being that families can play together and not feel like their away from the rest of the festival. A circus show that wows even the most seasoned festival goer but mesmerises the kids at the same time. Gran can bounce on a mega ball and dad can ride a crazy bike. Read on to find out what your options are when booking a Bigtopmania area.
What the public said…
A colourful festival children’s area landscape created by us.
We are also big top hire company with a huge amount of own equipment, meaning the majority of the time we supply our own big tops as venues for the shows, craft activities and workshops. This allows us to plan out the area and means festival organisers aren’t having to communicate with multiple suppliers to create one area. Sit back and let us build it beautiful, or indeed as with Camp Bestival give us your creative input to guide us in order to get every little detail just as you picture it. The point stands though that, if we are working in the area, it makes sense that we create the space as much as possible because we know which activities need what space.
Activities and Shows – Generally we program shows in our Big top throughout the day and activities spilling out of the tent and around it to create a wonderfully chaotic and immersive little people party zone.
The vast majority of our activities are brought and managed by us. We never charge for any of our activities and try to keep the kids area as a money free zone. We bring to the table;
Mega Balls – Upto a 10 foot Giant Beach Ball, 5” Earth Balls and lots of different sized giant bouncy balls that children (and adults) can wobble, wiggle, bounce and balance on.
An amazing photo opportunity and fantastic fun.
Interactive Inflatables – These are hard to describe in words. They are crazy shaped alien creations which kids can bundle on, run around, climb up. They have often been mentioned as children’s favourite thing at Camp Bestival, which is really saying something.
Crazy Bikes – A huge range of wacky bikes awaits your punters. Wobbly bikes, unrideable ones, unicycles and tricycles, time to try cycling in the wackiest of ways.
Circus workshop but better! – All the usual juggling, hula hoops, plate spinning and diabolos, plus Slacklines, Tightwires, Acrobatic, and Aerial workshops in TRAPEZE and Aerial hoop – a super popular festival favourite!
Toddler Area – babies and toddlers need a space to kick back when they’ve done too much dancing. A cute little space with a vast selection of cuddly toys, sand pits, trains, puppets, and sometimes even nappy changing facilities.
Etc Etc Etc … Lots and lots of bubbles, walkabout performances, african drumming, catapult water balloons, 5 aside football, volley ball, sock wrestling. The only limit is how much space you can give us!
Shows galore that’ll make you want more
Every festival children’s area includes our resident Bigtopmania Family Show. Which usually includes 3 members of the Bigtopmania family and is usually bolstered by our good friends, fellow professionals as well as a few talented teens to create a fun filled action packed, big tricks in small tent impact thats the perfect first circus experience or equally enjoyable for circus enthusiasts.
There will almost always be the legendary Kids Talent Show which can throw up some wonderful moments that you really have to be there to enjoy but it is generally wonderful Sunday afternoon watching. You can also expect to enjoy Big Bears Big Balloon Disco!
Huge tunes and bigger balloons. You show us your dance moves and if you’re working hard enough we will unleash hundreds of balloons that bounce around the big top. Hold onto your children, they might burst with excitement.
Other shows depend on the festival but we often program a mix of interactive theatre shows, clowns, musicians, puppet shows and storytellers. All of whom we have been working with for many years.
Lets get crafty!
The advantage of working at festivals for so long is that you get to know the most wonderful mix of creatives. People that are silly enough to think of an idea and make it into a workshop. Like Festival Sticker Art and Bottle Top creations, just two of our teams that create fantastic take homes for free out of waste materials such as sticker off-cuts and a winters worth of collecting plastic bottle tops.
Festival season is just one winter away!
We do already have a very full festival schedule but… there are a couple of gaps on key weekends where we could squeeze in something extra, and we are always keen to here about the new events popping up.
If you think are aiming your festival towards a family crowd then drop us a line and see what we can do for you. This post is designed as a guide of what we have done but its not extensive and who knows what we’ve got up our sleeve for next season!
If you read last weeks episode (blog post) you’ll know that Team Bigtopmania spent a Saturday afternoon busy in Surrey providing circus entertainment to a company christmas fun day. But the show doesn’t end there. Oh no! You’ve merely made it to the interval. It’s SuperVet Christmas Party time; So get your popcorn, sit back and enjoy the rest of this roller coaster ride of circus & event supplier rambling!
Can we supply a marquee for 300+ guests at tables?
Let’s set the scene before we get into the actual event. Our client Fitzpatrick Referrals, made contact with us at just the right time, way back in May 2014.
Honoured to be asked and from what I now know these Supervets and their amazing team do outstanding work.
Plan early! That’s a 6 month Christmas event planning lead in.. just right!
Next Tip!Its really good to be able to see the tent and we like to let clients know if this is possible.
Here’s a picture of the set up on that occasion in May 2015
Farnham Lions Indian Spectacular
and there are even more tents behind. We look forward to working join their next big event in 2017 for 600 table seated guests!! That was a big event and it gave the present clients a good sample. So why not go bigger!
Tent for 300 guests + Large Foyer Bar Tent + Service tent + Stage + Dance floor + loos and lots of entertainment too! In Mid December!
The challenge was on and we produced a few plans and worked with the organiser Stuart (who also runs a therapy centre in Guildford. ) Stuart is a friend of Noel Fitzpatrick and event planned as a favour. I think he likes parties too!
One of the draft plans!
Next Tip; Don’t do it all yourself!
A production collaboration was in order as it was a huge job.
Balloons; dozens of them.. Stuart and his wife.. You have to do something…
The Event Build; Production phase.
It was a very windy site during site visits so we were well prepared with huge amounts of extra ropes, ratchets , and mega stakes. There was no way we were going to have any wind issues!
In the build week leading up to the big day we spent a couple of chilly days fighting the winter weather rigging the rather enormous 6 pole Red & White ‘Squirty Cream‘. This marquee served as the main function space giving 383 square metres of party space.
As soon as this tent was ready we informed Carron marquees that their work could begin!
We had delivered some kit and made some ground preparations in advance so we ended up a day ahead of schedule!
before the foyer and catering tent added
The space was lit with a combination of our fairy light systems, festoon lighting and globe lanterns to light the tent. Later Puxley Sound installed the stage lighting, projectors and battery operated up-lighters.
Before the carpets.
Tents were linked with a 4×4 chinese hat pagoda to a 9x15m candy-striped marquee that acted as the grand entrance tent.
Foyer tent install
Equipped with a well stocked bar and champagne to welcome guests.
well stocked bar
Entrance during event
The set up looked colourful and exciting when we left it, but by the time we returned with all the finishing touches; tables & chairs, decor, dance floor, a carpet and uplighters.
The venue looked quite stunning.
It’ll all be alright on the night.
When so much attention to detail has gone into the planning of a colourful vibrant event, it’s nice when the guests do it justice with an equally fantastic fancy dress effort.
Next Tip; Dress up!
Team Supervet did not disappoint. As well as gorgeous formal wear, there were plenty of leopard skin body suits, groups of strong ‘men’, a pantomime horse with both ends, all manner of clowns and ringmasters. It adds so much fun to the atmosphere from the start, it takes the fear out of atmos-fear!
Next tip; Book some great entertainment.
So after an already long day of performing circus shows down the road. The Bigtopmania team jumped straight into action. We provided mingling circus entertainment to give onlookers something to watch whilst they sipped champagne. Breaking the ice!
Emmanuel was keeping things simple with just a little bit of African bowl spinning and charismatic funny faces which always amuse me even after all these years.
Aerial Els was up high on stilts as a beautiful christmas fairy.
Lucas Jet and Moses did some walkabout juggling to the sounds of the wandering band.
After the guests found their tables,
The London Essentials then kicked things off with an en-mass rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody . . every-one joined in of course.
Then BANG! Generator fail. Smoke and Steam.. just like a car engine failure!
Next tip; at a big event, have at least a back up generator, some onsite electricians and ring for a replacement!
Back stage, people were madly running around trying to sort things out. For a while it was going to be a choice between power for catering or power for marquee.. but in the end Carron marquees brought a new generator. Only setting the schedule back by only 40mins or so. USE A LOCAL GENERATOR CO!
Next tip; Use an opportunity!
This unplanned power fail created a highlight for us and whilst we were having a break before the main show, word got back to the dressing room that the generator had failed (nothing to do with any of our kit thankfully). So the tent was in relative darkness apart from some battery powered LED uplighters round the edge and a small amount of lighting. Elanor had thankfully brought her glow clubs and they went straight in to action.
Making use of the lower lighting and making it look like it was all part of the plan; Glow juggling and acoustic wondering band to the rescue!
The London Essentials band
The guests remained in high spirits and danced and sang and watched our juggling apparently with some of them not realising this wasn’t planned. Below shows a badly-filmed clip of the nice moment the lights came back on.
A great and sexy start to the shows in store.. but not quite as sexy when colleague vets got to have a go!
After the pole dancing it was meal time and during this the London Essentials continued to serenade table by table. A VERY recommended band.
juggling around the tables
I’m afraid i didn’t want to intrude on tables and meal with a camera so no pictures of that and apologies for the I phone unedited images. Lets move on to the
Post-Meal, Pre-Dancing Circus Show Time.
It wouldn’t be a Supervet Christmas Party without some circus!
We had previously installed a 5m high portable, mobile trapeze rig over the dance floor and the action packed show to follow was in front of the stage. We aimed for an action packed show full of skills and comedy of about 25mins long.
The SuperVet Christmas Party Entertainers were;
Lucas Jet who did his jumping over guests on a unicycle routine. He really shouldn’t have picked on our bookers; Noel and Stuart! The Uk African Acrobat Company provided tumbling, human pyramids, contortion and bowl spinning.