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.
Let’s review our Christmas Party Circus Entertainment.
But first; Happy New Year everyone! 2015 was fun!
December; always a busy month for events with celebrations and New Year’s parties galore.
This year Bigtopmania were extremely busy providing circus tents and circus theme event for christmas and seasonal events across London, Surrey, Cornwall and West Sussex.
Wapping Christmas Fair.
We started our December Christmas run back again in city centre London at an event in central Wapping organised by Community Solutions with local volunteer and Church help. Entirely focused on brining the community together, with charity stalls, Father Xmas, and lots more. The sun shone and this second Fair there was a great success. Wapping Christmas Fair, Community Solutions Blog post.
From Wapping, we had a mad week with large tents and shows in Godalming and Camberley in Surrey as well as a fairy lights installation in Launceston in Cornwall and some fire juggling shows at Chanukah events in Finchley and Golders Green London for Tzivos Hashem groups.
Giant Menora Lighting Golders Green
The huge crowd at this outdoor celebration. Fire Juggling stage show and more by PeteZa.
Peteza also performed once again for a playgroup party in Chilworth, Guildford; back for about the 15th time to the 3 and 4 year olds with lots of clowning nonsense!
Fairy Lights for Launceston Young Farmers Snow Ball at Launceston Town Hall.
During the mid week we installed tents for the weekend parties to come, but also managed to install a very pretty fairy light installation for the young farmers ball. ( They stayed in place for the mayors community dinner too). It was an interesting challenge doing this and used adapted parts, lots of ladder work and hundreds of meters of lights. Looked lovely!
Company Christmas Family Party
We were working as part of a larger project co-ordinated by Michael Charles from Julia Charles Events Management. Various suppliers came together to provide fairground rides, an ice rink and santa’s grotto with Bigtopmania providing the Christmas circus party entertainment in our beautiful little Big Top.
The team came together to supply a bespoke big top experience to wow the S C Johnson Ltd employees and families of the company.
The show featured;
Chief Peteza in ringmaster & clown mode with knife throwing frolics.
Moses Opiyo was hitting new heights with his hardstands, and braving the cold in just his gold leggings.
Lucas Jet; Sky High Unicycling and juggler. Also debuting a club passing routine with Moses.
Elanor Smith ; Aerialist from Pass Go Juggling; Rounding things on aerial silks to bring the house down.
We performed two shows and in-between shows we presented circus skills and giant bubbles to keep the kids amused entertaining around 500 people across the two audiences.
This day was a good example of how we can fit into a larger scale event but provide a low maintenance one stop solution. You don’t need to worry.. we will get on and do it! We provide lighting, p.a, the show, tiered seating, carpet, space heater.
Fitzpatrick Referrals (or Supervet); the mega Staff Christmas Party Circus .
You will have to wait!
There will be a separate post about our Fitzpatrick Referrals ( the ‘Supervet’) staff christmas party circus because so much of our resources went into it that it warrants a full article itself.
So as if you needed an incentive to check back next week, well, you now have one.
Cmed Staff Christmas Party Circus.
Cmed’s West Sussex office party was a relaxed lunchtime gathering in one of our tents at their location near Horsham.
The brief organised in conjunction with one of their head members of staff ( thank you for trusting us Georgina!) was a few hours of circus, food, informal, team building, party!
With 80 staff, we installed a small tent so there was no room to hide!
Guests/ Staff were greeted by bubbles and artists and each had a red nose and some costume accessories to wear on top of the Christmas jumpers.
Lunch from Monster Foods was very popular and the candy floss was splendid!
Show was by;
Moses Opiyo; hand-balancing and hat juggling.
Lucas Jet; Unicycling and juggling,
Elanor Smith on Aerial Hoop with our new mini portable trapeze rig.
Planning; a company fun day, a brand awareness event, a staff party or a motivational team-building event?
Booking: circus acts, hands-on activities, theme decor or circus tents?
Supplying; Bigtopmania have all the in-house skills and equipment to provide an amazing circus experience for your employees, clients or for brand promotional activity.
Here we describe a recent event and have posted some fabulous images from Red Chilli Photography, taken in Sept 2015, at Bovey Castle in Devon for one of their client companies , illustrating a sample of what we can do for you.
Working with Catherine, the venue event manager, our event brief was to provide a few hours of light hearted ice breaking entertainment. We tailored our input to the given budget and the venue provided extra catering and a few small activities on top. The guests were on an overnight stay with dinner dance, networking and more.
On this occasion, apart from the beautiful castle, hotel and golf course location, we focused our part of the day on a tent we call “Dorothy”, one of our circus tents suitable for aerial acts.
(Note: we have an extensive range of circus tents for hire and on other occasions, with a big top as the main venue, smaller marquees can be linked to create a tent village with an exciting atmosphere to keep your guests engaged.)
Event Brief format;
meet and greet guests.
have a mini circus parade to the activity location,
provide a show
then hands on activity,
fuelled by circus theme snacks and drinks.
No pressure to join in or try things but with a big range of activities on hand to try from plate spinning to knife throwing; they did!
Meet and Greet Acts;
Kris on CYR WHEEL,
Els on STILT-WALKING,
Polly on HULA HOOPING,
(Ring mastering was done by client team leaders!)
Circus Show Team;
Elanor on juggling and aerial silks to provide some circus wow.
Polly; providing a funky hula hoop performance as well as invaluable circus workshop experience after the show.
Audience; Volunteers for trapeze act and knife throwers assistant!
All of this was masterminded and ring-mastered by Peteza with a crowd thrilling knife throwing act and plenty of perfect audience participation to give the employees plenty of good memories to take back to the office.
Hands On Activities / Circus-skills;
guests could indulge in after the show:
tightrope and slack-line
unicycling and wobbly wheels
trapeze and aerial hoop
target knife throwing
Corporate Event Circus Video
Below is a short video of the day.
Which was of course rounded off with a fire eating/ juggling / swirling show in the evening!
Book a corporate circus event.
We can tailor our corporate circus event to whatever your needs are. This is just a sample.
If you like the look of what you see, pick up the phone, tweet us, write us a letter or an email, tell us about your
We want to hear from you to bring the circus to you and your company!
The Megaball is not a stupendous Venetian party nor a chance to win millions on the lottery but definitely an exceptional opportunity to have a huge amount of fun.
If you have not yet seen our Giant Megaballs in action and haven’t read a previous post about them, here are some self explanatory photos and links to videos that should do the trick and have you yearning to play.
These images are some of the megaball action found mainly in the Kid’s fields at events this summer 2015 like Rewind Festival, Shambala Festival, Bestival, Camp Bestival, Splendour Festival and Common People not to mention all the Lets Rock events..
I kid you not: they are giant balls of mega fun.
Mega Ball-Pits or Mega Ball Arenas = Mega Event Attraction!
We have a fair few of them and can create special MegaBall-Pits; Arenas with all sorts of ball sizes from toddler size to more than adult size… remember the giant beach balls are 9ft tall !
Imagine loads of mega balls… in huge arena… we can do it!
We have a specialism in providing a unique range of hands on entertainment and family entertainment at events across the country. We deliberately seek out a unique range of entertainment resources and these Megaballs are at the Giant end of the fun activity stable.
It was back to back festivals in early August, Camp Bestival then without a chance to shake the glitter out of our hair we were setting up at FF.
Forgotten Fields (FF if you’re hip) is brought to you by the organisers of long term favourite on the UK festival scene Kendal Calling, which unfortunately clashes with Camp Bestival so we have never managed to get our festival kids entertainment there.
As well as the usual festival kids entertainment we also provided ‘Mr Big’ for a Real Ale bar and ‘Double Cream’ for a magical cabaret tent.
A photo posted by Forgotten Fields (@forgottenflds) on
festival kids entertainment
In terms of the Kids Area, due to the booking being not as far in advanced as usual, a lot of our usual team were otherwise engaged. Which gave us a great opportunity to think creatively and work with friends that we haven’t had a chance to book before. We had the usual suspects of Big Bears Big Balloon Disco (BBBBD maybe?), Amy working tirelessly on trapeze workshops, I was bringing my solo Lucas Jet Circus Show which was a great challenge to balance managing the area with performing as well as finding time to occasionally eat. On Sunday we had a rather brilliant kids talent show with some incredibly amazing participants.
The UK African Acrobats were also on hand to provide a cultural feast of African music, acro and charisma. There was a Bigtopmania debut for the nicest beatboxer you’ll ever meet, Bass6 who we still need to invoice for costs because he blew the roof of our Big Top!
But we still didn’t have enough acts to fill a day of kids entertainment in the Big Top, what could we do? Queue Kat and Amy’s Kids Zumba (which needs a catchy name for next year). They spent one evening learning dance routines from youtube and you would never have guessed. The parents were shaking it off to Tay Tay and the Bass head toddlers were booty shaking to DJ Fresh. It was one of those give it a go moments but it couldn’t have gone better. We were so proud. Outside of the Bigtop we had all the usual bits, circus workshop ongoing with the ever smiling crazy aunt Polly ; ) Interactive Inflatables being abused and bundled by umpteen under 8’s, a limited number of Crazy Bikes tending to let gravity do its thing and rolling them down the hill. The toddler tent was a much needed chill out space for grateful parents who were happy to kick back in the ball pool or eat some lego with their little ones.
In the Craft tent we had our most loyal craft family Reasons 2B Cheerful doing their thang as well as providing percussion jam sessions. We also welcomed to the team Gadabout Arts who made this beautiful butterfly site decor along with lots of Origami creations and also Cult Milk who covered just about every element of crafts you could think of (and some you wouldn’t think of) throughout the weekend.
It was my first time running the area without Pete and Anne and even Leo was away in Italy, although I’ve run a lot of one day smaller festivals in the last couple of years, this was a slightly different animal. Due to it being the first year the festival ran, they did not know how popular they would be with families. Had it not been for the sterling effort from our team we would have no doubt been overrun, but everyone pulled together and the feedback below speaks for itself. I’ve printed these out and I carry them round in my wallet now for whenever I’m feeing down.
And if the various nice comments from these lovely people don’t convince you, you can take a look at what we do in this video that i’ve previously made.
We had 3 inflatables there as part of the children’s play area that we organise for the Bestival team. In fact we take a lot of our equipment there and had big tops, shows, circus skills, mega balls, crazy bikes, and lots of wonderful helpers and other action packed items like Jan’s Van, Noisy Oyster Puppets, Clowns Palfi and Big Foot, bouncy castle, slide, swing boats, crafts, face paints and lots more.
The inflatables are supervised, need power supply and are mostly suitable for babies to 8 -ish year olds.
Colourful. Appealing. Interactive. Fun. Bundle!
Two then went on straight to Salisbury Festival Play Day on the bank holiday Monday and were a big hit there too.
Video of crazy play inflatables in action.
“Mummy.. come over.. your allowed to do it.. please can we get on! ”