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!
Are you looking for interesting marquees for your event in Cornwall or Devon?
We live there and offer a huge range of interesting tents and event equipment for rent especially for marquee hire Cornwall!
Bigtopmania is based on the Devon side of the River Tamar border (border!?) pretty much in the centre of Devon and Cornwall near Launceston.
We live in Devon but have a Cornwall postcode but are only 45 mins from Exeter and Truro, so are centrally placed to supply marquees and event equipment to events and weddings in both Cornwall and Devon, as well as far away.
Literally in fields further away!
Marquee Hire Cornwall.
Are we a Cornish marquee hire company or a Devon marquee hire company. Does it matter? We rent marquee and event equipment throughout the area.
We are certainly a south-west marquee hire company with our marquee hire Cornwall install team based mainly from Plymouth to Bristol.
We go almost anywhere and take our marquee hire services to rustic country weddings, garden parties, birthday parties, coastal celebrations, boutique arts festivals, music festivals, town and country events, outdoor events, theatrical events, agricultural shows and a host of other event styles, let alone tv and film production supplies.
For Cornwall wedding marquees, we are totally on tend with rustic theme weddings, festival weddings, circus weddings, alternative weddings, unusual weddings, boutique weddings, bijou weddings, DIY weddings, theme weddings, rock and roll weddings colourful weddings, red and white weddings; any more?
We mostly have colourful marquees and try not being old school with the flouncy white marquee linings, up lighters and chandeliers type of package though there is undoubtably a place for them still.
Looking for circus tents? Vintage marquees? Sailcloth marquees? Candy striped marquees? Canvas marquees? Pagoda marquees? Free standing marquees ? Mini marquees? Baby big tops?
Let’s concentrate on memorable events and exciting, creative weddings!
We have a lot to offer the event sector in Cornwall and enjoy working on our doorstep! Bring on those cliff top coastal weddings!
Our event equipment includes: marquees, flooring, furniture, dance floor, lighting, electrics, decor, theme props, circus equipment, entertainers and hands on play activities.
If we don’t have it there are some excellent local event suppliers we can recommend to complement our services.
We are more than happy to work with other wedding and event suppliers and between us we can create all you need or if you prefer to add your own styling flourishes you can decorate to your heart’s content, stamping you unique style on the marquee.
In practice, it’s the joint efforts that create magnificent memorable events:
Marquee Hire for a Festival in Cornwall
may only want the marquee with no extras as a venue and then add all the other sound, lighting, creative elements themselves. ( nb. We prefer being more involved ).
Private Party Marquee Hire Cornwall
may need party tent hire and then select various other marquee accessories or do a lot of DIY. It can be simple and budget or spectacular.. Or spectacular at any budget!
A Wedding Marquee in Cornwall
needs a lot of thought, creativity and time to plan. There are so many things to consider to make the day work well and we are very happy to help. Our booking forms contain many useful items that we can supply.
Marquee venues and hire locations in Cornwall
are everywhere. Private land, festival venues, camp sites, wedding venues, estates and manor houses, council lands, cliff tops and many coastal views.
Below are some images of marquee rentals in Cornwall over the last few years.
Marquee venues at The Masked Ball, Porthleven.
dj dance tent at Masked Ball 2015
Dance tent at Masked ball 2016
masked ball festival venue 2016
masked ball venue 2016
Masked Ball main stage 2015
Masked ball main stage install 2015
Children’s marquee play area at Camelford Show 2016.
children’s mini circus tent at Camelford show.
Community event big top hire Baamfest in Bude, North Cornwall 2016.
Punch and Judy in Bude Baam festival marquee
colourful 6 x 6m pagoda tent as crafts tent
children’s Punch andJjudy show in marquee
Bude Festival Main stage 2016
Artist Dressing rooms at Boardmaster’s Festival 2016, Newquay.
baby big tops for green rooms
VIP tent at Boardmaster’s Festival.
9 x 21m canvas marquee at Watergate Bay 2014
9 x 21m VIP tent installed on cliff top 2014
Late night marquee venue at Port Eliot Festival, (official festival photos).
Port Eliot Festival late night venue 2016 official photo
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.
This was handy as the company had some locations in London they could bring one of their concrete trucks to!
So it was arranged for the team to meet up at the 02 while Cemex were also exhibiting on an internal stand at the Ecobuild2015 trade show and co-incidentally had some building work going on in the background too.
With the permission from the O2, a photography set was quickly set up in the car park.
As you will see in the photos, various Cemex trucks turned up, nicely washed!
The team of acrobats got thoroughly into the swing of things wearing the various Hi-Viz jackets and trying different human pyramid poses.
They could even get roles as acrobatic models!
To add to the fun and possibly to warm up a a bit, (it was March) the acrobats then went into the exhibition hall and proceeded to wow the guests in front of the Cemex stand!
So how did it all go?
To Quote James after the event ;
“I think the guys were very understanding and just wanted to put a good show They were fantastic! Thank you for helping out and being patient In the organising.”
And how did the photo go in the twitter competition?
“it got into the top 3…. so it was worth it 🙂 We won our award though for innovation so we were pleased people are still talking about the show the lads put on at Ecobuild! ”
Would you like any acrobats for your event, photo-shoot or productions?
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!