We have a Bristol Yard for circus and marquee hire these days.
The HQ, store and main office is still in Devon on the Cornish border near Launceston though! ( I live in Devon and have a Cornish post code.)
Given our key install team and our circus performers are in Bristol, it makes total sense to have a workshop there to work from.
Our store unit is based on the outskirts of Bristol conveniently located near the M5 and M4 junction and it has proved to be invaluable for work all over the country let alone in the South West and around Bristol itself.
Our circus team members are mainly living in Bristol ( It’s a circus hub city!) and this makes it ideal for our shows, rehearsals and new artists to join us. Similarly the marquee and event install team are living there too. The same people often do both the tent work and the show work too.
Of course, it still means many miles are covered while we present our entertainment offerings and circus shows at events, parties and festivals, and marquee hire for weddings, parties and events all over the country.
So if you are wanting marquee hire in the Bristol area, South Wales, the Midlands, London and the home counties, the South east, the north..get it?Anywhere !
We are that bit nearer.
Circus theme party with Circus Acts, Bigtop hire, from our Bristol Base
These courses instruct on the essentials of health and safety and are specific to the marquee work we do; planning, loading, installing, monitoring, collecting, unloading.
Our certificates are below.
We have also variously done Electrical training courses ( electrical event planning, Electrical Pat Testing, BS7909 Temporary Electrical Systems courses), Safety Passport Training, Child Protection courses, First aid courses, Driving and trailer tests.
We will be doing more and we do our best to keep abreast of developments regarding health and safety and good working practice.
NATIONAL LAWS AND OPERATIONAL SAFETY GUIDANCE.
When it comes to marquee and temporary structure work, of course there are the national laws and regulations like the health and safety at work act HSWA , LOLLER and PUWER regulations.
Operationally, method statement and risk assessment wise we defer to the industry specific operational guidance provided by :
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Some of our Brides and Grooms have had their real wedding features on top wedding blogs and magazines.
At Bigtopmania we are still relatively new to the blogosphere but there are those that have been flying the flag or bleating the blog for quite a while now and we are seriously chuffed to see our tents in their real wedding articles.
Nb. It’s not all weddings by any means! Our tents, venues, performances, artists and activities regularly get featured in event promotional and review sites, film, tv, photographers galleries and so on!
Real wedding features in various media are great case studies for future couples, packed with ideas for their weddings.
Real wedding stories have wonderful wedding photography and give a breakdown of all the suppliers & DIY hints for magic styling touches, budgeting tips and resources.
Real Wedding stories inspire!
Our snap shots below don’t do them justice!
The best photography is on the blogs or photographer’s websites ! !
We have been featured a couple of times on the world-renowned Rock n Roll Bride blog. This is a fantastic source of inspiration for the diy-quirky-alternative-hipster-hippies-goths-fairies of this world that want to take alternative weddings into their own hands. It features couples from all over the world and is now so popular they are also producing a beautiful magazine.
Matt and Alice, Somerset, June 2012.
Rock n Roll Bride featured this amazing festival wedding when we were involved in an ever so special stone-circle Glastonbury wedding of Matt & Alice. What a lucky couple! The ultimate festival wedding, held during a festival fallow year on the summer solstice weekend on the Glastonbury festival stone circle site! Some fantastic photos in this article courtesy of Neil Thomas photography and a really good example of how the Strawberries & Cream range can work for you.
Nb: it was a one-off! Please don’t ask!
However.. We are waiting for:
Tom and Laura, Somerset, June 2014.
Look carefully and you will see the Pyramid Stage photo- bombing the wedding.
When will their Glastonbury Festival site wedding get featured!? Held on the adjacent Park farm that is the other half of the festival, during the pre build weeks with the Pyramid stage in the background. A lovely local couple. Lucky connections again!
Adam and Lucy, Berkshire, August 2012.
At a wedding just up the road in Reading from where Bigtopmania was born was that of Lucy & Adam in Reading. Another festival inspired theme. A Festival wedding just to the side of the Reading Festival Site and with fencing and lighting in sight! They also used the Strawberries & Cream range with plenty of DIY additions such as the ‘Granny’s front room’ which pays homage to the brilliant festival venue ‘The Peoples Front Room’. Photography for Lucy & Adam’s day was by Viva Wedding Photography.
Nick and Mad’s. Berkshire 2011.
We are mentioned in Mad’s and Nick’s big day, for which we installed the lighting into a lovely tithe barn. To quote Mad’s in the article ‘Bigtopmania made that barn bad ass’.
Making things ‘bad ass’ is our unofficial mission statement : )
Two friends, Laura & Kelly who discovered there wasn’t enough help out there when planning their own festival weddings have created this online recourse of real life weddings, suppliers, tips, tricks and travel inspiration. They have given us a nice feature and plenty of love over the years, so show them some in return; get reading, sharing and planning!
In the early summer of 2014 we did quite a lot of trips up to Nottinghamshire for various weddings and events. One of which was for Lucy and Gav’s country wedding in a lovely little village just outside Loughborough. The day is captured beautifully on Boho weddings which is a blog bursting with content. From real life weddings to planning advice and everything in-between this is a blog worth bookmarking.
Again showing the need for good photography, the beautifully captured images are by www.lucabella.co.uk