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 :
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.
Look here for the “Dark Clowns” student short film.
Earlier in the year during Feb 2015, we were contacted by Kas Braganza, Film and Television Producer, BA Acting for Film & TV, Arts Educational Schools Chiswick, London.
They had various student films to complete for the 3rd Year 3-year BA Acting Graduates final degree show reels. See all the Arts Ed student films 2015 here.
There was one particular student film that needed a circus location; the short film “Dark Clowns”.
The student films are very short simple pieces. The students act in the films and crew them, although they have a professional cameraman, director and first assistant in order to ensure they run as smoothly and professionally as possible. The Arts Ed School is a charity funded educational facility and the films are intended only for those purposes and to assist the students with obtaining their degrees and gaining future employment from agents. A final piece for their portfolio. It involved shooting some scenes on location.
The scenes needed were for a short film set in a circus and required shooting the following :
Inside a dressing room at night.
Inside a canteen at night.
Behind a curtain at night.
Outside a marquee at night.
I sent Kas various images of previous film and TV work with our tents and some ideas of how we could help and during March we installed a tent on location in London outskirts. ( A country house location that previously had been the Studio and location for much of The Professionals TV series. We provided various extras and circus props to enhance the scene.
I must say, I quite like the result and the film!
In pictures; here are some stills and location pics. With thanks to Arts Ed.
And so; ta da! ..another link to the actual film.. its fun.. watch it on Vimeo here.
Good luck to all involved in their future careers.
Director: Wayne Yip
Writer: Gail Sixsmith
DOP: Ossie Jalkanen
1st AD: Bella Merritt
Editor: Robbie Hamilton
Sound Editor: Adam Newns
Producer: Kas Braganza
Exec Producer: Caroline Jeffries
Marquee and some of the circus Props: Bigtopmania on location Circus Film Shoot Tv and Film Production supplier.
If you want the knowledge about tv and film production suppliers especially with regard to supplying alternative marquees and circus tents or circus props and circus performers get in touch with us at Bigtopmania for your next circus film shoot.