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!
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.
Business as usual? Camp Bestival with our huge festival kids area in the Upper Kids Garden is now in its 8th year (we’ve been there from day 1) and strives to get better and better every year. It’s one of our busiest and most full on events of the season but we absolutely love it!
We run the upper kids garden and bring together an army of like minded, fun seeking festival family members to create our lovely little festival kids area. There are various performers involved every year, this year featured Fabulous Fezheads making their Camp Bestival debut as well as stalwarts Big Foot the Clown, Bicyclettes and The Bigtopmania Family Circus Show. On top of this you have the overflowing and too popular for its own good Trapeze workshops and Big Bears Big Balloon Disco.
On a number of occasions over the weekend the Big Top was overflowing with happy punters enjoying the fantastic selection of children’s entertainment, saturday’s circus show (pictured above) in particular rivalled the crowd that Mr Tumble pulls. With booster acts from aerial hoop double act Becky and Esta as well as a doubles trapeze act from Loudini!
Spilling out of the Big Top you have the toddler space where the toddlers can kick back and chill after a late night knees up in bollywood. Beyond that the interactive inflatable mad zone where mega blob and spike are bundled and beaten by children that don’t quite know whether its a bouncy castle or a monster.
In the middle of the area you could walk the tightrope, jump on a mega ball or try your hand at circus skills, or there’s the crazy bike section where you could occasionally grab a go on a ninebot (self balancing electric unicycle). Next door is the craft tent filled to the rafters with crazy creations and mums grabbing 15 minutes quiet time whilst their child wrestles with a bundle of stickers doing Sticker Art (as endorsed by Jo Wiley).
This is a ninebot, Lucas has been fortunate enough to be loaned one to demonstrate and share the love. Get yours at speedyfeet.uk
There is so much going on at Camp Bestival and so many families just in our little bit. We don’t get a great deal of time to see the rest of it but from what we hear there’s just about anything under the sun that you might like to do with children available at Lulworth. It’s a full on family holiday wrapped up as a festival and if anyone has the secret power to book perfect weather every year, its Rob and Josie (touch wood)
Thanks a bundle to all our amazing crew for all their hard work in making it come together so well, we get loads of great feedback and its lovely to bring everyone together for 5 beautiful days each year. Bring on 2016 baby!
We were first booked for the Lets Rock events in the summer of 2014, last year there was Cookham, Bristol, Leeds and Southampton. This year they added Exeter, London. So before festival season has really begun properly we have done 6 of these little one day 80’s festivals. I was alive for only 3 months of the 80’s and at i’ve heard that much Rick Astley this year that I might even have to Spotify him once this session is over.
At Lets Rock we have been working in conjunction with the lovely Kindred Cafe family. Who as well as providing tasty treats and drinks, bring along a beautiful selection of traditional side stall carnival games as well as table tennis and badminton, face painting, candy floss and even the occasional graffiti demo! It means that even though at Lets Rock we are only bringing limited equipment with a small team, when teamed up with Kindred we have managed to create beautiful and jam packed Festival Children’s Areas to entertain the families from start till finish!
We bring along our Candy Big Top, a 9 metre round tent which at Exeter was over flowing with a ram packed crowd for Lucas’s show and even more for the children’s talent show. There’s been lots of roley poley’s, songs, hula hooping, plate spinning and some completely random sketches from imaginative kids at Bristol.
Big Balls and Bubbles, Bikes and Big Bear, Circus and Chalkboards, Toddler fun and Talent shows. We hope the many of you that have been to Lets Rock have enjoyed the non stop play and energy that we try to put into every event, no matter how hot it has been of late!
Last one is Saturday 11th July in Southampton and then its onto Penn Festival, Splendour Camp Bestival, Rewind, Rewind North, Shambala, Bestival and thats just the ones we’re doing kids areas at!
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! ”