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
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.
The dates for your diary are Good Friday 3rd April to Easter Monday 6th April (2015).
And the whole of the Easter school holidays!
Wellington Country Park is a fabulous outdoor play centre just outside Reading, Berkshire, Uk on the way to Basingstoke. It is a huge family attraction centre, regularly getting outstanding reviews and is full of children’s play activities, mixed with country park, lakes, deer park, walks, camping and more. Not forgetting the ride on train and dinosaurs!
Each year there’s something new, though not sure what till we get there!
We have a long history of working at the park, performing in various guises, taking our mobile play activities, inflatables and crazy bikes, supplying entertainers and installing our tents as outdoor venues for shows and activities.
Over the Easter holidays we supply an exciting programme through the weekends and midweek.
hands on go mad on the crazy bikes days (8-9 April),
have a go at circus skills workshops (15-16 April ), including having a go on trapeze.
But there is also a weekend (11-12 April) of magic shows by Magician David Crofts, who is also an ace Windsor based balloon twister.
Top that off with a weekend (18-19 April) of clown shows by Reading’s finest Bigfoot the Clown.
And there’s s an Easter egg hunt of course and a massive tent packed full of hands on Easter Craft activities.
So much to do!
Lets talk Baby Big Top Circus!
Roll up Roll up, Ladies and Gentlemen… But particularly the children.. Boys and girls .. welcome to the show!
Since 2009 we have presented the Baby Big Top Circus Show over the Easter long weekend.
There will be 3 shows each day at 11am, 1 pm and 3 pm. It’s always busy and lots of fun. Get your coffees and seats early! The show is targeted at young children and families has appropriate comedy and skills. It can get noisy in the tent!
We present a family orientated show … Very family ! As well as guest acts, the core team is the Bigtopmania family Husband & Wife, Son & Daughter, partners and friends!
You may even get to see a couple of pets(!) .. well Big Bear and the Easter Bunny!
You may even get some pop corn or chocolates!
You are likely to see’ clowning, acrobatics, juggling, china plate spinning, aerial trapeze and silks, limbo, Knife throwing, cowboy roping, ball spinning, balloons, unicycling, bowl spinning, hula hooping and more. NB; as ever, show content is subject to change!
It’s not all circus shows, weddings and marquee hires! We are also one of the best providers of festival children’s entertainment on the UK festival and events circuit and trusted by festival and event organisers to produce the goods!
How can we help your event work?
What services or entertainment can we provide for you?
Release some pressure and let us organise and run the Children’s Area for you!
Festival and Event KidZones are our speciality!
Throughout the summer season Bigtopmania is a juggling act of Events, Weddings, Parties & Festivals. We manage this through a dedicated h of workers & helpers, thorough planning, masses of in-house equipment that is constantly updated and lots and lots of driving!
The festivals children’s areas that we co-ordinate or work at take lots of hard set up work and managing. It can be a welcome change to settle in a nice field for 4/5 days. We are there to work and the resultant happy families and smiling, playing children are a great reward.
Where have Bigtopmania’s Festival children’s Entertainment Kidzones been and where are we and our tents in 2015?
We aim to provide all round wholesome, creative festival children’s entertainment and we aim to be the area where everything is as free as possible. We usually build the area around our main circus tent and can occupy a large swathe of territory!
We often start the day with children’s yoga and round the weekend off with a totally wild children’s talent show which throws up anything from doing a ‘I don’t know’ to balloon sword fighting, karate demos, Twinkle Twinkle singalongs. We literally have seen it all and the children are the stars and everyone gets a prize!
Big Bears Big Balloon Disco
Highlights for many people are theBig Bear’s Big Balloon Disco. (Also available as Big Bubble Bash and Big Bad Hoe Down ). A mad dance-along experience with Big Bear and his Balloonatics (often including Bigfoot the Clown) where the children and the parents have to do the dance routines otherwise the balloons won’t be released! Culminates in 100s of balloons of sizes up to 3 ft, 4 ft, 5 ft and even enormous 6 ft mega balloon bouncing around the big top. Keep them bouncing and at the end the children keep them, spreading balloon love all over the festival!
Children’s trapeze workshop; Nibley festival
Big Bears Big Balloon Disco at Guilfest 2014
Kidzone Arena Activities
Spilling out the tent we have a dedicated Under 5’s Toddler Space with soft toys, puppets, sand pits, water play and mini trikes. We also provide great feeding, baby chill out and nappy changing facilities when required.
Provided by us; including the crazy interactive inflatables which really have to be seen to understand. Children go wild , they love them and it brings out best in them – sometimes total bundle machines!
We have lots of; Crazy bikes! Unicycle Launch Pads! Circus Workshop Skills area, tight ropes, sack lines , Kids Coconut Shy, Mega space hopper fun; Giant Beach balls! (6 foot diameter!).We do Bubble Shows and put the kids inside them!
We have so many creative decor and ideas! We have done so much! I wish i could upload thousands of photos to show you how we can make your event totally rule!
We work with a fantastic roster of Craft workshop teams who help the children to make all manner of things; WeaveWorld pom moms, juggling balls, masks, Festival Sticker Art, Caz N Jo’s creative Crafts, Reasons To be Cheerful.. take home festival souvenirs to full-blown parade preparation and enactment.
Crazy Inflatables. We have a few!
Crazy Bikes Arenas; children and adults!
Kids Coconut Shy; Knock ’em or not; they all win Harribo!
Unicycle Launch Pads
Kids inside bubbles. bubble show, giant bubbles
Giant Beach Ball hits Bestival
Mega Bounce at Rewind festival
Top shows happen in our tents; Give the children quality!
Our Bird Flags
childrens area crafts tent
Small is beautiful? Space or budget limited?
Smaller scale festival Children’s Entertainment
We’ve developed a smaller contained children area for the festivals that aren’t necessarily aimed at families but need to provide for the children that do come along. This can be seen as a stepping stone to becoming a more family festival and we can always expand the children’s entertainment further down the line when families start to see that it’s becoming a festival that provides for children.
In summer 2014 we took a 9 metre little big top to Let’s Rock festivals at 4 sites across the UK with one van and a smaller team. Smaller Kidzones in size but not entertainment as the area included; Circus workshops, A circus show, talent show, big bubble disco, stilt walkers, crazy bikes and crazy inflatables. The Let’s Rock festivals have added 2 more dates this year and in 2015 we will be touring Cookham, Bristol, Southampton, Leeds, London and Exeter. These are all 80’s festivals, add to that schedule Rewind in Henley and Rewind North, and that makes 8 x 80’s festivals in 2015. Although the writer of this article was only alive for 3 months of the 80’s, I now feel like I well and truly lived in that decade.
Festival children’s entertainment and running the kids area’s that we do really doesn’t feel like work. We are working with our friends and our customers are all lovely festival families that are having a good time.
Come say hello in 2015 if you are visiting any of Bigtopmania Kidzones, Family childrens entertainment areas.