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!
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 Showman’s Show is a long-established trade show for the outdoor events world organised by the Lance family & team.
I have been going to the Showman’s Show at Newbury Showground for many years as there is always something interesting to see or networking to do.
In 2013, I happened to be sitting next to Johnny Lance, one of the organisers, in the cafe and mentioned to him that we would love to be involved in a possible re-launch of the entertainment zone as a focal point for arena acts, wandering artists and event attractions.
You see, in previous years there has been a huge amount and diverse range of entertainment at the show but it had dwindled quite a bit in recent years and lost its focus to some degree as the show had become more and more overtaken by infrastructure; stages, marquees, toilets, water suppliers, generators, manufacturers and event suppliers etc. That’s brilliant show content for many attendees seeking production content but may have left a gap for other event and festival organisers looking for creative event enhancements.
We don’t operate as an agency, so we didn’t want to simply try to replicate what had gone on in the past. Hence a collaboration became the order of the day. A mutually beneficial arrangement evolved whereby we would supply the focal point colourful big top and the organisers would populate it with a variety of acts and attractions suitable for outdoor events. We would exhibit too to share our wares!
Hence the birth of the;
The Showman’s Show “ACTS & ATTRACTIONS TENT”.
Wow! Did it work? We think so! What a show! It was fabulous to team up with so many great entertainers and attractions. You may have sent the report in Standout magazine.
Inside the Acts and Attractions Tent. Photo from StandOut Magazine
There was a great range of entertainers and acts inside and outside, with human, mechanical and plenty of animal power providing static and roving displays… Titan the Robot and the various animals stole the show!
So good we are doing it again in 2015.
Date for your Diary;
Acts & Attractions Tent 2015,
The Showman’s Show, Newbury Showground.
21 & 22 October 2015.
We will be putting in an even bigger tent but space will be limited so if you want to exhibit it would be a good idea to get in soon.
Acts, artists, attractions; BOOK YOUR SPACE NOW!
Here are some more images from the Showman’s Show Acts and Attractions tent area 2014.
If you want to come and talk to us, see the show, browse the event… book the date; its free!