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.
Let’s review our Christmas Party Circus Entertainment.
But first; Happy New Year everyone! 2015 was fun!
December; always a busy month for events with celebrations and New Year’s parties galore.
This year Bigtopmania were extremely busy providing circus tents and circus theme event for christmas and seasonal events across London, Surrey, Cornwall and West Sussex.
Wapping Christmas Fair.
We started our December Christmas run back again in city centre London at an event in central Wapping organised by Community Solutions with local volunteer and Church help. Entirely focused on brining the community together, with charity stalls, Father Xmas, and lots more. The sun shone and this second Fair there was a great success. Wapping Christmas Fair, Community Solutions Blog post.
From Wapping, we had a mad week with large tents and shows in Godalming and Camberley in Surrey as well as a fairy lights installation in Launceston in Cornwall and some fire juggling shows at Chanukah events in Finchley and Golders Green London for Tzivos Hashem groups.
Giant Menora Lighting Golders Green
The huge crowd at this outdoor celebration. Fire Juggling stage show and more by PeteZa.
Peteza also performed once again for a playgroup party in Chilworth, Guildford; back for about the 15th time to the 3 and 4 year olds with lots of clowning nonsense!
Fairy Lights for Launceston Young Farmers Snow Ball at Launceston Town Hall.
During the mid week we installed tents for the weekend parties to come, but also managed to install a very pretty fairy light installation for the young farmers ball. ( They stayed in place for the mayors community dinner too). It was an interesting challenge doing this and used adapted parts, lots of ladder work and hundreds of meters of lights. Looked lovely!
Company Christmas Family Party
We were working as part of a larger project co-ordinated by Michael Charles from Julia Charles Events Management. Various suppliers came together to provide fairground rides, an ice rink and santa’s grotto with Bigtopmania providing the Christmas circus party entertainment in our beautiful little Big Top.
The team came together to supply a bespoke big top experience to wow the S C Johnson Ltd employees and families of the company.
The show featured;
Chief Peteza in ringmaster & clown mode with knife throwing frolics.
Moses Opiyo was hitting new heights with his hardstands, and braving the cold in just his gold leggings.
Lucas Jet; Sky High Unicycling and juggler. Also debuting a club passing routine with Moses.
Elanor Smith ; Aerialist from Pass Go Juggling; Rounding things on aerial silks to bring the house down.
We performed two shows and in-between shows we presented circus skills and giant bubbles to keep the kids amused entertaining around 500 people across the two audiences.
This day was a good example of how we can fit into a larger scale event but provide a low maintenance one stop solution. You don’t need to worry.. we will get on and do it! We provide lighting, p.a, the show, tiered seating, carpet, space heater.
Fitzpatrick Referrals (or Supervet); the mega Staff Christmas Party Circus .
You will have to wait!
There will be a separate post about our Fitzpatrick Referrals ( the ‘Supervet’) staff christmas party circus because so much of our resources went into it that it warrants a full article itself.
So as if you needed an incentive to check back next week, well, you now have one.
Cmed Staff Christmas Party Circus.
Cmed’s West Sussex office party was a relaxed lunchtime gathering in one of our tents at their location near Horsham.
The brief organised in conjunction with one of their head members of staff ( thank you for trusting us Georgina!) was a few hours of circus, food, informal, team building, party!
With 80 staff, we installed a small tent so there was no room to hide!
Guests/ Staff were greeted by bubbles and artists and each had a red nose and some costume accessories to wear on top of the Christmas jumpers.
Lunch from Monster Foods was very popular and the candy floss was splendid!
Show was by;
Moses Opiyo; hand-balancing and hat juggling.
Lucas Jet; Unicycling and juggling,
Elanor Smith on Aerial Hoop with our new mini portable trapeze rig.
What better way to start December than with a video shoot as a juggling unicyclist for Sony Xperia! The enquiry came in for a juggling unicyclist for film day in London and was I available? Luckily I was.
I first got the call from Tara Moore who was quite mysterious as to the details initially, I only knew it was a shoot for Sony in London. My heart was racing, I was imaging I might be the next billboard sensation, envisaging a career in underwear modelling from then on…
The shoot was held at the very impressive Malcolm Ryan Studios in Wimbledon, where I was treated to a lovely crew lunch, one of the best I’ve had.
My call time was 12pm, I arrived early as always. I walked into a large studio full of people looking at a chap in a spandex superhero costume catching bubbles! Not unlike many of my Tuesday afternoons.
I went straight into hair and make up with a lovely woman who’s name has escaped me, but she did a wonderful job moulding my hair into a mohawk which was fun. I was introduced to Alice Timms who was the stylist, you can check out her work here. She dressed me in a high fashioned set of dungarees, made by Louie VeScrewfix and a pin-striped top. I really liked the look and may well try to replicate it for future costumes.
There were so many professionals playing their part in the production, which always brings it home how much work goes into the final tv advert or even Instagram post that goes out to the public. I soon found out it was the latter, a social media campaign to promote the launch of the new Sony Xperia phone. But what a great opportunity to work with as big a brand as Sony and be involved with such a professional production. The closest I’ve been to this in the past is when I filmed an advert for a production company making an advert for D&G, you can read about my experience and see the video here > Juggler for Advert
Juggling Unicyclist for film shoot.
When it came to the actual shoot. I was encouraged to keep it simple. Whatever I did had to be repeatable, 100/150 times successfully. So as much as I would have liked this to be an opportunity to show off juggling 5 clubs on a unicycle, I’m not solid enough at it to make it viable for this style of shoot. The Sony guys had very specific requirements of what they wanted and Tara was looking for a particular shot. We experimented at first with balancing the club on my nose out of a juggle which you can see below. But they didn’t like the shape of the shot so we changed it. I suggested under the leg and they liked the frame of the shot more. I would have loved to try and slip a few tricks in but I was aware that every time anything went wrong or I dropped it was their time that I was wasting. The make-up artist was dabbing the sweat off my forehead every minute or so, I had two different guys picking up the club for me if I dropped and one getting me water quicker than I could drink it.
This was handy as the company had some locations in London they could bring one of their concrete trucks to!
So it was arranged for the team to meet up at the 02 while Cemex were also exhibiting on an internal stand at the Ecobuild2015 trade show and co-incidentally had some building work going on in the background too.
With the permission from the O2, a photography set was quickly set up in the car park.
As you will see in the photos, various Cemex trucks turned up, nicely washed!
The team of acrobats got thoroughly into the swing of things wearing the various Hi-Viz jackets and trying different human pyramid poses.
They could even get roles as acrobatic models!
To add to the fun and possibly to warm up a a bit, (it was March) the acrobats then went into the exhibition hall and proceeded to wow the guests in front of the Cemex stand!
So how did it all go?
To Quote James after the event ;
“I think the guys were very understanding and just wanted to put a good show They were fantastic! Thank you for helping out and being patient In the organising.”
And how did the photo go in the twitter competition?
“it got into the top 3…. so it was worth it 🙂 We won our award though for innovation so we were pleased people are still talking about the show the lads put on at Ecobuild! ”
Would you like any acrobats for your event, photo-shoot or productions?
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.