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Big Top Marquees and Circus Tent Hire

managed marquee hire

Roll up, Roll Up… For the Greatest Party on Earth!

Capability Events Ltd are experienced at planning incredible Marquee Events.  Big Tops can offer a unique solution for Large corporate or Fundraising events and they look incredible.  However, be warned, Big Tops are BIG!!  Please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you organise a great event in a Big Top.



  • Unmistakable “iconic” look of a Circus Tent
  • Very large structures available
  • High wall height means the roof is very high above guests heads
  • Black out interior is standard
  • Exterior is usually brightly coloured
  • Interior of roof is usually brightly coloured with a pattern
  • Does not need interior lining
  • Huge roof space for great light shows and decoration, props etc
  • Small circus tents are really just traditional marquees made from brightly coloured PVC to look like circus tents
  • Very noticeable structure

hire marquees for parties


  • Big Tops are very big, heavy structures to get onto your site. Lorry access and Rough Terrain Forklift are often needed to erect
  • Cannot be weighted down, must be staked
  • Stakes are 1m to 1.5m in length and can be needed every 3 to 5m around the structure
  • Big Tops really need to be positioned on grass or hardstanding that you do not mind having lots of large stakes driven into. Tarmac car parks will be ruined by a Big Top Stakes. Don’t think about it unless you are happy to have your car park re-surfaced!
  • Walls are about 3.5m high – this can make doors and walkways difficult to incorporate
  • The bottom of the walls do not have a internal ground rail. Although the walls can be pegged down in high winds they will flap and allow wind underneath. Any guests sitting on a table next to the wall will find it a little breezy
  • Heating is hard – High roofs and difficulty in making it wind proof due to walls lacking floor bars mean a large amount of heat is needed. Although having said that we have heated a very large big top on New Years Eve for 3000 people with no problems when it was way below freezing outside. It’s really the wind that’s the worst
  • Structures have King Poles, Queen Poles and Side Poles. King’s are in the middle and hold up the peaks in the roof. Queens are out from the center line half way between the center and the wall. Wall Poles are in the wall line every 1m usually. These poles cannot be moved, and get in the way. You just have to live with them. Some structures don’t have Queen poles and some have less wall poles
  • Although Big Tops are an all year round tent they are really, really hard work outside of May to September. Expect to find that some companies are not interested in hiring outside these months as the mud and cold weather make the putting up of Big Tops is the cold and rain very unappealing

big top hire

More detailed information:-

  • There are several different types of Big Top
  • To most of us they are all Big Tops or Circus Tents, but…..
  • You may also hear them referred to by different names like, Tension Tents. These are Marquees pulled tight by the tension on the canvas means less interior support is needed as the pvc won’t sag due to the tension – hence Tension Tents.
  • Technically a Tension Tent and a Traditional Big Top are very different, but to most people they would look quite similar
  • Other companies have such famous Big Tops that they are actually individually named, but don’t let this confuse you. Remember the golden rule is how many SqM are you getting
  • Big Tops are err… big. Don’t get carried away thinking you need the look of a Circus Tent but forget the size. If you can’t fill it with people and activities then consider a different type of Marquee. Better to have the right size than have no atmosphere at all by having a massive empty structure
  • Don’t forget to provide enough heating
  • Or, that they are very dark inside even in the full summer sunshine. They have blackout interiors, both roof and walls, so that a performance can take place in the middle of the day. You will need large amounts of light to be able to see anything, so you can’t skimp on lighting
  • Big Tops need good access to the actual spot you need it pitched. They cannot be carried by people and they need to be pulled up by machine. If you cannot drive onto the site with a lorry then don’t book a Big Top
  • Big Tops are designed for Circus’s and Festivals. These events are, by their nature, quite basic. Big Tops are basic as well. As long as you remember that they will never be as smart and as functional as a Frame Marquee you will be fine

event big top marquee

Big Top Marquee Pricing:-

  • There are quite a few large Circus Big Tops in the UK
  • But they get heavily booked up by festivals and large outdoor events during the summer
  • It’s difficult to compare prices for big tops as they all tend to be different and unique structures.
  • Concentrate on the SqM you need as this is the best way of comparing prices
  • They will be priced per SqM

Or go back to our main Marquee Hire page to check out all our other party venue alternatives.

Thank you for your services at the party, you were fantastic – really helped to make it a terrific evening. There were lots of compliments about you, your staff and the bar itself. Will certainly be recommending you and hopefully you will get more business from this – Doug Dickson




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