Quite often children’s entertainment is booked for an event with little consideration being given as to where and how it is to be set up. Whilst some organisers are very good at appreciating what the requirements of the act or performers might be some with less experience may overlook important considerations.
When booking a children’s entertainer to come to an event one of the first things to establish is whether the performance can take place outside in the open or if it needs to be under cover. Some types of show are ideal for outdoors. Punch and Judy is great children’s entertainment and is perfectly suited to being outside. Some juggling acts and clown shows are also meant to be performed in the open. Other types of show such as a children’s magic show or some puppet shows might need to be under cover.
It is always a good idea to consider providing a marquee or large party tent in which to put the children’s entertainment. The advantages of this are :
- The rear wall of the tent provides a back drop behind the performance area.
- The audience will enjoy the shows more because there are less distractions.
- It is a natural focus point for families
- The audience are more comfortable as they are under cover and protected from the elements.
- The performances will not be affected by inclement weather.
- Electrical equipment, speakers, pa systems are protected from the elements.
The disadvantages of providing a marquee or party tent are :
I do think that having a marquee for the children’s entertainment is a very good idea if there is somewhere for it to go and if the budget allows. The entertainment provider should always be consulted to establish what their actual requirements are. They may also request a power supply for amplification.
Children's tent at the Galtres Festival
The photo above shows a circus workshop taking place in the children’s entertainment marquee at the Galtres Festival near easingwold, North Yorkshire. This type of marquee can be obtained at a reasonable price. It’s really like a big party tent. It has plenty of space for the activity and there is room for the adults to come in and watch too. Matting has been put down on the floor which is another good thing to do especially if the grass is wet.
Children's Marquee at a corporate event in Leeds
The marquee above was supplied by a specialist marquee hire company for a corporate event in Leeds. A stage was provided at one end and plastic seats were set out for the audience. There was an off stage area behind the back drop and power put in for music and lights. At this event there was an on going entertainment programme throughout the day. This was a really excellent set up.
Children's entertainment, Ripon Festival
In the above picture a smaller tent has been provided to cover the actual show but the audience are outside. In this case it was a good compromise. It meant that the organisers could have the show they wanted even though normally it would have to be indoors.
These are just a few examples of how some show organisers have planned for the provision of children’s entertainment at outdoor events. In all three cases above they have thought carefully about how to make the best use of the entertainers they have booked by making sure that they have a suitable performance area to work in and therefore getting the best they can from their acts.
Let me know if you have any thoughts on this subject.