How does it all work? A whole circus coming to a school? and raising funds as well?
Circus PaZaz is a small circus with a big impact! We make it work by you, the school/PTA helping us, and this in turn makes it a more profitable venture for you, maximizing your fundraising. Check out some of our testimonials to see what a success this can be!
To ensure your success and make our visit easy for everyone, we ask that:
- To make sure your fundraising with the circus is a success, you will need to promote & sell tickets in advance of our visit (we will provide you with posters to personalise, print and put up around the school/local area). The school will be responsible for producing, selling & collecting all tickets & ticket money at the shows.
- You supply and help us put in the seating – school benches/chairs are fantastic for this and readily available in all schools! If this is not an option, please let us know and we can discuss other options, we do have chairs to hire at an extra cost.
- The Big Top seats up to 225 – this includes all babies and under 2’s though, please account for this when selling tickets!
- You can organise your own selling of refreshments, BBQ and drinks before or between shows, however we ask that we sell our own circus popcorn and we also supply a table ‘circus shop’ with circus equipment available for purchase.
- As we are a small circus of 3-4 crew we ask you to provide at least 6 sturdy ADULT helpers (over 18 years old) to help hammer in stakes and assist when the king pole goes up and comes down. No tenting knowledge is needed, we advise sensible clothing & good footwear. Once the tent is up we will sort out the rest!
How much space do you need?
- The ‘little’ Big Top is a single pole tent which is 50ft in diameter. We require a flat area of 75ft diameter of cut grass (please ensure it is cut at least 2 weeks prior to our visit as freshly cut grass will stick to the tent!) to erect the Big Top tent, one or two smaller sleeping tents for our crew &to park our vehicles – 2 or 3 medium sized transit-style vans.
- You will be asked to sign a document stating that there are no underground (water, electric, gas) services within the designated 75ft area (this is because we will be hammering 4ft metal stakes into the ground to hold down the guy ropes
- We also require access to electricity 240v three pin point, we carry our own extension leads although if it is a large distance we may need more
- If we are staying the night, we ask for access to a water point and toilet, but other than that we are completely self sufficient.
What about health and safety?
- All Circus PaZaz performers & staff are DBS Checked, members of performers union Equity & each carry £10M Full Public Liability
- The “little” BigTop meets all fire and safety regulations and comes with £5m Public Liability Insurance & 10m Employers liability
- We are trained professionals and perform all our skills with due diligence and safety measure
- During circus workshops, there must be at least 1 teacher with the children as well as our circus staf
- Before, During and After shows, adults are reponsible for thier children as with any other visit to a circus or performance.
Q. What about covid precautions?
A. The tent is easily ventilated by lowering or raising the side walls, or even removing them all together if you desire, making it an outside but covered area. The audience numbers can be reduced to allow for more room between people. Our performers take precautions if they interact with the audience. In workshops we keep the equipment clean and our close interactions minimal, with all necessary precautions. Hopefully with restrictions being relaxed and ‘learning to live’ with covid, we can all enjoy the circus experience once again!
Q. It all sounds very easy, what’s the catch?
A. There really isn’t one, we know it can seem like a big idea, but it really does work- It is as easy as it sounds, honest! The hardest part of it all is putting the stakes in for the tent, but many hands make light work (which is why we ask for some volunteers to help putting up/taking down the tent, especially great if they are comfortable using a sledgehammer)
We are a small professional team who have worked together for some years and we have successfully visited lots of schools – many more than once! You can trust us to do what we do best!
Q. Will there be lots of mess left when you leave? What about the vehicles you use and access?
A. No, the only trace we leave will be a circle of small holes (approx. 1 inch diameter) where the big metal stakes go to hold the tent up & maybe some leftover popcorn, but birds will soon eat that! We use transit type vans which can access most places,even small schools and some of our performers may bring a small caravan to stay in- we are often on the road for days at a time so it’s nice to have some home from home comfort!
Q. What about actually managing to raise money? and people coming?
A. If you can advertise & promote the circus shows, you WILL raise money.
In our experience and from feedback, people love coming to a circus at school and are very impressed with the show we offer. We may be a small circus but we have a BIG show that the whole family enjoys! We can fit into places that bigger circuses simply cannot due to the heavy machinery and vehicles needed for a bigger tent.
A circus visit will be some work with advertising the shows but it is well worth it – and with less organizing for your PTA, & less weather dependant what’s not to like?!
Q. Can you put the Big Top on a hardstanding playground?
A. No this is not possible, we need to put it up on flat grass. However, during the winter months we do offer indoor circus shows and workshops and are always happy to discuss Circus Pazaz visits without the tent
Q. Can we sell refreshments?
A. Yes, everything apart from popcorn – we ask that we sell this inside the tent as is traditional for circuses. It also helps us to make sure we cover all our extra running costs & helps with our fuel costs. We also have a circus shop selling circus equipment such as spinning plates, juggling balls etc.
Q. What else do you offer?
A. Circus Skills lessons during the school day or even if you would like to use the tent for your own event ( a PTA parents social perhaps?) in the evening, this is something we have done in the past, please mention this in your email to us. We can provide a sound system but we do not provide lights or anything else, although with good prior notice we could offer a couple of cabaret style acts, or a fire show (outside the tent!). There would be an additional charge for these acts.
Tips and Ideas:
● Some schools find funding to cover some of the initial costs from a local estate agent or business to help them gain the most from a fundraising event with Circus Pazaz.
● Some PTA’s split the costs with the school, especially if there are both shows and workshops booked ( the schools tend to cover the workshop part in our experience, or spilt the costs of a show day)
● A visit involving circus workshops or creating a show can be a great addition to a sports week or tied into various curriculum areas such as PE, art ( drawing the tent) or Key Stage 2 Topic ‘The Circus’ can be covered in a memorable & completely affordable way. Also as a beginning or end of term treat or as a leaving event for your year 6 students.
● Smaller schools have joined together with another school in their area or worked with a parish or village council to put on an event for the local community.