CIRCUS TENT BUILD – Old School Circus Rigging

posted in: Rigging/Fly Gags | 0

Yesterday we had the amazing opportunity to work with two of our partner companies, Circus Orange and CircusTentForRent, to put up the brand new circus tent for the very first time. Of course, it was the hottest day of the year so far, but that didn’t stop the team from having an amazing time, and learning a lot about “circus rigging” from the previous owner of the tent, and high-wire master, Sacha Pavlata.

This circus tent is, in fact, a “baby” when it comes to tents, but it is made by the famous tent maker VSO in France, so it is very authentic. VSO makes all the tents for Cirque du Soleil, among others. It measures 65’ X 55’ X 36’ high. Even at that modest size it still took a lot of muscle, sweat and blisters to get it all set up.

Circus tents are designed to be built with nothing more than human power, and maybe an elephant or two if you happen to have them around. As we had no elephants, and this was the very first time we put this tent up, we elected to do it “old school” and that meant no hydraulic tent post drivers. Each of the 70+ giant 4’ long tent stakes was driven with sledge hammers. It was a great workout if I say so myself, but I think we just might rent the jackhammer next time around…  All the rigging and the main roof is raised with Tirfor manual cable hoists and elbow grease. It was really satisfying to see it how it all came together, and we learned a lot from our new circus rigging mentor Sacha. I just want to personally thank everyone who came out and helped;  It was a great day, and the start of a whole new reality for Circus Orange with this fantastic tent.