We had the pleasure of creating a Summer Entertainment programme for Doncaster Lakeside all through August 2020. The popular and well-established Shopping Centre sought out our help in creating amazing, interactive and above all fun entertainment options that visitors can enjoy whilst shopping. In particular, the centre wanted children to have the opportunity to have fun and interact with each other in a safe environment whilst maintaining social distancing!
As we all know, the coronavirus has caused a storm throughout the world and ‘social distancing’ has quickly become the new norm. Because of this, Doncaster Shopping Centre wanted to help prepare children for when they go back to school, and have to interact with each other at a distance, in order to remain safe. Their aim was to prove that you can still have fun whilst being 2 metres apart!
The second of entertainment programmes was a Greatest Showman/Circus themed weekend! The first being a Trolls weekend which you can read all about here.
Due to the ever so popular ‘The Greatest Showman’ movie captivating the hearts of nearly the whole world when it premiered in December 2017, we knew that this theme would be a huge hit with children and circus enthusiasts alike!
The main challenge we had when putting together this Circus themed weekend was creating entertainment that not only was fun, interactive, and unique but also safe and honoured the ‘social distancing’ guidelines. We constantly asked ourselves ‘what can we do to engage and capture visitors’ attention and attract them to the shopping centre all whilst staying safe and maintaining 2 metres apart?’ It was a hard concept to execute however here at Big Foot Events, we are well known for our ability to adapt and improvise and adhere to even the most challenging of briefs. With this in mind, we knew that we would be able to overcome any issues and put together an amazing Circus themed weekend that not only brought a lot of attention to the shopping centre, but also had children amazed, engaged and entertained (social distanced of course)!
In order to overcome any safety issues and abide by the current ‘social distancing’ law, we restricted our workshops to a limited number of people. This way, we could make sure visitors remained 2 metres apart and that each visitor got the opportunity to safely interact with our fantastic Circus performers, acts and entertainers, as well as learn a few Circus tricks of their own!
We hired a marque with personalised branding to raise awareness of not just Doncaster Shopping Centre but also our Circus themed workshop. In order to create a WOW factor and give visitors a truly mesmerising and unmissable experience, we hired our world-class aerialists, contortionists, bubbleologists, hula hoop artistes, stilt walkers and circus performers, as well as our uncanny Greatest Showman characters to literally perform ‘the greatest show’! We made sure that all our acts and entertainers were 2 metres apart from each other and never physically interacted with visitors. Not that they needed to, as their high-quality and world-class circus talents captivated visitors’ attention anyway!
It was important that the workshop was fun and exciting for children as it gave children their first experience interacting with other children in a small space whilst social distancing. We all know children find it hard not to touch each other when playing. We ensured that the event would be a quick and easy set-up and did not need a large team of people to set up the event – therefore keeping social interaction to a minimum. We ensured all staff were coronavirus free and kept sanitised at all times.
We were extremely thankful that we had the weather on our side as it was glorious sunshine on the day of the Circus themed weekend! We transformed part of Doncaster Lakeside Shopping Centre into our very own Big Top Circus Tent! Filled with aerialists, jugglers, stilt walkers, plate spinners, hula hoop artists, and of course skilled Circus performers. It was like stepping inside a 1950s Circus!
Children had the amazing opportunity to learn impeccable Circus skills and meet some of our incredible Circus characters. It was truly heart-warming to see children’s eyes light up with amazement as our stilt walkers juggled plates, knives and not forgetting – fire. Even more so, it was exciting to see such a diverse audience whole-heatedly take part in the Circus skills workshop and give their all to plate spinning, rope jumping and even bubble hopping – yes, children took great pleasure in trying to jump through our clown entertainers giant bubbles! And as you can see from the pictures below, some actually succeeded.
We had giant stilt walking clowns, mind-blowing aerialists and weird and wonderful Circus characters walking around the centre enticing people to join in and experience what Hugh Jackman once sang, ‘The Greatest Show’! We made sure to have a wide variety of acts, entertainers and Circus workshops/demonstrations situated throughout the centre in order to give each performer enough room to well -perform. This also was to ensure safe crowd control and social distancing measures.
Each workshop we made sure to wipe the equipment thoroughly ready for the next person to have a go. Thankfully, children respected the 2- metre rule and waited patiently to meet our Circus performers! We noticed that this was mainly due to our large-scale stilt walkers towering over everything else and keeping visitors occupied whilst they waited to join the workshops.
Overall, the second ‘socially distanced’ Summer entertainment workshop at Doncaster Lakeside was a huge success and we had people instantly signing up to the next workshop taking place the following week.
We cannot wait to see how our Frozen themed weekend turns out! Keep updated on our website and Social Media platforms for more ‘Socially Distanced’ entertainment!