A Guide to Choosing The Right Aerial Performance For Your Event

A Guide to Choosing The Right Aerial Performance For Your Event

Ever wanted to have an aerialist at your event but thought it couldn’t work due to venue restrictions? Well you can. How you ask? Let us tell you.

At Scarlett Entertainment and Events one of our most popular and most desirable entertainment types is aerial performance. However, before coming to us we find that a lot of our clients have already ruled out having an aerial performance at their event. Why? Simply because they’re unsure of how it would work and don’t know the questions they need to ask their venue.

To help dispel any fallacies we have devised a guide to the most popular types of aerial performances, to help you discern whether having an aerial performance is possible at your event.


Types of Aerial Performance and How They Can Work At Your Event


Even if your venue doesn’t have a huge ceiling height or rigging points you can still have an aerial performance at your event.

Introducing the freestanding rig! Freestanding rigs enable aerial performances without rigging points in the venue. As long as you have adequate ceiling height for the size of rig you choose and floor space, there’s not too much else to think about. Freestanding rigs come in a range of shapes and sizes: aerial hoops supported on a platform-mounted pole, freestanding shapes with an aerial hoop in the middle, and freestanding trussing (think giant tripod). These range from needing a ceiling height of 4 metres up to over 7 metres and are subject to each specific aerial act.

A Guide to Choosing The Right Aerial Performance For Your Event

Image: Free Standing Heart Rig


These freestanding rigs are incredibly versatile; they’re perfect for aerial drinks servers and also mean that aerial performances can take place outdoors.  The smaller freestanding rigs are also a good choice if you want a dramatic performance with equipment that can be put up and taken down inside 30 minutes.

Aerial Silk / Corde Lisse

Of course, if you’ve got your heart set on a stunning aerial performance that takes place at serious lofty heights then there are some things you’ll need to consider when looking to book aerial silks and corde lisse.


A Guide to Choosing The Right Aerial Performance For Your Event

Image: International Aerialists


As long as your venue has several rigging points that can bear weight up to 500 kilos and a good ceiling height (over 7metres) you’re almost in business. The trickiest part is ensuring that the venue has a cherry picker that can be used to reach these rigging points in order to set up. If the venue doesn’t already have one, will they allow one to be brought in?


The only other alternative would be to have your aerial silk artist perform on a giant trussing if there are no rigging points, this can also be set up outside.


Aerial Sphere (or unique structure)


There is no denying that aerial sphere artists are absolutely breathtaking to watch. Performing in and around a giant transparent sphere suspended in the air, aerial sphere artists offer something a little different from the usual aerial performance. Often, aerial sphere performance can also include contortion inside the closed sphere.


As you might have suspected, an elaborate aerial performance such as this requires something additional to the usual rigging that an aerial silk or hoop artist would need.


For this type of aerial performance rigging at your venue is absolutely essential. A motor is also needed to enable the sphere to be lowered to the floor for the artists to ascend. Although the aerialist will usually supply the specific motor needed for their act, you will need to check with the venue that their rigging is able to support the additional weight of the motor and inevitably heavier apparatus.




Impressive because of their size, heliospheres have relatively few requirements other than a lot of ceiling height and so are best suited to outdoor events or arenas with open ceilings. Heliospheres are available as one giant balloon or a cluster of smaller balloons.


A Guide to Choosing The Right Aerial Performance For Your Event

Instead of trussing 2 / 3 technicians are needed to hold guy-ropes that are used to guide the helium inflated heliosphere. These technicians can be trained on site if need be.


One thing to note is that if you fly a heliosphere to your event, (via an aeroplane, we wouldn’t suggest recreating Around The World in 80 Days), the helium used to inflate it will need to be sourced at the end location.


What our Aerialist All Have in Common


Despite their differences in rigging requirements, our aerialists do have some things in common. They can adapt their costumes, performance soundtrack and even the look of their apparatus to fit in with your event theme or company brand! The possibilities in this respect are almost quite literally endless.


You can expect a typical performance to last from 15 to 20 minutes before a break is needed, but several 15 – 20 minutes sets can be performed throughout an event. During each break, a costume change and change of aerial apparatus is a possibility.


Where do we go from here?


Now that you’ve discovered the true potential of having an aerialist perform at your event, you just need to find the right one! That’s where we come in.


At Scarlett Entertainment and Events we have an impressive roster of aerialists based in locations around the world. Our roster of aerial performers includes a whole range of unique and exciting aerial acts that we haven’t had space to mention in this article. Unique metal structures, aerial musicians and building walkers… the list is (almost endless).


If you’d like us to help you book the perfect aerial performance for your event, we’re just a few clicks away at Scarlett Entertainment!


Banner image credits go to Matt Hennem at: www.cupoftea.tv and International Aerialists.

__By Alanna Bestwick

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