Big top within big top adds to intimacy of festival event

Big top: Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard is encouraging those who haven’t been to the City recently to visit the festival.
Big top: Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard is encouraging those who haven’t been to the City recently to visit the festival.

It will host a series of spectacular circus, cabaret and theatre acts by local, national and international award-winning companies.

Jacob McGrath, who has the responsibility of getting the tent ready for the region’s biggest festival, has worked on the project for more than two months.

And the toughest part of the job lies ahead ” the final installation.

It will take a team of eight people five days to erect the structure ahead of the two-day festival on March 29 and 30.

‘More than 1200sq m of fabric alone will be suspended from the tent ceiling to give the venue a more intimate feel ” a big top within a big top,’ McGrath said.

The 2014 tent will include a second entrance/exit and extra flooring and there will be elements of a 1950s theme incorporated into its look.

It will be a busy festival for McGrath, who will also perform alongside wife Sophie in Flipstatic ” a show featuring juggling, fire manipulation, acrobalance, comedy and circus.

He said it was unusual to have to design a performance space in which he would perform.

‘I am lucky that I come from a family of builders,’ he said. ‘If something needs to be built or modified, I am able to do it.’

The McGraths, who co-own Dream State Circus, share a passion for street performance.

They are a popular act on the street festival circuit and have toured nationally and internationally in 38 countries.

They are also advocates for environmental responsibility and are proud to debut another stage at the 2014 Festival ” the eco stage, a self-powered, open- air performance space that is carbon neutral and runs on renewable energy.

The eco stage will feature aerials, acrobatics and fire performances.