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Up, up and away: great acts for noisy outdoor events

Red Arrows Airshow

This week it’s the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA), probably one of the loudest events in the UK when the military jets fire up their engines! While the main attraction on the public days is the famous 5-hour air display, there are still plenty of moments when other entertainment is ready to take off and delight the crowds.The FIA is also a very popular family event, so the organisers needed to include attractions for all ages.

So, what did they choose? Here’s some inspiring ideas that you can use at any outdoor event!


Theme the entertainment

It sounds obvious, but all the official entertainment at the FIA is heavily aviation-themed. It’s a great way to give an event cohesion and the feeling of a special event. So, try and choose entertainment that fits the occasion, and don’t be afraid to ask artists and musicians what they can do to tie in with your theme. Bands may offer themed sets of music, strolling acts might come in different costumes, whilst other artists can even create bespoke entertainment on request, such as unique mix and mingle characters (see below).

Ooh Baby Ooh – a three part harmony act that can be performed as 1940s Andrews Sisters, 1970s disco babes, French floozies, Latin lovelies, Christmas carollers, you name it!

Ooh Baby Ooh

Mix and mingle characters

Mix and mingle acts offer the thrill of the unexpected and the fun of the quirky. Think of characters that best fit your event – we love ”Amelia Spare-Part” (think about it), a strolling character ’recruiting’ budding pilots with an on the spot quiz. Simple, and a great photo opportunity for social media sharing too!

Pearly King and Queen – true Cockney Royalty for an iconic look to any London event

Pearly King and Queen

Living statues

Still incredibly popular after many years, again at the FIA, these are themed to the event. So, you’ll find a pilot living statue in full WWII flying outfit next to ‘his’ Spitfire, for example. Perfect for a show where the key is to be seen but not necessarily always heard!

Strolling musicians

Even during the air display, there are ‘down’ moments as noisy jet gives way to quieter drones or parachute displays. The same is pretty much true of any event, and this is where strolling musicians can really seize their moment. From mariachi bands to marching bands, guitar trios to steel pan players, music can ‘fill the gaps’ and keep the energy flowing. Look too for visually appealing acts, such as musicians on stilts and one-man bands.

Silk Street – new generation early jazz band

Silk Street

Laurence the One Man Band

Laurence | One Man Band

Poles Apart – our fun group of stilt-walking musicians with loads of different costumes and themed repertoires

Poles Apart

An oasis of calm

Why not offer your event guests a place to escape from the crowds and noise for a little while. Chill zones have become increasing popular at music festivals, offering relaxed seating and a chance to zone out for a little while. Create that crucial ambience with gentle music such as laid-back electronic lounge, gentle piano or even classically soothing such as harp or strings.

Urban Soul Orchestra – superb international sessions musicians with a repertoire of chilled out lounge grooves, contemporary pop and soul, cool jazz and blues, and beautiful classical music.

Urban Soul Orchestra

Exhibition entertainment

During this week, the FIA will be “The largest industry event on the aerospace calendar”. The 2016 show welcomed 1500 exhibitors, all vying for the attention of buyers from around the world. So, in a crowded exhibition space, how can your company stand out? The key is providing innovative and engaging entertainment that attracts interest but doesn’t drown out all-important sales talk. Acts that are visually different will quite literally catch the eye, such as ballet dancers, silk aerial artists, limbo dancers, African acrobats, belly dancers and indeed, anything that Health and Safety will allow!

The Black Eagles – stunning African acrobatics shows from Tanzania.

Black Eagles, The

Reception music

Many of the major companies at FIA will hold their own receptions for clients and prospective customers, where the drinks flow and the music is just right for meeting and networking. If you need something similar, look for acts with an acoustic line-up, or who are experienced in ‘background’ music. There’s no point in paying a 10-piece funk band to play during drinks; save the budget and book a great trio, duo or even solo artist instead to provide the right atmosphere and volume level.

Belle and the Busker – an acoustic duo with stunning male and female vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar

Belle And The Busker

Not found what you’re looking for?

Call us for more ideas and inspiration for any public event entertainment, corporate hospitality or company open day. We’re always happy to help!