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A Guide To Marquee Hire

Are you organising or hosting a marquee event? With so much choice available, it’s very easy to get confused and even easier to pick the wrong marquee!

Let us answer your questions

When you look at the glossy pictures on websites every page offers yet another shape, colour or style of marquee.They all look fantastic! The sky is blue,the sun is shining ,everyone smiling and happy and it's so easy for you to imagine your party or reception happening in any one of these marquees .

It is great to be offered such choice but it is important to understand the differences in design and capabilities of each and what benefits they offer you.


What is a the Difference between a Marquee and Frame Tent ?

This will always be open to debate but when we joined the industry 25 years ago a Marquee was always a “Soft” structure made from stretching canvas over poles and tensioned by guy ropes. A Frame Tent was a “Hard” structure made by fitting covers to a rigid frame.

The modern dictionary definition (Oxford online) describes a marquee as

        “A large tent used for social and commercial events”

This more liberal definition has led to almost any structure being referred to as a Marquee. If you google “Marquee Hire” the results will certainly return at least one company offering small and lightweight type structures. I am not denigrating their design or purpose but it illustrates the confusion when trying to compare prices and companies.

Getting The Right Marquee

The majority of events are a One Off and whether it is your Wedding, special Birthday or a Business Product Launch you will want to get it right . Second takes are not an option and it is essential to take time & care selecting your style of marquee and supplier.

Please view our Gallery Page to see what a beautiful marquee we would provide for you. We are also on Facebook, Pintrest and Google+

Which Marquee is best for Your Event?

This will ultimately be a balance of the following:

  • Budget
  • Individual style preference
  • Practicality of chosen marquee
  • Site layout

This could involve a compromise, and be a hard call, but this needs to be addressed at the outset.
If your dream style breaks the budget or will only work on a calm sunny day then you will spend the lead up time being anxious.

...The marquee looked magnificent and everyone commented on how nice it looked. We relied heavily on your recommendations for all our suppliers for the day and feel we could not have done better....

Different Marquee Types


Traditional Marquees

These are the original canvas marquees. Complete with centre poles and guy ropes. In recent years many designs now use PVC covers and aluminum poles.

  • Undeniable elegance and style
  • Generally cheaper per sq area to hire
  • Centre poles restrict interior layouts
  • Guy ropes restrict space around perimeter


Multispan Frame Marquees

These are the aluminum clearspan marquees that are now the industry standard. They are available from 3m widths and going up to the enormous pavilion structures seen at such events as the Chelsea Flower Show. Robust and well engineered, the only criticism is that externally the look can be a little too corporate for some events. These tents have the advantage that they can be installed on most surfaces.

  • From 3m widths
  • Suitable for most surfaces
  • Modern/Corporate Look


Area Marquee Hire Design

There are many individually designed and manufactured frame tents.

The majority are well designed and made to withstand our UK weather. One of the best designs having stood both the test of time and fashion is the Area Marquee Hire design.

This is a modern frame tent that kept the shape and charm of the Traditional Marquee while offering all the benefits of a clearspan  structure.

  • Charm of the Traditional Marquee
  • Clearspan  structure
  • Modern frame
  • Time Tested
  • Excellent Design

Small Multispans

These are built with the same components as the larger tents and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They have a multitude of applications and can be built on all surfaces.

The photograph shows a row of Pagoda’s but they are also known as Chinese Hats.

  • Multiple Applications
  • Variety of Sizes
  • Suitable for All Surfaces


Gazebos and Lightweight Structures

Recent years has seen an explosion of small lightweight tents of all shapes and sizes .

They are brilliant for what they are; a cheap, quick shelter in calm weather.

If you are having some friends around for a summer BBQ and want some quick easy cover they are perfect. Many outside caterers have them to protect BBQ’s or Hog Roasts from the rain.

However they cannot be compared with the small Multispan Pagoda’s as they will not survive a Blustery day.


Tipi’s, Yurts and Festival Tents

Historic Tents

In recent years there have been many companies offering “Alternative” tents.
Some like the Yurts and Tipi’s go back century’s and are a proven design. They are primarily intend as living quarters and as such are ideal at festivals,

Modern Designs

Tents like Capri’s or Star Tents are modern designs developed using computer aided design and cutting. Their shapes are attractive but limits the usable square area that is protected in wet weather. When linked and joined together to accommodate larger numbers the internal space and layout is quite restricted by the frames .In wet weather the flow of water from the gutters needs to be considered.

Tel: 01489 575372