The ultimate 'go-anywhere' entertainment, street entertainers take the fun, laughter and amazement out to your guests wherever they may be. Whether wandering amongst festival crowds, keeping queues amused, or celebrating a special occasion, street entertainers provide an extra wow factor every time.
What is a Street Entertainer?
Street entertainers are talented performers who are able to take their act outside and amongst crowds, free from the need for staging or lighting or complex technical requirements. They are experts in distilling their act into a simple but highly effective format that instantly grabs attention and has a wide appeal.
Many street performers base their acts on traditional entertainment such as circus, mime, and physical slapstick comedy. This kind of act, including stilt walkers, fire jugglers and football skills performers, may require more space than most indoor venues allow.
Some give these traditional skills a modern twist, such as comedy photographers, urban street magicians, living statues and comedy lookalikes. They can mix and mingle with guests for fun and laughter at any event, party, wedding or special occasion.
Palmistry tells you about your character and potential and is fun for all ages. Excellent for drinks receptions, around dinner tables, meet and greet, anywhere where there are people keen for a laugh!
- Fun Fortune Teller
Living tables (themed serving tables with live performers at their centre) are perhaps the odd one out in this category, as they operate inside only. However, their ability to move around, especially the amazing Champagne Dress lady, makes them more ‘street’ than ‘stage’!
What to look for in quality street performers
Choosing the right street performers for your event is often more important than glowing testimonials. You may have found a superb mime artist, but if you need an act that is loud and attracts attention, they won't be suitable. Equally, stilt walkers may not be right for tight crowded spaces such as markets or music festival crowds. It really is a case of 'horses for courses’.
So, take time to look at each act's Profile here on Alive Network, and imagine them at your event. Would they fit in with the theme, the decor, the setting, AND delight young and old alike? If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact the team at Alive Network - we're always happy to help.
Unlike many acts, you don't need to worry so much about where your street performers have performed before. Most of them have performed across the UK and beyond for a whole variety of events, which won’t have necessarily been held anywhere impressive or famous. Having said that, do look for any particular accolades; Patch a Right Royal Fool, for example, performs at the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, and is the English Heritage National Jester!
What format will my street entertainer offer?
Most street entertainers have a ‘fixed’ act in the sense that a mime artist does mime, a stilt walker is on stilts, a juggler juggles, but there are lots of variations within their chosen format. For example, stilt walkers can dress in a whole range of outfits, from clowns to Victorian policemen, fantasy characters, Santas, and even Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson!
Our talking character stilt walkers can fit into your wedding party theme or style, from cool suited doormen and security guards to drink-serving waiters and even a trio of not-quite-so-heavenly angels!
- Stilt Walkers Galore
Where stilt walkers cannot go, walkabout characters can, adding visual interest to your event with themed costumes, from Snow King and Queen to disco divas, pirates and fairies.
Even jugglers can fit in with your theme or event, such as football juggling specialist Rupert Sebastian, fire juggler James, and or ‘hapless’ Comedy Juggler Jon, who is also a big hit at corporate events.
My show is a fusion of technical juggling and stand up comedy combined with strong visual impact, making it ideal for all levels of corporate audience. When I juggle teacups and chainsaws, cigar boxes and bowling balls, business people really appreciate just how hard it is to keep everything in the air at once!
- Comedy Juggler
Some street entertainer formats are more suited to a small group of people or working one to one with individuals, such as our Fun Fortune Teller, a street magician, or a mime artist.
Our mime artists provide so many special comic moments that are particular to just a few guests. These really help break the ice at corporate events with fast-paced humour that has no language barrier!
- Mime Artists Inc
Living tables are perhaps the ultimate flexible performers, adapting their costumes and decorations to suit your theme and decor. Check out the photo gallery for Living Tables to see how great their costumes look, from cool ice masked figures to cheeky tropical dancers, ancient Greek statues and even a mermaid! (Just remember living tables are inside-only acts.)
The key factor in all street performers is that they are incredibly flexible as to timings, location and adjusting their act to an event ‘as it happens’. Most will agree time slots in which they will perform, given that performing outside can be particularly tiring when it’s hot//wet/windblown/freezing/slippery underfoot. If you are staging a larger scale event and require several different performers, try to ‘zone’ your event so that performers are rotated between areas, to keep their act - and their audience - fresh.
What equipment will my street performers require?
Most street performers come completely self-contained, so they are not dependent on any staging, lighting, or access to a power source. This enables them to perform almost anywhere, and for a wide range of events.
I require no special set up or equipment. I simply approach a small group, ask them to all shows their hands and she quickly identifies a key positive point about each person. If you want me to be seated, you only need to provide a table and three chairs. I will bring along a table cloth and suitably mystical decorations!
- Fun Fortune Teller
Some performers add extra services after the event, such as the Comedy Paparazzi. These cheeky snappers combine stand up comedy with professional photography to make your guests feel like celebs on the red carpet.
After the event there's a private microsite gallery for your guests to view and order an image, print, canvas or other gift item if they wish. Plus, you also get all edited images on a USB stick. For Private Parties the birthday boy or gal even gets their own personalised 'GOTCHA!' spoof celeb mag cover!
What space will my street performer require?
Few types of street performers require a defined space, but some may have requirements like a level flat surface, or sufficient space for their podium, like living statues. Others know that their act works at a particular location, such as the entrance to your venue:
The surprise of being papped works best as guests arrive, but the guys can roam around the event searching for 'Superstars' as well, so they're not fixed to one spot.
Our living statues come with a small plinth that we will take out with us at the beginning of the set. Depending on space and what interactions occur, we will either stay on this plinth, or possibly venture slightly away from it. Statues are not too great in the rain however, so if backup indoor or covered spaces are available that it always really helpful!
- Living Statues and Tables
Some performers might require a dedicated space in which to work for safety reasons, such as fire performer Katy Sea;
For outside fire performances with pyrotechnics, a 12m x 6m area with a height of 8m clear of anything over hanging is required. I can provide PLI and Risk Assessments on request.
- Katy Sea
Most street performers will need a place to get changed, sort their equipment boxes, rest between sets, etc - see the Anything Else? section below for more details.
What performance length do street performers offer?
Performance lengths do vary according to the nature of the act. It’s always best to call us here at Alive Network to discuss your exact requirements before booking, so we can suggest the acts most suitable for your timescales, your audience - and your budget!
- Fire performer Katriana performs a 1 x 5 minute choreographed performance, or can set up outside your entrance area to greet your guests as they arrive and perform 2 x 15 minute sets.
- Standard prices for the Comedy Paparazzi include 2 x 'paparazzi' photographers on site for 2 hours.
- The Champagne Dress will serve for 2 hours, with her dress holding 105 champagne glasses.
- The Fun Fortune Teller will give readings of around 2 minutes each, usually over a given period of two or three hours, including breaks.
- The Comedy Juggler can vary the length of his show to fit your requirements from 5 minutes to an 1 hour.
- Standard prices for the Living Human Statues include 1 x Human Statue performing for 3 x 30 minutes. Extra performers are available.
- Juggling James offers 3 x 45 minutes of Mix & Mingle Juggling.
- The standard fee for Football Freestyler Chris covers a full day with as many performances as you may require.
The great feature of street entertainment is that you can have as many different types of performers as you wish at any one event. In fact, including several different types of act to entertain people at your event will definitely make your event more exciting, interesting and varied. Multiple performers are great for your music or arts festival, community street event, shopping promotions, town centre event, garden party, big wedding or corporate event.
At Alive Network we have created bespoke multi-performer packages for a whole range of clients organising everything from family fun days to major sporting events. Our expert input ensures a range of quality entertainment across the whole of the event timeframe. With Alive Network, you simply call us and we’ll do the work liaising with artists, drawing up contracts and sorting out the logistics, so you can relax and simply pay one invoice at the end!
What do street entertainers cost?[
Prices for street entertainment vary according to how many performers are involved, and the total length of attendance at your event.
- Fees for a single Juggling Jester or Walkabout Character start at just over £300, with additional performers available at around £300 each.
- Fire Performer Katriana costs the same, but with the nature of her highly dramatic act, the total performance time is less.
- Most living statues and stilt walkers cost between £350 and £400, and this price band also includes our Charlie Chaplin lookalike.
- A budget of £350-450 buys you a superbly costumed living table ready to serve your guests, and street magician Alexander MacDonald.
- You’ll need just shy of £500 to hire Jon the Comedy Juggler, or to be ‘papped’ by two pro Comedy Paparazzi. Other unusual performers in this price band include our popular Fun Fortune Teller and Football Freestyler.
- From £500 upwards, you can have multiple performers such as the comedy Laurel and Hardy lookalikes, or stiltwalking comedy Holmes and Watson.
Anything else I need to know?
Most street entertainers are highly professional performers, and a little forethought before your event to ensure their comfort and wellbeing will be much appreciated.
Meet your street performers: All street entertainers should be met before your event commences so they can talk through the timetable of your event, and check any issues such as locations, etc. For festivals or events with several performers, it’s a good idea to set up an ‘office’ where performers can be met, briefed and where they can report to if there are any issues on the day.
Changing room: Street performers will require somewhere to change from day clothes into their costumes, somewhere secure to store their equipment cases, and access to a toilet (possibly a bathroom). Here’s why!
The performer will need somewhere secure to get changed and ideally this will be quite private so they can apply their body paint. We will provide protective floor coverings. Access to a sink or shower afterwards would also be appreciated but isn't necessary.
- Living Statues and Tables
Shared dressing rooms: Please note that not every performer will be willing to share a changing room with another performer - after all, they probably will have never met before… And please don’t insult any performer by asking them to change in a storeroom, outside, or in a toilet!
Food and drinks: Many street performers are quite independent about food and drink arrangements, as eating may affect their performance in some way. However, they will all very much appreciate a supply of hot and cold drinks (depending on the season), and a ready supply of snack and sandwiches will help fuel them through what could be a long day. This could be set up in the ‘office’, as a separate refreshment area for all involved in the event, or even as a running tab with your bar or beverage supplier. No street performer will expect alcoholic drinks to be included - soft drinks and water are just fine.
Toilets: Always ensure you know where the toilets are on your event site, and let the performers know, just in case.
Parking space: Most solo street performers will arrive at UK performances by car and therefore will require a reserved parking space if possible. For town centre events, make sure you know where the nearest public car parks are in relation to where they are to perform.
Sound and Lighting: Most street performers do not provide their own sound and lighting, as it’s not required. If your event is at night, or happens at twilight, you should ensure sufficient lighting is available to ensure your street performers can see and be seen. The obvious exception are fire and glow performers, who need darkness to perform. Ask them about any requirement for low-level safety lighting, or the dimming of existing lighting / floodlights.
13 amp power supply: Very few acts will require this, and most should tell you way in advance.
Fire and Pyrotechnics: Some acts may involve fire, pyrotechnics and other potentially dangerous elements. Your event insurer may require a copy of the performer’s risk assessment and public liability insurance. You might also have to provide additional fire safety equipment - ask your performer about this. If you want the drama without the fire risk, opt for an LED light show instead; just as beautiful, but a lot less flammable!
How to book your street entertainers
Simply browse the Street Entertainers section here at Alive Network, and check out the demo videos and photos. Once you have found your ideal street entertainment, do an availability check for your chosen date, ask for an online quote, or just go ahead and click to book. You can also ring us at Alive network during office hours to discuss your particular requirements.
One of the Alive Network team will contact you to double-check details such as event theme, venue layout, formats required and the timings of your event.
Once your booking is confirmed, you just pay a small deposit and we'll email you a receipt and your contract.
When your contract is signed and returned, you will be put in contact with the each artist three weeks before the event to discuss final arrangements. For multiple artists booking, we’ll assign you a dedicated event coordinator who will handle all the logistical details with artists on your behalf.