How to Use a Tipi for an Outdoor Event

March 14, 2020

How to Use a Tipi for an Outdoor Event

tipi hire UK

Photo credit: Tipi by Blue Sky Tipis, London, UK

If increased social media shares are a factor in your outdoor event planning,  then tipis are bang on trend and create an immediate Instagram-friendly aesthetic. Whilst long in favour among hip brands for product launches and VIP sponsored areas at outdoor experiences, hire suppliers are also seeing a surge in orders from couples looking for a functional, relaxed and yet memorable solution for their dream outdoor wedding. Here are a few basics to get you ready to plan your outdoor event with tipis. You can continue the conversation with a local tipi supplier for bespoke advice.

How many entrances can I have?

As many as you like! They are more versatile than a marquee, in that you can raise any side to create an opening. Create as many openings as you wish.

Raise the sides to create a ‘witch’s hat’ effect

The name sounds spooky, but the lifting the sides to create a 360 degree opening, allows cool area to circulate and for guests to experience the views. Provide shade, cover from rain and panoramic views.

Can I link tipis together?

Yes, this is a frequent request and tipi hire companies will discuss your configuration with you in advance. Three tipis linked together create an impactful outdoor event space.

Where is the best position for a bar and dance floor in a tipi?

Circular bars and semi-circular dance floors look are ideal for tipis. They mirror the rounded shape of the tent and create a sense of unity. Your tipi hire supplier will be able to suggest mobile bar and dance floor suppliers if you need more choice. Bars could be positioned around the central pole, creating a focal point. Alternatively, position the dance floor in semi-circles and use poseur tables around the edge. The catering staff can use a bar to the perimeter as a base and circulate drinks to poseur tables and lounge seating around the dance floor.

What’s the difference between a tipi (or tepee) and a kata

Really there is no difference. The Swedish kata is a Nordic tipi that has been used near the artic circle as a dwelling for centuries. The name tepee, is more associated with Native American dwellings, also referred to as wigwam.

Of the course there are differences between tipis in the quality of canvas, type of timber and fixings. Many contemporary manufacturers differentiate their designs by using chemical free wood, or coloured canvas and by creating fixings which speed up installation time.

interior of a tipi at a festival

How long does it take to put up a tipi?

It typically takes three people 2 hours to erect a large tipi of 10m-14m diameter.

How much does a tipi weigh?

Would you believe half a tonne? The poles and canvas of a 13m diameter tipi can typically weigh 700kg. That would hold 140 people standing and 90-100 seated.

Can I put a tipi up myself?

Maybe a small one in the garden for you children! Don’t even consider erecting an event tipi without experience and training. There are many factors to take into account, include structural calculations for wind, terrain and usage.

Which costs more, a tipi or a marquee?

Hmm, difficult to answer as it depends on the specification of both. With all tent hire for events, a major component of the cost is the labour cost for installation and dismantle and transportation to and from site. The hire company has the cost of pulling from stock, checking and loading, plus cleaning before placing back into stock. These costs would be similar for both tent structures. So, instead of basing your decision on price, base it on functionality, dimensions and aesthetic appeal.

Can the tipi be installed and dismantled the same day?

Yes, it typically takes 2 hours to erect and 1.5 hours to dismantle.


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