The circus is in town!

Ah, the circus. A magical land of wonder and curiosity, packed with tantalizing experiences and sugary treats that make your mouth water at the very thought of consuming them. We all remember going to the circus as kids, don’t we? It is unlike anything else. You take a step into a whole new world, one that smells like sweat and kettle corn, filled to the brim with the unexpected and foreign, and for a while, you are a part of the madness. The circus consumes your imagination with a sense of childlike wonder, but who’s to say that circuses are just for children? Here’s a list of 10 festivals that brought the circus to the grown-ups!

1.Circus Mexicus

Credit: ComeToRockyPoint

Circus Mexicus is a four-day music festival in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, that occurs annually and is organized by Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers. Over a dozen artists and bands play all throughout the duration of the four days in cantinas and on the Mexican Moonshine Mainstage in the seaside town of Rocky Point. The festival is packed full of music, tacos, and more tequila than you can handle! Check  out their website here.

2. Escape Halloween


Escape Halloween is an electronic music festival that takes place in Southern California around Halloween time. It is organized by Insomniac Events and has been occurring annually since 2011. The festival features Halloween-themed mazes, stages, and costumed performers. In 2015 Escape Halloween took on the theme of Escape: Psycho Circuswhich added a dark Halloween twist to the usual circus-vibe. The genres included in the festival are EDM, house, dance, electro house, drum and bass, techno, dance-punk, dubstep, trance and more! Check out their Facebook page here.

3. TILT Festival

Credit: TILT Festival Birmingham

TILT is a seven-day Aerial & Physical Theatre Festival that showcases performances by national and international circus artists. The festival also includes a comprehensive masterclass teaching program that caters to every skill level, ranging from beginners to professional performers. There are free outdoor aerial shows, youth workshops, rigging and massage courses and even a midnight feast! Check out their website here.

4. Circus City

Credit: Circus City Bristol

The Bristol Circus City Festival takes place over the course of three weeks at fifteen venues across Bristol. The biennial festival aims to showcase the best circus artists in Bristol and bring the excitement and innovation of circus culture back to the city. The festival features acrobats, tightrope walkers, stunt artists, fire shows, dance, puppetry, theater and even comedy! Check out their Facebook page here.

5. Irish Aerial Dance Festival

Credit: Fidget Feet

The Irish Aerial Dance Festival is organized by Fidget Feet, an aerial dance theater company based in Ireland. The festival occurs every year in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland. The festival has something for people of all age groups and prides itself on telling stories in the form of live performances, whether they be in theaters, forests, or even swinging off the tops of buildings. Since 2004, Fidget Feet has performed across five continents before hundreds of thousands of people, and in some of the biggest festivals and venues across the globe! Check out their Facebook page here.

6. Electro Circus

Credit: Moshtix

Electro Circus took place in Sydney in 2015, offering over twenty-five international and local acts across three stages. The unique circus-themed dance music festival featured a Big Top Stage, featuring bounce and electro tunes, a Trapeze Stage, which was all about bass and trap, and a Voodoo Stage, devoted to all things trance.  Alongside all of this, there were performances by acrobats, dancers, and various other circus acts!

7. Backwoods Music Festival

Credit: Backwoods Music Festival

The Backwoods Music Festival is a three-day camping, music and arts festival that takes place annually on Labor Day Weekend in Oklahoma, United States. For their 2018 event, they have joined forces with The Revolving Door Circus Group, who will be wandering the festival grounds, dancing on stilts, putting on fire shows, or swinging in the air!  The Revolving Door Circus is a group of entertainers and performers who have previously participated in festivals around the country. This creative coalition never fails to delight, with their intricate outfits, uniquely painted faces, and impressive talents! Check out their website here.

8. Athens Circus Festival

Credit: Yorgo Banilas

In collaboration with the NGO Circus Dayz and Technopolis of Athens, the Athens Circus Festival began in 2012. The festival features workshops, shows, and concerts including acrobats, jugglers, musicians, dancers and artists of every spectrum of Alternative Performing Arts. The three-day festival features demonstrations, seminars of circus technique, street theater, juggling meetings, play areas for children, spectacles with fires, performers’ markets and even an open stage for new and aspiring artists! Check out their website here.

9. Circus Tree

Credit: Nordea Kontserdimaja

The Circus Tree Festival took place in August of 2015 in Tallinn, at Kadrioru park, Kumu and Nordea Concert Hall. The international contemporary circus and street arts festival featured fifteen shows in six days at five different locations. There were thirty events spread out over the course of three days, five circus workshops, one hundred and fifty international and national artists and over eleven thousand visitors! Click to check out their Facebook page here.

10. Mirabilia Festival

Credit: TargatoCn

The Mirabilia Festival was born in 2008, curated by IdeAgorà. The festival aims to unite the major names of contemporary circus, street arts, and dance at a global level. The cultural association promotes, supports and implements the spread of circus arts, theater, performing, visual and musical arts. It supports the formation of industry professionals and supports the work of the artists, promoting collaboration and the network on an international scale.

Which of these festivals do you wish you could attend?