Circus rigging

In my years of performing, I usually performed aerial performances that required specialist handling. In those days, I was the one who had to install personal equipment. I was taught how to set up my fly trapeze rigging within any large top tent, stadium, or structure and even in the Velodrome. If I didn’t have the option and someone else was tasked with setting up my equipment, I would typically observe the setup and ensure everything was in order before show time. Nowadays, skilled technicians or riggers might be responsible for setting up your aerial equipment. What do you think of this? Are you confident in them to set up your gear the exact way you want it? If you do not wish to be involved in setting up your equipment, Do you want more participation? Are aerialists able to set up their equipment?

After I moved to Australia, I was required to comply with National regulations on rigging, even being a sole trader who was an independent business. I was irritated that I needed to undergo a nationally accredited riggers’ course to obtain a rigging license to get “allowed” to set up my flying trapeze rigging. This was something I’ve consistently done for over 25 years! I was forced to do it, and finally, I lowered my standards and followed the course. The law is a law – regardless of where you live.

Furthermore, I couldn’t have insurance for public liability when a “qualified rigger” was not overseeing the rig’s setup. After completing my Basic Riggers course, I realized that obtaining the license was not just about getting the knowledge to install my rig but also understanding the significance of personal and public responsibility. I was enthralled and decided to take the entire course to become an Advanced Registered Rigger.

The advantages of having completed this course were evident to me. I had to show the authenticity of the physical license each time before I could use any equipment for the circus in a public area. It mainly was the certainty it gave me in knowing that I was aware of the dangers involved in how the equipment would be used and that I was assisting the performer to feel secure during their show. Most importantly, the entire purpose of the event was that everyone, from the audience to the building owners, knew there was no chance of an accident due to failing rigging. As an ex-aerialist, recognize the importance of confidence in your equipment and rigging. This enabled me to concentrate on my performance without getting distracted by anxiety.

I believe that everyone who is an aerialist must know all about the equipment they’ll employ, not just the equipment itself, but also how it’s installed. So they are more informed of what to check before using it and are more self-sufficient in staying safe. There is no need to attend a rigging training course to do this. However, you must be able to spot any issues if your gear appears “off” or uneven. If you notice any of these, don’t be afraid to examine and check again by your technician or show rigger. If you’re concerned about something, it’s worthwhile to fix it not just for your security but also for your safety and that of your audience and colleagues who share the same space and to ensure the long-term durability of your gear. Nobody wants to see people injured when they are doing something they enjoy. The practice of safely rigging will show the importance you place on yourself and your concern for others. Make sure everyone is safe!

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