Setting up a New Studio or Adding Aerial Circus Classes to an Existing Studio

Incorporating aerials in your school or classroom is a great idea. But how do you approach doing it? What are you required to be aware of? Who can you turn to for help?

Here’s a step-by-step outline of what we advise people who contact us to seek advice. We receive these inquiries every day. Sometimes, it’s possible to put an aerial circus within the space. Sometimes, it’s not.

Aerials are costly!

  • We only design plans for rigging based on the direction and guidance of structural engineers. This can be expensive.
  • The equipment used to rig is a first outlay. Certain parts, such as aerial silks, may suffer burns or rips and could not last long.
  • The initial installation can be costly. It takes several hours to complete a building, and we must employ at least two riggers. There will always be a surprise on the installation day, which means that the actual time to install might be more than what was quoted.
  • The setup of an aerial studio isn’t only a one-time expense. You must be aware of ongoing costs when deciding whether to include aerials in your classes. This is a requirement for biannual inspections of rigging and maintenance on equipment.

So, now that the financial crisis has been over let’s take a look at the steps involved in beginning the studio setup procedure:

Plan your

There is no need to contact us to provide your class timetables and a list of instructors, but you should, at most, have a notion of the number of aerial points you’d prefer to install and the equipment you’ll use to teach at these points. This information will allow us to determine your requirements for the space and the engineer’s contact details.

Share Photos and video clips of the universe.

Send us images and videos of the proposed space. It’s helpful to mark the areas where you intend to place the aerial point. It is essential to see the beams clearly to hang points and the walls and floors to anchor the points. By examining this, we can provide some advice on the best way to proceed to the next, more financially expensive stage.

If the idea seems promising, you can contact us to assist in planning and engineering advocacy.

Trix Circus engineering consultation and design work.

Although we can install and draw up plans, we will work with an engineer in structural engineering. If the building is brand new, finding engineers is accessible, and we can collaborate with them. If the building is older than a few years, we may require an engineer to conduct a site inspection and verify the concrete and steel structures. This could add significantly to the cost and duration of the planning.

Our hourly rate is $120/h, and we will cost an initial charge of $1000. It is 8 hours and 20 minutes of our time to work to complete your task. Specific projects are completed within a shorter timeframe than this. In such cases, the remaining cost will be added to your account or returned to you.

The process could take between 6 and 12 months. It requires a lot of communication with us, you, and any team members from third parties to ensure everyone can be on the same level. This will help ensure you have the best environment operating with the highest security. Be aware that there may be limitations, and you may not get precisely what you had in mind. There may be weight restrictions for beams, the width of the UB may be too large to support the weight, the concrete could be old enough to withstand more load, or there might not be enough room to install the number of aerial points you would like.


As mentioned above, we collaborate with a structural engineer to make an arrangement plan. It is because an engineer is necessary to assess if a building’s interior is suitable for aerial rigging and to find any restrictions that may exist.

There may be a lot of steel hanging from your ceiling. Some of it may seem impressive. But most of it will be purlins braces, spacers, C channels, U channels, Z channels, and many other things that aren’t suited for us to rig on. We require universal beams (UB) to rig aerially. Also, we need to know how they’re attached to the supporting vertical structures and how sturdy that horizontal construction is. This is something that engineers will find out when they conduct an inspection.

What else should an engineer look for?

If you’re considering using pulley systems rather than static points, the anchorage location will need to be assessed by an engineer. Steel or concrete are suitable anchorage sites. However, not every steel is durable enough, and not all concrete is of the required grade or depth to anchor. Only a qualified engineer can determine this. It’s not in our control to decide this. Specific structures, for instance, wood or bricks, are unsuitable for anchorage.

We will continue the plan based on engineering guidance. We collaborate with engineers to establish the load and location of moving and anchorage points. The engineer will prepare Form 15 (Compliance Certificate for building design or specification). This will provide us with official documentation to conduct the installation. Form 16 is an inspection certificate that might also have to be filled out after installation from your architect. Be aware that sometimes the engineer may advise us that we shouldn’t install anything on existing buildings. This means that you’ll have to locate an alternative space or construct an additional structure in the existing area using trussing or universal beams.

Question: Do I require engineering when purchasing an aerial studio already in use?

If you’re considering purchasing an existing studio, you cannot assurance that the prior owner performed their due diligence and had the studio thoroughly inspected and the equipment properly installed. Suppose you do not possess the previous owners’ Form 15 or Formula 16. In that case, we strongly recommend contacting a structural engineer and a rigger expert (specializing in entertainment or circus) to check it out before deciding to purchase. We’ve seen this exact situation several times. The seller promises prospective buyers that the facility is safe to use, only for those who buy it to discover when they have completed the purchase that it’s unsafe and must be reconstructed entirely or, even worse, thrown out altogether. This is highly disappointing and extremely expensive. Do your research before you commit to the idea of an air studio.


As we’ve mentioned before, the installation of aerials can be expensive. Here’s a list of expenses to be considered before beginning. Consider this list as a general guideline:

  • Engineering Between $3000 to $7000
  • Trix Circus design consultation is about $1,000 (depending on the level of complexity of the design)
  • The beam or the truss (if you think the structure you have isn’t appropriate) is Between $20,000 and $40,000
  • Rigging equipment: We only use trusted brands like Rock Exotica and Petzl. These are expensive. Trix Circus beam clamps for moving points cost $450 per piece.
  • Aerial equipment – depends on quantity.
  • Time to rig– Rigging is highly time-consuming. We always send two experienced riggers who are charged $120/hour per rigger (minimum 3 hours of call). Add to this the travel time and expenses for the riggers.
  • Hire a lifting plant to raise ceilings and more complicated installations; it is necessary to employ the services of a lifter. This can add $500 and $2000 to the cost of installation.
  • PPE PPE HTML0 – You’ll require a crash mat. The average cost for each wreck mat ranges from $950 to $1500. You’ll need an aerial mat at each point.
  • Coaching Payrolls and superannuation: All of it adds up!
  • Insurance: You will require specific insurance for your aerial lessons.
  • Inspection costs for each aerial point must be checked by a group of two qualified riggers every six months (at the same price as the initial installation, $120/hour for each rigger. Minimum of 3 hours call). This process is much less time-consuming compared to the building; however, larger studios could take hours.
  • Upgrade and replace the aerial system: Your equipment will wear down with time and require replacement. Also, you must purchase a new and exciting device to ensure your pupils are entertained.

This list isn’t exhaustive. You’ll likely discover additional unexpected costs as you move along. Ensure to include these costs in your cost analysis during planning to avoid any unpleasant surprises later.


This won’t take place in one week! You should allow plenty of time before beginning marketing your courses. It can take months for engineering for it to become a reality. Sometimes, finding an engineer who will collaborate on aerial circus workshops takes a while. Many are reluctant to risk it. After being hired, engineers must visit the site for an inspection, create an outline or multiple projects, hire a draftsperson to draw the agenda, fill out forms, etc. There’s quite a quite a lot!

The design of your studio may require time. The space you have chosen could be more complex than you initially believed – there may be ceiling obstructions and wires running through the beam, fans, or even lights hanging from the ceiling. Determining the most secure and practical setup for you is essential. Anchoring points to pulley systems is also a problem and must be considered in length.

The booking of riggers for the installation must be planned ahead of time. We have a few qualified riggers, and their work time is controlled with care. We’ll also require booking the plant machinery (scissor lifts or boom lifts) for more intricate installations, particularly those with high ceilings. The right plant equipment might not be available promptly.

What timeframe do I have to be watching from the first phone call until the final install?

It’s difficult to determine the correct answer because, for simple jobs, it can take 6 – 8 months (if you have all the necessary engineering documentation and an appropriate plan you can follow). For more complex setups, it may take six months or more.

You’re speaking about the appropriate people. We suggest keeping your employees, students, and yourself secure. We don’t worry about not getting an opportunity, but we’re concerned about the safety of all our customers.

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