Outdoor parties during Covid

Unsurprisingly, many of us still feel a little worried about outdoor parties during Covid is still circulating and of course none of us wants to act irresponsibly or put anyone else at risk .. so how do we balance our need to socialise with our responsibilities to ourselves and to others?

Well .. whilst we freely admit that we’re not medically qualified in any way,  we do know tents and .. we know there is no better way of partying in the open air than in or around a marquee.

We also know that being in well ventilated spaces has always been good for us, not just at the moment!

We believe that a marquee provides a safe environment for a party during Covid and if you feel the same way then here is some additional reassurance along with some super quick and easy ideas for making it happen this (or any) summer and regardless if you already have a marquee booked or if you are just thinking about it ..

After fresh air the key word is flexibility .. flexibility to ..

  • spread things out, creating more room to better demarcate dancing, dining and bar areas
  • make each area bigger to create a more spacious feel
  • bring the outside in by rolling up the walls
  • bring the inside out by spilling out onto an adjacent terrace area
  • have instant “alfresco” access from the marquee

Extra space

Marquees can be supplied in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be deliberately oversized to create extra space to circulate “inside”.  This extra space can be used as follows ..

Bigger dance areasdance floors are made up using a series of individual, interlocking panels, so they can be set up in a variety of different sizes too. The bigger the dance floor, the more space to move freely.

Bigger bars – many bars have also been constructed to allow them to be made bigger (or smaller), according to the circumstances.  A round bar is a particularly good shape to enable people to spread out or to speak across a large gap.

Spacious table seating – it is possible to space people both on long/trestle tables and on round tables .. doing so means there is more room not just for your elbows and the place setting but also for decoration (flowers) or for less formal dining (anti pasti, roast joints of meat, giant salads or sharing platters) when allowed.

Fresh air

A traditional pole tent is never hermetically sealed and the natural properties of cotton canvas in a Wills marquee allow fresh air to circulate freely .. even before any of the walls are rolled up.

Tip – all the walls on a Wills marquees can be rolled up all the way to the canopy. 

With the walls up then, on a hot day the canopy provides shade (and a very real sense of occasion) and if there is a shower the canopy will keep it off, even when the walls are up.


For even more fresh air, the line between inside and outside can be “blurred” even more with the creation of an adjoining “spill-out” or terrace area.

To create a sense of intimacy, we love to enclose this area (usually to the marquee front), with festoon lighting suspended from giant crooks .. just enough to hold people nearby but not enough to stop them from heading off to explore the garden.

Instantly accessible from the marquee, this area is perfect for mingling outdoors and can be made even more comfortable with “chill-out” or garden furniture.

Heading deeper into the evening, it’s hard to beat sitting round a giant fire bowl and chatting into the small hours.


As a final thought .. we’ve always thought the swooping rooflines and simple palette of natural materials suits a paired back approach to decor, so for this kind of truly outdoor focused party we recommend going the whole hog .. no flooring inside the tent .. use the money saved to extend outdoors.


If you’re looking to hire a marquee in Yorkshire, Teesside or Northumberland please get in touch or have a look at our blog A Guide to planning a marquee wedding for more wedding marquee hire info

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