Zippos Circus



• 1 November 2023 •

Big Top Label Award

It is with great pride that we announce that Zippos Circus has been awarded European Big Top Label certification. Only three circuses achieved this status in 2023: Circo Raluy Legacy from Spain, Richter Florian Cirkusz from Hungary and Zippos Circus from the UK.

One of the most important objectives of the BTL project is the recognition of quality and the highlighting of exemplary achievements. 

Zippos Circus was inspected in summer 2023 and the detailed report was examined by the BTL Committee. Zippos Circus was noted as being "legendary and long-standing, one of the defining and guiding institutions of the circus world".

To date, only twelve circuses have received this award. As two are building-based circuses we are even more proud to be recognised as one of only ten tenting circuses in Europe with Big Top Label certification. 

Big Top Label is highly respected throughout Europe. Zippos Circus founder, Martin Burton, said, "It is a huge honour for Zippos Circus to be recognised amongst the very finest circuses in Europe. We are immensely proud that Zippos Circus has achieved a sufficient score to become a member of the small elite club of BTL-certified circuses."

Everybody at Zippos Circus is delighted with this achievement which puts Zippos Circus alongside the best circuses in the world.

More info:

The BTL awarding ceremony took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 6 December 2023.

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• 17 April 2021 •

World Circus Day 2021

On Saturday 17th April 2021, Zippos Circus is proud to help celebrate the 11th World Circus Day, organised by the World Circus Federation / Federation Mondiale du Cirque. Here is a video compilation of just some of the wonderful acts and performers who have appeared with Zippos Circus over the past 11 years.

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• 7 January 2021 •

The Stage 100

7 January 2021

Prestigious Performing Arts Accolade
for Zippos Circus Founder


Martin ‘Zippo’ Burton included in The Stage 100


Martin ‘Zippo’ Burton, Founder and Director of Zippos Circus and Chair of The Association of Circus Proprietors, has been included within The Stage newspaper's prestigious Top 100 as an exceptional voice that made a difference to the future of performing arts in 2020. He joins other influential voices including Andrew Lloyd Webber and producer Bill Kenwright.

In the summer, The Association of Circus Proprietors warned that without support, many circuses would go bust. The body, with Burton as Chair, marched on Downing Street with costumed performers from UK circuses, urging the Government to act. It proved one of the sector’s most effective acts of lobbying.

By mid-July 2020 circuses were allowed to open and went on to become big recipients from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Burton commented, "I am delighted that the work of myself and my fellow ACP members has been recognized within the performing arts sector. I have worked tirelessly on behalf of our members to get UK circuses (including my own) back on the road and eligible for receipt of the Culture Recovery Fund. Circuses are often forgotten by the Government and Arts Council and not recognized as an art form, this is no longer the case. We are determined to get all circuses back on the road as soon as we can safely do so in 2021.”

A public nominations process was run to vote for The Stage 100 with the final list created by the magazine’s editorial team.

Martin Burton

Association of Circus Proprietors


In the summer, the Association of Circus Proprietors warned that without support, many circuses would go bust. The body, with Burton as chair, marched on Downing Street with more than 50 costumed performers from top UK circuses, urging the government to act. It proved one of the sector’s most effective acts of lobbying. By mid-July, circuses were allowed to open and went on to become big recipients from the Culture Recovery Fund.

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• 31 October 2020 •

Culture Recovery Fund 2020





Zippos Circus, the UK’s favourite touring circus, has been awarded significant funding in the latest allocation of grants from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, administered by The Arts Council England.

The vital funding of over £600,000 will enable the much-loved circus to continue to perform this year and get back on the road across the UK in 2021. Zippos Circus was unable to go out on tour for Easter this year and has been faced with many challenges including having artists from around the world stranded in the UK. The show managed to get back on tour in August, despite huge hurdles, with a critically-acclaimed new production ‘Rebound’ and has since then been touring England with a socially-distanced show and hugely reduced capacity. Zippos biggest annual gig at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland will not go ahead as the whole event has been cancelled for winter 2020.

The 2020 tour will end in November and the funds will enable the 2021 production to be created ready for touring and provide much needed monies for the business’ infrastructure. 

Martin Burton, Founder and Director of Zippos Circus, commented, 
“This generous grant is a lifeline for us and gives our immediate future certainty after a devastating year even if social distancing measures remain in place well into next year. The circus is a hugely popular, accessible and affordable art form, appealing to a wide audience and for many children is their first introduction to live performance. We are delighted and hugely relieved to have received this grant which will secure our financial viability and set us up for our 2021 tour.”

Zippos Circus is currently touring England and will be at Blackheath, London from Thursday 22nd October until 1st November 2021. Further details on



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• 14 July 2019 •

Zippos Circus at Banff Rotary Club

In July, the Rotary Club of Banff welcomed the world's longest-serving circus ringmaster, when the group hosted Norman Barrett MBE who spoke about his varied career in entertainment.

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• 13 April 2018 •





Submit your best circus photos and win a fabulous prize!

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