The term Big Top for the largest tent in the circus or travelling show has been around a long time. A hunt on the web for the beginings of the term didn’t provide much detail. We did however come across this interesting article on a US circus site which covers Big Top and other circus lingo expressions.
There is some great Hollywood treatment of Circus and in the film Water For Elephants and a Big Top features in many of the films key moments.
There is some good footage of our Big Top tents in this video of Tribal Gathering 1993, near Warminster. Albion Woods provided Big Top tents for all these seminal events in UK festival culture. For more history on these groundbreaking events see these links