a grand spectacle
staged on parade floats
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’ Flatbed Follies is an outdoor mobile venue that brings the performing arts into the streets. Developed in response to COVID, Flatbed Follies instantly became a vehicle offering joy and wonder to a recovering world. Performances take place upon innovative parade float stages modified to present circus acts. There is even a calliope wagon providing authentic circus music.
Developed in 2021 with the support of NYC’s Department of Transportation and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Flatbed Follies quickly become a DIY WPA for performing artists in New York.
Providing work for more than 200 artists and crew each year, the 2022 season entertained more than 30,000 people across 50 city neighborhoods.
Harkening back to the days when the grand circus parade came through towns across the country and captivated everyone who saw it, Flatbed Follies offers a much-needed celebration and brings art back to the streets. The repurposed parade floats are equipped to showcase incredible and eclectic talent, including clowns, jugglers, wire walkers, acrobats, aerial acts, and more. The stages are also equipped to feature live music and after-dark options including silent movies with live musicians. Flatbed Follies can become the focal point for a full-day street activation, or it can make a couple of stops in a day with a show that rolls into place.
Bindlestiff’s Flatbed Follies is an exciting way to bring performance to the people. It is flexible and easily adapts to the locations visited. Flatbed Follies can offer workshops and community programming, inviting local marching bands, dancers, and youth groups to join the spectacle.
With municipal and foundation support, this project brings live performance to the public for free. Because of its mobile, self-sufficient nature, this production can roll just about anywhere. With a focus on the environment, the show is powered by the sun. Flatbed Follies supports the community, we hire local! The artists who amaze you are your neighbors. Bindlestiff shares the stage, and working with many local partners, an amazing spectacle for the people is able to take place.