We continue to have issues with Exhibitors turning up with flimsy gazebos, and returning later to find a mangled mess, or not even in the same location where it was left. This is not only a cost for the Exhibitor, but they also present very real risk of accident and injury when installed, used or dismantled incorrectly or when impacted by adverse weather conditions. The repercussions of one of these structures failing could have devastating effect on an event and it’s attendees and as a result, event organisers are required to ensure that the equipment being used is fit for purpose, and that it is used as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival has long experience of failures of these temporary structures, and rather than have a blanket ban, have decided to introduce a minimum standard to ensure that Exhibitors can use their own gazebos, but without detriment to others.

We can all get sucked in by advertising descriptions such as “Heavy Duty”, or “Professional”, but the reality is that very few purchased on the High Street are suitable for use in an exposed coastal location such as Portsoy.

The STBF Standard is in 2 parts, the Gazebo, and securing.

The Gazebo frame must have legs which are a minimum of 40mm x 40mm hexagonal section. Hexagonal shaped legs, are much more difficult to bend or break than a square legged version, and are the only ones which are considered fit for purpose. No other frame type will be accepted.


If on grass, wire pegs are unacceptable. Your gazebo is a valuable asset, and needs to be looked after. You should use screw pegs. The screw pegs don’t need to go all the way down in grass, just far enough to be firm when screwing in. The drill will let you know! Straps need to be at least 5.5m long, and don’t need to be guitar string tight, just enough to prevent lift. This system is very easy to use, and very strong.

On hard gravel ground
, the large steel pegs need to be hammered fully in at an angle, so that just the ring at the top remains visible, and the strap secured to the frame.

– There’s no such thing as too many weights or tie downs! Secure the frame, NOT the D-rings on the canvas! Some manufacturers do not recommend using the D-rings on the roof section as primary securing! By securing to the frame internally, there are no external guy ropes to cause a trip hazard.

Click images to see larger

Showing strap securing frame to screw peg.

Showing strap around frame

Showing screw peg and strap.

Tools of the trade!

Sand bag leg weights

Cast iron leg weights

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