The Difference Between a Marquee and a Gazebo


Gazebos and marquees are often seen as being the same thing, which is understandable due to their similarities. But there are also a plethora of differences between marquees and gazebos that you need to know about.

We’re here to help you understand the differences and help you choose which one is right for you so when you come to purchase you know you’re getting exactly what you need.

What is a gazebo?

Gazebos in a general sense are outdoor structures that provide shelter from rain and shade from the sun. There are a variety of different types of gazebos – ranging from wooden or metal permanent structures to temporary shelters such as pop up gazebos which can be set up and set down quickly and are able to be transported easily.

When comparing pop up gazebos to marquees, generally,  pop up gazebos are more lightweight and are often much easier to set up. Gazebos are also highly customisable with options of different colours and custom printing.

Gazebos also tend to be more affordable than marquees, especially stretch marquees and can make excellent additions to gardens as shelters throughout the year or make for unique play spaces for your children so they can enjoy a garden play area.   

With a quality pop up gazebo you’ll get waterproof, UV resistant material and sturdy frames which help to make pop up gazebos ideal for outdoor use in all environments (depending on quality!). The easy setup also means you don’t have to be a particularly handy person to install and take them down. It’s easy to replace parts on a gazebo, so you can also be confident your temporary structure will last. 

It’s important to note that gazebos come in a variety of frame strengths with some being suitable for everyday commercial use, and with others aimed at domestic users for occasional use. . It can be helpful to understand what you’ll need before purchasing a gazebo.

Gazebos can be adorned with a range of accessories from lighting and heaters – ideal if you’re planning on having a gazebo in your garden to banners and flags to help you create a mobile storefront that is affordable. 

What is a marquee?

Like gazebos, there are a variety of marquee types including stretch marquees, which are vastly different from a traditional pop up marquee. Overall, marquees tend to be bigger than gazebos but they are also classed as temporary structures. 

Marquees are often used for large scale private events or businesses. You will have likely seen marquees at weddings, outdoor parties or corporate events as they are a great option for when lots of people want to enjoy an outdoor space. With marquees, you also have the added benefit of shelter if there is food and drink involved or simply protection from the elements in the unpredictable British weather.

Marquees offer more flexibility in terms of design than gazebos, especially when it comes to stretch marquees as they allow you to insert posts into the ground as you choose and stretch your fabric to meet the shape and design that suits your space or vision. 

A stretch tent on a sunny day, setup for an event.

Stretch Marquee in a green space.


Gazebo or Marquee: Which is better?

Size and intended usage are the two main distinctions between a gazebo and a marquee. Gazebos are generally more compact outdoor structures designed to enhance a garden or act as a market stall. A marquee is more of a commercial structure designed to provide cover for attendees during a sizeable event.

Stretch marquees in particular offer larger and more scalable coverage making them perfect for large outdoor events as you can comfortably fit tables and chairs under them while allowing space for people to walk around. Traditional marquees and stretch marquees also often require a team and/or some experience to set them up properly due to their size and structure, this does also mean however that there is the added benefit of extra features including lighting electric outlets, dance floors, bars and stages. This makes them considerably less portable.

The main benefit of pop up gazebos is that they are easy to assemble, especially when they pop up allowing for stress free installation and transportation. They also provide excellent functionality for businesses with pop up market stalls so you can create a functional storefront anywhere for an affordable price. 

Discover our range of gazebos and stretch marquees

Can’t make the decision between gazebo and marquee? If you’d like more information on pop up gazebos or stretch marquees contact us or browse our ranges.

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