Feld Entertainment plans the return of the Ringling Bros. Circus. (minus animals)
Feld Entertainment plans to bring back the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, four years after “Greatest Show on Earth” was removed from active performance. The circus would be back without the animal attractions, which had become a lightning rod to protest and led to the promotion’s retirement.
Florida-based Feld expected the circus to be back in 2023. The touring show was halted in 2017 after ticket sales dropped sharply following the removal of animal acts a year earlier. . The company also operates a variety of other family entertainment brands, including Monster Jam, Disney On Ice, and Sesame Street Live.
VenuesNow reported that Feld’s COO Juliette Feld Grossman told attendees at her conference in Seattle last week that “in 2023 we will be relaunching Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus ”, and that she choked on telling the crowd decision. “You can see it is moving and exciting for us as a family. We really think Ringling bros. has incredible relevance to today’s audience.
Responding to media inquiries, a spokesperson for Feld said the company was “still in the planning stages for the relaunch of the world’s biggest show” and no official decisions or announcements were expected before the next year.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus date back to 1919 when Barnum & Bailey’s The greatest spectacle on earth and Ringling Bros. The biggest shows in the world circuses have merged. Irvin Feld, who had pioneered concert promotion after opening a drugstore in Washington DC in the late 1930s, joined the circus management in 1956 and was the frontman of a group that bought the brand in 1967. Disney Ice Cream shows were added to the Feld portfolio in the early 1980s, with other shows added along the way. Monster Jam, Supercross, and Arenacross were added in 2008, with Marvel Universe Live added in 2014 and Sesame Street live in 2017.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who had been foremost among those pushing for the removal of animal acts from the circus, welcomed the decision to return to the stage without the animals. “The exciting announcement sends a powerful message to the entire industry, something PETA has been saying for decades: cruelty has no place in the circus or any other form of entertainment,” said the organization at the Herald-Tribune.