Reinventing the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’

This reimagined circus is making a comeback.

Apr 25, 2023


Family, Creative
Reinventing the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ | This reimagined circus is making a comeback.

The circus has been an amazing place for generations of children who watched the highwire troupe with awe, laughed at the antics of the clowns, and enjoyed all of the acts under the big circus tent. The most popularcircus in US was the Ringling Bros.and Barnum & Baily that aptly dubbed the “Greatest Show on Earth.”

The circus closed its doors in 2016 after declining ticket sales due to conflicts about the ethical treatment of the animals that made up many of the acts, reported AP News.

But now, Ringling Bros – owned by Feld Entertainment – is making a comeback sans the animals, clown antics, and even the circus tent. The circus has been completely reinvented.

We knew we were going to come back. We didn’t know exactly how,” Kenneth Feld, chair and chief executive officer of Feld Entertainment told the AP. “It took us a long time to really delve in and take a look at Ringling in different ways. It became a re-imagination, a rethinking of how we were going to do it.”

This reboot is a way to bring the circus which dates back to the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant long before the advent of movies when live shows were the only form of entertainment back in a new improved form.

The redesigned circus
The redesign started with a blank slate and then evolved, according to a press release from Feld Entertainment, the company that bought the circus in 1967. It actually took four years to complete the rebranding.

The new circus will feature fears of real human achievements including musical performances, never-before-seen acts on the highwire, unicycle riders, and other exciting feats in a 360-degree venue with a moveable staircase and two main stages.

The company conducted a global talent show to come up with 75 performers from more than 18 countries, including Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Canada, and of course the US. Each performer and troupe will wear costumes that celebrate their culture and heritage.

But to make the show appealing to today’s kids, the circus will feature enhanced technology designed to produce awe-inspiring moments. Sonic spotlight tracking will help direct the audience’s attention to the performers and help make the viewer feel like a part of the action.

“The new entertainment experience will present a phenomenal scale of wow and wonder that only Ringling can deliver and is designed for families to leave inspired, energized, and filled with memories to last a lifetime,” Juliette Feld Grossman, CEO of Feld Entertainment and the producer of the circus said in the press release.

The first tour
The first tour of the new Ringling Bros launches in Bossier City, Louisiana om September 29, 2023, according to the AP. Afterwards it goes to various locations in the Midwest and Maryland, ending in Oklahoma. Then it will restart in Florida in 2024.

Feld Entertainment is counting on the wow factor of the technology, and the quality of the entertainment to make Ringling Bros Greatest Show on Earth a success. Feld told AP that there is something about the circus that people are emotionally attached to.

“Why there is a circus and a form of circus literally every place on the planet is that people emotionally are basically the same,” he said.

“When you’re on a high wire and you’re doing a backward somersault on the wire or you’re doing something really extraordinary, I don’t care where you are. You appreciate that. You understand the danger of it, [and]the thrill of it.”

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.