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Ringling Bros. Circus to Restart Performances Without Animals

The upcoming show will focus more on daring stunts, acrobatics, and high-tech features.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus has been a prominent name in the circus industry, known for its title as the “greatest show on Earth.” However, due to various animal cruelty lawsuits in the late 2010s, the circus had to close down. After a period of redevelopment, the circus is making a comeback without animals, emphasizing thrilling aerial performances.

“We were always planning to make a return, but we needed to figure out how,” said Kenneth Feld, chair and CEO of Feld Entertainment, the circus’s parent company. “It took us a while to truly reexamine Ringling in new ways. It became a reinvention, a fresh approach to our shows.”

The new shows will take place on a vibrant stage filled with special effects such as moving platforms and live video feeds, along with virtual reality elements. Performers will showcase acrobatics, extreme sports tricks on skateboards and BMX bikes, and the iconic trapeze acts.

“There’s no comparison to live entertainment. The emotional impact of experiencing ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ or any live show is incomparable to watching a screen,” stated Feld.

“The technology in the show is meant to enhance the experience, not overshadow it,” noted Juliette Feld Grossman, COO of Feld Entertainment. “With so much action going on, we want to ensure that we capture all the key moments of the show.”

The new circus will begin its tour in Bossier City, Louisiana on September 29, 2023.

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