The 146-year-old run of the Ringling Bros. Circus will come to an end on May 21. Although the show is formally dubbed “Out of This World,” no spaceship will be needed to see it, as the final performance will be held in Hempstead’s own Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
According to a company press release, the decision to end the circus tours was made as a result of high costs coupled with a decline in ticket sales, making the circus an unsustainable business for the company. Following the transition of the elephants out of the circus, the company saw a decline in ticket sales greater than anticipated.
“Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey was the original property on which we built Feld Entertainment into a global producer of live entertainment over the past 50 years,” said Kenneth Feld, the chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “We are grateful to the hundreds of millions of fans who have experienced Ringling Bros. over the years. Between now and May, we will give them one last chance to experience the joy and wonder of Ringling Bros.”
The famous show that earned the title of “The Greatest Show on Earth,” will end their century-long career with a bang: an intergalactic adventure. The purpose of the show – an odyssey through space – is to portray the battle of good versus evil while the performers voyage from planet to planet on their spaceship.
Once a beloved pastime, the circus has become an afterthought in American culture. When asked about their interest in the circus, their feelings about the ending of the Ringling Bros. and the forthcoming “Out of This World Show,” many students were strongly against the institution.
Matt Siano, a senior psychology major, said he felt “indifferent” about the Ringling Bros. He has no interest in seeing the “Out of This World” Show.
Victoria Griffin, a junior finance major, said, “They were really popular, but they were cruel to animals, so I don’t really care [that they’re closing].”
Jordan Stanford, a freshman drama and finance major, had a different perspective towards the curtain call. She said, “It’s kind of upsetting because people grew up with it.” As for the “Out of This World” show, Stanford said, “It reminds me of Cirque du Soleil because they do a lot of out-of-the-box stuff, so I think it’s nice that the Ringling Bros. are stepping up their game.”
Juliette Feld, Feld Entertainment’s COO said in a press release, “This was a difficult business decision to make, but by ending the circus tours, we will be able to concentrate on the other lines of business within the Feld Entertainment portfolio. Now that we have made this decision, as a company, and as a family, we will strive to support our circus performers and crew in making the transition to new opportunities.”