AP NewsBreak: Ringling’s final circus to be on Facebook Live

AP NewsBreak: Ringling's final circus to be on Facebook Live

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus first wowed audiences in the 19th century. For the iconic American spectacle’s final act, it will broadcast the final performance on a 21st century medium: Facebook Live.

The company told The Associated Press this week that the final circus show on the evening of May 21 will be streamed live on the social media network and on the circus’s website. The final performance will be in Uniondale, New York.

Earlier this year, Feld Entertainment, the company that owns the iconic circus, announced that the show would end in May.

The circus’s decline happened due to a variety of factors. Declining attendance, combined with high operating costs, changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups all contributed to its demise.

Sam Gomez, the circus’s vice-president of digital and relationship marketing, said Ringling did something similar, although on a smaller scale, during the final elephant act performance in 2016. During that broadcast on Facebook, Ringling showed a pre-recorded intro, then cut to the live act. For the May 21 show, the entire performance will be broadcast live from start to finish and will be hosted by Kristen Michelle Wilson, Ringling’s first female ringmaster.

Organizers have taken into consideration that most people will probably tune in on phones or tablets.

“It’s basically a TV shoot and we’re certainly thinking about lighting and sound,” said Gomez. “How will this look when you’re looking at it on your phone or your tablet? We’ve had lots of conversations about tight shots so you can see the performer’s skill and expressions and their artistry.”

Gomez said Ringling will leave the video up for a short while — it’s unclear how long — but not forever.

The live show allows people to “witness the end of an era.”

“We wanted to give families around the world one last chance to experience ‘the greatest show on earth’ together,” he said.

Ringling Bros. has two touring circuses; one will perform for four nights in Providence, Rhode Island, starting Thursday and ending for good in that city on Sunday. The other touring show will end at the Nassau County Coliseum in New York on May 21.

The circus, with its exotic animals, flashy costumes and death-defying acrobats, has been a staple of entertainment in the United States since the mid-1800s. Phineas Taylor Barnum made a travelling spectacle of animals and human oddities popular, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits from their home base in Wisconsin. Eventually, they merged and the modern circus was born.

___

Online: www.facebook.com/ringlingbros . www.ringling.com .

___

Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamaralush .

Tamara Lush, The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Who is or may be running in Stikine in the provincial election

Cullen nomination sparks controversy over NDP equity policy

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Witset releases COVID-19 strategy following three confirmed cases

Plan implements strict measures to contain spread of the virus

Meet the 10-year-old girl who grew a pineapple in northern B.C.

Emily Atkins discovers it takes a lot of patience to grow tropical fruit in a temperate climate

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Attorney General of Canada defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

Most Read