Ringling Bros. announces comeback tour but without animals

Return of the Circus
Posted at 11:29 AM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 23:31:40-04

MIAMI — “The Greatest Show on Earth” is making a comeback five years after shutting down its three-ring circus.

Feld Entertainment announced on Wednesday the return of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

The tour will go on without animals and debuts in September of 2023.

"We have a global talent search underway right now and we've been to almost every continent," Chief Operating Officer of Feld Entertainment Juliette Feld Grossman said. "We've had auditions in Mongolia, Argentina, Ethiopia, France and the United States as well."

The show will be interactive, featuring audience engagement, and celebrate performers from around the world. Feld Entertainment said the show will display what it calls "incredible feats that push the limits of human potential.”

A 360-degree stage will also break down barriers between the performers and the audience.

“We are innovating all aspects of the live show and modernizing the franchise to create an engaging property that is built for today’s families and will last another 150 years,” chair and chief executive officer of Feld Entertainment Kenneth Feld said.

The Palmetto-based company says it is conducting a global talent search, with rehearsals starting in June of 2023.

The relaunch comes after the Ringling Brothers Circus shut down in 2017. The circus had phased out its use of elephants which was praised by animal rights activists. Sarasota has played a role in the history of the circus.

"Sarasota has been the winter quarters for the Ringling brothers for nearly a century. My family acquired Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey in 1967 so it has been part of our family longer than iy was with the Ringling brothers, Barnum or Bailey," said Feld Grossman.

"More than 1,000 applications and digital submissions have already been received," the company said in a statement.

The tour will be in 50 cities across North America.