The March-April issue of WORLDteen included a story about the closing of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Now the time has come for the iconic American spectacle’s last show. And its final act will include a very modern medium: Facebook.
The final circus show in Uniondale, New York, on May 21 will be streamed live on the social media network and on the circus’s website.
The circus’s decline happened due to a variety of factors, including declining attendance, high operating costs, changing public tastes, and prolonged battles with animal rights groups.
Sam Gomez, the circus’s vice president of digital and relationship marketing, says 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. Kristen Michelle Wilson, Ringling’s first female ringmaster, will host the show.
“We’ve had lots of conversations about tight shots so you can see the performer’s skill and expressions and their artistry,” says Gomez.
Gomez says the live show allows people to “witness the end of an era.”
He adds, “We wanted to give families around the world one last chance to experience ‘the greatest show on earth’ together.”