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RINGLING BROTHERS CIRCUS IS DEAD! … OR IS IT!???
Hello my favorite frivolitizers! ‘Tis I, Neil Dandy, host of the Dandy Fun House – the home of your favorite frivolities. And I’m sitting here doing a little research for my next episode which is going to be about the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus which as most people know, died in 2017. It was shut down, they lowered the big top and said “That’s it! It’s just too much overhead! Too expensive to run! Times have changed! Tastes have changed! Goodbye! Circus is part of history! We’re all done folks!”
So, in my current phase of research, I was wanting to dive into the demise of the circus because I’m sort of at the end of putting that episode together. I get on the Ringling Brothers website which has all the indications of something that’s died because there’s not much there. You can sign up for a mailing list and also find links to their social media profiles which also haven’t been updated in many years. There is also a teeny-tiny unassuming text link to the Ringling Brothers online store. It’s so small that you really wouldn’t see it at all unless you were on a mission like mine where you are there scouring for any and all information you might be able to find.
The store has a few hats, a few kids shirts, nothing at all under the link for men’s clothing but they DO have a nice selection of vintage show posters for sale which is pretty neat. But overall, hardly anything there like it’s been abandoned. You can almost feel the cobwebs on this website which saddened me to no end.
Having not found anything on the official Ringling Brothers website, I then turn to their parent company’s website, Feld Entertainment. There were updates and press releases about all the various shows they currently produce such as Jurassic World Live, Sesame Street Live, Trolls Live, Disney on Ice, Marvel Universe and Monster Jam. Not a stitch about Ringling Brothers.
I click through the various navigational menu items to see if I could find something, ANYTHING AT ALL and finally come to the page for “Performer Auditions.” And what do you think I find as the very first option under performer auditions? That’s right! Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus! It was really just the logo itself along with the logos for all of Feld Entertainment’s various productions. I didn’t really know if I should think anything of it or not because it could have merely been a list of the various productions that they own and nothing more although it was curious to me that the only production of the bunch that had been shuttered was at the very top. So what the heck, I click on it and… MIND BLOWN!
Clicking on that logo takes you to a page that says “RINGLING BROTHERS AND BARNUM AND BAILEY! THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH! LIVE AUDITIONS WORLD TOUR! BE OUR NEXT SUPERSTAR!” and lists locations all over the world where auditions are being held including: Paris France, Cape Town South Africa, Las Vegas USA, Buenos Aires Argentina, Moscow Russia, Ulaanbaatar Mongolia, Beijing China. There is a list of various performers being sought such as physical comedians, athletes, musicians (including beatboxers), street stunt performers, daredevils and various innovative acts.
No mention of animal acts probably because animal rights groups protesting the circus are largely believed to be what started the beginning of the end ultimately leading to it’s closure in 2017. But the absence of animal acts is something that stuck out to me on this list
The page appears modern and fresh, so I ASSUME it’s current and not just an old page they neglected to delete, but I don’t know this for sure because every other indication I’ve come across to this point has largely solidified the common knowledge that Ringling is dead, dead, dead! But there IS a button on this page for starting the audition process, so of course I click it. This link takes me to a pretty sterile page with a very unassuming Ringling logo and just below that in a somewhat smallish type font it says WORLDWIDE AUDITIONS 2022!
Ok, NOW I’m getting excited, so what do I do? Well, I figure I owe it to you guys to get to the bottom of things, so I call the Feld Entertainment Corporate office and stay on hold for about 5 minutes before a recording comes on that allows me to leave a message, so I do leave a message requesting confirmation regarding the return of the Ringling Brothers circus and any other information they may be able to share with me. After that, I find a number for their marketing department and leave a message there as well as sending a general email to an address I found on the website.
The very next day, just as I am working on publishing the video of my findings (and of course while my phone is in airplane mode so I won’t be disturbed while recording) I receive a return phone call voice message from the Feld Entertainment corporate office confirming that Ringling IS RETURNING hopefully in the year 2023! You can hear the recording of this message in the video embedded in the top of this blog post.
After publishing the video, the very next day, I received a response to my email reconfirming the return of Ringling and that they couldn’t disclose much at this time other than they are planning a press release for the Spring of 2022 and extending the possibility of my being able to conduct an interview with their Director of Production.
SO BASICALLY, DANDY FUN HOUSE SCOOPS THE STORY ON THE RETURN OF RINGLING BROTHERS BEFORE IT’S MADE PUBLIC!
Ok, I’m officially stoked now, but I’m not really sure what good a scoop does when you have an audience as small as mine. Also, does anyone really care about the circus anymore? Is it a relic of a bygone era or will Feld re-imagine the show from the ground up and bring us something fresh and exciting that will absolutely BLOW OUR MINDS!??? I certainly hope it’s the latter because I think the world could use a little Ringling right about now.
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That’s all folks! Be sure to bring your circus back here soon for the next episode of the Dandy Fun House where we’ll explore the history of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus! You might just learn something new right here where everything is always… FUN AND DANDY!