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.