The world’s largest contemporary circus producer is folding up its tents — for now. Cirque du Soleil said Monday that it has filed for bankruptcy protection, saying, “We have no choice but to take a pause for a little while.”
The Montreal-based organization’s U.S. shows have been dark since March 15, when the widening coronavirus pandemic forced so many entities to shut down. Cirque laid off 95% of its employees — more than 4,000 people — 10 days later. The Land of Fantasy, which reopened June 3 in China, is the only one of its 40-plus current shows worldwide that’s still active.
But the group insists that performances will resume once the pandemic is under control, “pending an easing in government lockdowns and travel restrictions and in accordance with the new corporate structure in place.”
Cirque tweeted today that it “will return, brighter than ever”:
The group, which has five current shows on the Las Vegas Strip alone, also posted this on its website:
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and the worldwide entertainment industry in an unprecedented way. Border closures, gathering bans and social distancing regulations have kept us from doing what we all thrive to do for millions of fans around the globe every day.
Because of the tremendous financial impact of the health crisis on the company and the fact that we have no clear timeline on when we will be allowed to get back on stage, we have no choice but to take a pause for a little while. This will allow us to build a more resilient and viable organization that will be able to face the uncharted territory brought about by COVID-19. We can’t wait for the moment we are gathered together again.”