Cirque Berzerk Gone Bankrupt?
Showbiz David announced on his blog that Cirque Berzerk, the Los Angeles underground circus company, has declared bankruptcy. Their website and facebook presence still seem active, so perhaps there’s hope for the company.
Cirque Berzerk started as a performance ritual at Burning Man, and had seemed to be blossoming into Los Angeles’ answer to the Big Apple Circus, or the Pickle Family Circus- a regional circus behemoth that somehow tells the story of their city via their circus. Considering that the Pickles went bankrupt and only re-constitute themselves once a year for a holiday show, that the Big Apple Circus had a 3 month hiatus before picking up 3 tour dates this spring to Queens, Boston, and Atlanta, that may not be such a good thing.
Whether or not Cirque Berzerk goes bankrupt (and I hope they don’t, since I am of the opinion that the world needs more circuses, not less) the truth is that putting on a circus is really hard. Most of the successful ones rely more on their concessions than their ticket prices to pull in bank (the apocryphal story about this is that the Feld’s sold Ringling to Mattel in 1974 for 50 million dollars, but continued to “manage” the circus and kept the concession rights. In 1981 the Felds bought the circus back from Mattel for $8 million. Good work if you can get it!)
Even if Cirque Berzerk doesn’t make it, it seems that there is a nexus of circus performers in the L.A. area, and I’m guessing we’ll be hearing about some other circus from Los Angeles happening.
Anyone with first hand knowledge of what’s going on with Cirque Berzerk is welcome to chime in in the comments.
VIDEO OF CIRQUE BERSERK: