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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 

Wednesday July 15th, 2009. Madison, MN. 60 miles. Fairgrounds. Cool, breezy.

Good shows yesterday despite the weather. In the Northeast, Big Apple Circus, the show against which all others can be measured for quality is about to end its season. It’s been a lot of months since they opened the 2008-2009 season and kudos for a job well done.
We’re back on the South Dakota border. Office hasn’t had route cards for awhile so we know where we’re headed on a day to day basis.

Tuesday July 14th. Clara City, MN. Grass. Warm, heavy rain.

Good presale here, but the rain has been coming down in buckets.
Have been thinking about phone rooms today. Fifteen years ago some circuses could count on making money in a given town before they ever set up the big top because of strong phone sales. If any one thing has dramatically changed presale numbers, its probably the decline in phone operations. Legal restriction on telephone solicitation far more than any other regulation(s) has changed the way that we have to do business. Gone are the days when a phone room operation working with a circus and a sponsor can call your home at six-thirty in the evening and sell you a block of show tickets for the widows and orphans. Once upon a time some phone operations were so successful that a show itself barely needed to paper a town and didn’t worry too much if the seats were sparsely filled. The money was already in the bank. Today phone sales offering blocks of kids tickets to businesses are a fraction of what the old numbers were. Which brings up the point – circus can still certainly be profitable – but there are luxuries that most shows can no longer afford. Like a string of open dates. Days when for whatever reason the show sits on a lot unbooked. Even a poor day is better than most open days. On an open day the nut is ticking away, money is going out but not a thin dime is coming back in. Maybe with a small indoor show with a low overhead or paying acts by the day and not the week, an open day is no big deal. For everybody else it is. We’ve been fortunate this season with no real open days other than Easter, and the days we were forced off the road by deep snows in Texas.

Just got word that C&B is headed our way (IL and WI) in mid-August. Last saw the three-ring version in '07. Looking forward to seeing the new European top they're using.

Thanks Ben,

Big Apple's season had its ups and downs, but it did make it into the barn on schedule and is now preparing for a new production.

Don Covington

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About me

  • I'm B.E.Trumble
  • From Everywhere, United States
  • Ben Trumble works in circus, carnival, and media relations
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