The Greatest Show on Earth

I went to see Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey "The Greatest Show on Earth" Red Tour, Zing Zang Zoom last night.


I hadn't been in probably about 20 years (I went a couple times to the New Haven coliseum when I was at Yale), so it was pretty amazing to see all the changes, and how much technology they are using these days. The privately held Feld Entertainment owns all the gear on the tour, including a pretty large all-Meyer sound system, a ton of moving lights including a huge amount of DL-3's, and a pretty massive truss grid that has to support all the lights, sound, and acrobatic rigging (click for larger picture and more):


I knew what to expect technologically, because Tom Ford, Assistant General Manager of the Red Unit was kind enough to come by the school and bring a group of key technical and management personnel with him last Wednesday:

It was pretty amazing to hear about the incredible logistics of this massive show, which carries about 300 people by train (NY Times write up here) all around the US. There are two major touring companies, Red and Blue. Each tour lasts two years, and the Red tour is new this year, with its big media kick off here in NYC.  This winter, the Blue unit will wend its way back to Florida to be retooled, and then it will come here to NYC next spring. The tour schedule on a Google map is here, and train fans have even shot video of the train rolling by: