Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Coronavirus: Cirque du Soleil shutters, let 95% of workers go; plans return in 2021 after Covid-19.
by Thinus Ferreira
The world-famous Cirque du Soleil has shuttered with the world’s largest contemporary circus producer that’s been forced to let 95% of its entire workforce go because of the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus during the global coronavirus pandemic.
The Canadian company based in Montreal says it was forced to shut down 44 shows worldwide and had to let 4 679 workers go.
"It is the most difficult day in Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group history. We’re deeply saddened by the dramatic measures taken today, as the temporary layoff includes many hardworking, dedicated people,” says Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, in a statement.
Cirque du Soleil cancelled shows across the United States, Israel, Spain, Germany and in Australia.
"Unfortunately, this decision is our only option as we are forced to position ourselves to weather this storm and prepare for eventual re-openings."
"Consequently, the company was left with no other option but to call for an unprecedented halt in activity until the pandemic is controlled and its performers, employees and audience members are no longer at risk."
The company will keep 259 staffers to maintain basic operations and to continue tour planning for 2021.
"As one of the most trusted brands and successful live entertainment organisations, we are confident that when the day comes when we can reopen our shows, we will be ready to welcome the millions of fans who come to our shows worldwide," says Daniel Lamarre.