Circus parades into Diddle Arena despite accidents


For three nights, the grandeur of the Big Top will come to the Hill. 

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will present “Super Circus Heroes” from May 30 to June 1. Though tickets for the production have been on sale for nearly two weeks, the circus recently caught the nation’s attention after a mechanical failure sent eight aerialists crashing to the ground on Monday. 

An investigator with the Providence, R.I.,  Fire Department said a 5-inch ring, supposedly capable of holding 10,000 pounds, snapped mid-performance. Together, the “human chandelier” of performers only weighed 1,500 pounds, according to incident reports.

Steve Payne, spokesman for Feld Entertainment, which is the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey parent company, said the circus’ own investigation is pending completion. Circus workers told investigators they visually inspected all rigging prior to the show, but investigator Paul Doughty said the rigging’s faultiness might not have been visible. 

All performers involved in the collapse were hospitalized, and injuries ranged from minor to serious condition. 

At the time of this article, the Rhode Island incident won’t hinder the Diddle performance. The show must go on. 

“Super Circus Heroes” will offer guest interaction with performers before the show in their “All Access Pre-show.” An hour prior to the show’s start, ticket holders can meet actual acrobats and performers as a part of ticket prices. 

According to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, this performance “[showcases] wonders from the marvelous to the magnificent. Every day is extraordinary in this action-packed super circus, filled with superhuman athleticism, power and pageantry that will have children of all ages discovering their own superhuman strength.”

Tickets went on sale April 22, and prices range from $17 to nearly $45. Admission for kids under 12 is $10. For purchasing information, visit There is one show May 30 at 7 p.m., three shows on May 31 (11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.) and one final showing on June 1 at 1 p.m.