Circus in Oceania
A Long & Winding Road: The Story of Circus in Australia
"From the early 1850s, travelling entertainers delivered to Australians an extraordinary diversity of culture - popular, high and low - such as, opera, minstrel, photographic, magic, bell-ringing, gospel singing, boxing, menagerie and carnival, to name a few. However, the earliest demonstrable example of an Australian travelling show, and the most enduring, was the circus."
-- Mark St. Leon, PhD, 2008
The Circus in Australia Today
With a small population of just 22 million persons and a very large landmass, many Australian circuses have to travel long distances over the eleven months they tour each year. Such a tour will typically offer 340 performances in about 50 different locations and cover 5,000 kilometres. Although numbers fluctuate from year to year, there are currently about 16 circuses touring Australia on a year-round basis. The largest audiences support the 11 classical circuses that present animals as part of their programmes. The number of people visiting the classical circus in Australia currently exceeds the number attracted by either opera or soccer.
For further information about Circus in Australia, please contact the Circus Federation of Australia at www.circusfed.org.au