When the pandemic struck, in March 2020, Cirque du Soleil had to close in the space of a few days its 44 productions which were active all over the planet. This crisis cost the company more than a billion dollars in revenue. A few months after the takeover of Cirque by its creditors, The newspaper spoke with the CEO of the company, Daniel Lamarre, on the possible revival of activities and the challenges that the post-pandemic world will pose.
How did you experience the arrival of the pandemic last year?
“It was a very difficult experience. At the same time, the only positive thing that came out of that for us was seeing the strength of Cirque du Soleil’s reputation around the world. You are talking about a company that has had virtually no income since last March and which will still have very little before the end of this year. And despite all that, there are people who came forward to support us and ensure the survival of the company. For me, it’s a great relief to have that mark of confidence there. “
Are you optimistic about relaunching shows this year?
“We believe we can resume our Las Vegas and Orlando shows first. The most optimistic date is July. We will closely monitor the vaccination. One thing that is very interesting to us is that when you look at the occupancy rates of MGM hotels over the past few weeks, it is very impressive. That means there will normally be a lot of people in Vegas starting next summer. So that justifies our opening of the show. “
What about the return of touring shows?
“At best, it will be next fall. But we do all our planning based on 2022. We tell ourselves that as soon as we can reopen shows, we will do it. Because opening a show means new jobs for our people. So, for sure, as soon as someone allows us to open a show, we will do it. But we didn’t base our planning on that. We told ourselves that 2021 will be a year of preparation. And 2022 should be the year in which the Circus will significantly regain its profitability and its fans. “
“Before the holidays, I was concerned to see what percentage of artists were willing to come back with us on all of our touring shows. We did a gigantic operation on [la plateforme de visioconférence] Teams with around 1200 people. And all of these people have confirmed the interest in coming back. “
Does the Cirque plan to present virtual shows?
“These are avenues that we are exploring. When the crisis began, we set up the CirqueConnect network and reached over 62 million people around the world. It told us that people are hungry to see our content. And that tells us that there may possibly be a new source of income for Cirque du Soleil. ”
- Last name : Daniel Lamarre
- Profession: Chairman and CEO of Cirque du Soleil since 2001.
- Impact : Cirque du Soleil had 44 active productions [dont six spectacles à Las Vegas et 13 spectacles de tournée] when COVID struck. All had to close their doors for an indefinite period. The Circus has since announced that the shows Zumanity (Las Vegas), NYSE (Berlin) and By love (Hamburg) were arrested for good for reasons that are not entirely related to the pandemic. To date, only resident shows in China [The Land of Fantasy, à Hangzhou] and Mexico [JOYÀ, à Riviera Maya] were able to resume. Cirque’s annual turnover is estimated at around one billion dollars.