A lot of clowning around has helped Feld Entertainment become one of the largest live entertainment producers in the world. The company entertains people through its centerpiece, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which visits about 120 cities in North America each year. Through a partnership with Walt Disney, Feld also produces touring Disney On Ice shows, such as
. In addition, its Disney Live! produces live Disney-themed touring stage productions. Chairman and CEO Kenneth Feld, whose father, Irvin, began managing the circus in 1956, owns the company and personally oversees most of its productions. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus made its first performance in 1871.
The company's most recent addition, Feld Motor Sports, produces car racing and monster-truck events such as Monster Jam.) Other Feld holdings include Hagenbeck-Wallace, a property, costume, and scenic design studio in Florida; and Feld Consumer Products, an international concessions operation with distribution facilities in Maryland.
Feld Entertainment's circus, ice, stage, and motorsports shows have played in more than 75 countries on six continents, and approximately 30 million people see the company's productions each year. Headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, the company has locations across Australia, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Spain and United Kingdom.
The company regularly produces new shows to attract a more audiences. In 2014 Feld and Marvel Entertainment entered into an agreement which allowed the companies to produce an unprecedented new show that brings Marvel characters (Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Avengers, X-Men, etc.) and stories to life in live-action arena spectaculars.
Meanwhile, Feld's flagship Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is the only show business phenomenon to run in three consecutive centuries.
Throughout its history, the company has engaged in some high-profile battles with animal rights activists who claim that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' use of an elephant-herding tool known as a bullhook injures elephants. The company opened the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation in 1995. The facility is dedicated to the care, research, reproduction, and retirement of the endangered Asian elephant.