Sapience explored the impact of EU legislation on the circus market. Is a 100% human circus a more viable business model? We utilized mystery interviews and desk research to illuminate this issue
Eurogroup for Animals asked Sapience to investigate if and how EU regulations on wild animals affect the business model of circuses. The primary focus was to examine whether differences in regulations across EU countries, specifically the variance in banning wild animals from circuses, lead to distortions within the EU market.
We employed a comprehensive approach to gather information from circuses operating in various EU Member States:
- Comprehensive desk research focused on economic and business data related to the circus market within the EU and the EU countries included in the study - i.e. Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Slovenia, and Czech Republic.
- Mystery phone interviews with the objective of gathering insights from a selection of circuses, encompassing both those utilizing wild animals and those involving only human performers.
- A website for a fictitious event management company to facilitate the conduction of the interviews and the build-up of the key talking points.
The study highlighted the different business models of circuses with and without animals.
Traditional circuses (with animals)
Contemporary circuses (100% human)
Scope of the offering
Focused on entertainment
Broader offering including entertainment, education, social inclusion, artistic expression, theatrical elements
Mostly target families with children
Target families with children, theater or acrobatics enthusiasts, individuals interested in artistic performances
Often limited within national or regional boundaries due to the practical and financial challenges associated with transporting animals
Typically tour in multiple countries within and outside the EU
Typically operate in isolation
Part of a broader and coordinated network, participate in festivals
Typically perform outside city centers
More flexible and capable of performing in diverse locations, including both urban and suburban settings, whether indoors or outdoors
The study highlights substantial distinctions in business models between circuses using animals and those that do not. These differences encompass the scope of offerings, target audiences, mobility, network participation, and venue choices. Circuses involving only human performers are better eqsuip