Possible Cirque du Soleil event in Provincetown cancelled

A possible Cirque du Soleil summerlong show, which drew protests this week from more than 70 entertainers, has been cancelled as of Wednesday, according to an email from 66DAYS LLC owner Eric Martin, the potential sponsor of the event.

While an actual Cirque du Soleil event was never publicly confirmed, such as during initial regulatory meetings with the town Recreation Commission to obtain use of a recreation field known as Motta Field, Martin confirmed specifically in an email Wednesday that no Cirque du Soleil event is planned.

“I would like to inform everyone that myself and company, 66DaysLLC, have been in discussions with Cirque du Soleil Events + Experiences for a potential collaboration during the Provincetown 400 celebrations,” Martin wrote in the email. Cirque du Soleil is an international entertainment company that has roots in circus arts

“After an initial feasibility study, it was decided not to pursue those initial discussions,” Martin said. “It was a mutual and amicable decision. I would like to wish you all a safe and enjoyable 400th.”

A Cirque du Soleil official also confirmed that, after a feasibility study for the project, the company decided not to back a show in Provincetown. That decision was made before the plan raised controversy in town this week, according to Sophie Desbiens, public relations manager for Le Groupe Cirque du Soleil.

Martin obtained approval from the Recreation Commission on Jan. 23 for the custody and care of Motta Field and use of public land and facilities, according to a town-issued list of 12 regulatory hurdles the company would have faced to gain approval for the undisclosed event. Agendas for the Recreation Commission meetings have listed “66Days LLC event at Motta Field” or simiar wording, with no mention of Cirque du Soleil.

On Tuesday, emails to Martin and his 66daysllc.com website — which announced “Coming Soon! CirqueProvincetown2020” — had gone unanswered. On Wednesday, the website only said “under construction.”

More than 70 members of the town’s entertainment community sent a letter of complaint to the Select Board on Monday, objecting to possible plans for a summerlong Cirque du Soleil show that they said could “wreak financial havoc” on smaller businesses.

“It feels like a huge slap in the face that the town we have given so much to would move forward with Cirque du Soleil without considering the financial ramifications for all of us,” the letter said.

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The board of the Provincetown Business Guild also sent a letter to the Select Board on Monday in support of the entertainers’ concerns and called for public hearings so “all voices are heard, and all sentiments are expressed” before town boards make final decisions.

Several abutters to Motta Field and business owners expressed their concerns Tuesday night to the town Recreation Commission, at a regularly scheduled meeting, about possible plans for a summerlong Cirque du Soleil show.

The Pilgrim House owner Kenneth Horgan said he was standing up to speak on behalf of the artists.

“My business will be fine either way,” Horgan said. “We will survive but the people that won’t are those talented performers who come to town, spend all of their life saving up money to have an opportunity in Provincetown, walk up and down Commercial Street barking to sell three more tickets to the show so it’s not canceled, so they can get payment, so they can pay their rent and come back the next year with another show.”

The typical town notices for use of the field appeared to be missing, abutters said at the meeting.

“Every time they do anything at the field, we get tons of certified letters,” Motta Field abutter Cheryldine Martinez said. “I don’t understand why we haven’t heard anything about it.”

After several abutters said they had not been notified by 66Days LLC about the event, Recreation Commission chairman David Oliver expressed surprise.

“We have a lot of new concerns that we weren’t aware of as far as the transparency,” Oliver said. “We were under the impression that you all were talked to, but you weren’t.”

The Recreation Commission took no votes Tuesday night.

{ SOURCE: Provincetown Local }