You know, I see many posts in the Open Class forum ranting about how DCI doesn't support the class. I don't agree.
First off, I believe DCI is simply a sanctioning body for the activity. While they have some responsibility to the fans to make sure they're getting the best product they can, it's up to the individual corps to run their business. DCI can't be expected to be involved in every corps financial decisions and they shouldn't be. Just as Open Class is a stepping stone for many kids that are building their experience and skills, I think that is true also of the management of these groups. Just as with any business, some succeed, some don't. There's a reason the top groups are always the top groups and it's not just talent.
I do believe that DCI actually does support these groups. They give them venues and performance opportunities. They do market these shows and ticket prices are lower for Open Class only events.
So how do you blame DCI when people don't go to these shows?? I've been involved as a staff member with a couple of different Open Class groups. I've been to the end of season shows that determined seeding for Open Class prelims. Not very many people go. Never a problem getting a good seat. Heck, there are still plenty of seats for Open Class finals. I've been to the Cavaliers home show in Michigan City over the July 4 weekend numerous times and the stands are packed compared to Open Class finals. How do you blame DCI for that? Ticket prices are lower. The shows are advertised. People don't go. As a matter of fact, I've read many reviews on DCP of shows that have Open Class groups prior to World Class groups in which these "die hard" fans don't get there in time to see the Open Class corps. Instead, they show up later for the top groups. Is that wrong? Not necessarily, but you can't blame DCI for that.
Add to that the difficulty in finding people willing to put on a strictly Open Class show. Putting OC shows on costs money, less than a World Class show, but still it's not cheap. Add to that the fact that people aren't going to these shows, it makes it difficult to do them. It's a vicious cycle.
It's a competitive activity. And in any competitive arena, more money directly equates to being more competitive. It's a fact of life and it's easy to fall into that trap and groups have to be careful. But once again, it's a business that is run by the corps management, not DCI.
So, it's pretty easy to sit in the cheap seats and take shots without knowing everything involved. I don't claim to know everything about the activity or the groups involved in it. However, I would say this to those that complain. If you know so much, why aren't you doing something about it?
Will I get torched by many for this? Probably, but that's ok. I'm pretty sure I'll still sleep just fine.