When will Eastern corps travel (Mid)West?


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I get the Fiscal Prudence thing. I know Drum Corps are not loaded with money. I just don't understand why Corps West and South of NY are expected to travel to NY for finals and that's OK but the idea of Eastern Corps traveling out of their zone is just out of the question.

In part, fan base. Have you been reading the comments on the thread about attempts over the past 30+ years to do DCA contests in NC, IL, TX, OH and no one/small crowds at best showed up? That's a huge fear. We're talking about a corps doing the equivalent of buying a decent used car and setting it on fire in a parking lot in those cases.

Yes, we do have something we all like to do. We think it's a fun and special thing. There have been arguments for awhile on DCP about trying to broaden the fan base and get Joe six pack involved. It's difficult and near impossible at best. The closest thing I've seen to it happening is when the corps ties in the contest to some other local community bash- like the Barnum Festival, or the contest has been around since the 50's and it literally became the local bash. Scranton and Bucknell. There, I see a lot more of the local fans angle. The problem is when people sincerely think everyone's ready to see this cool thing we have, invests the cash, figures people will just show up at the gate in droves, and ends up figuratively burning the 2011 Jetta in the lot.

As it is for Finals, the fan base is also oddly split as well. Jeff's noted the Rochester crowd is composed of mostly different people than the Annapolis crowd. Unless a couple of things happen, I know I have no plans to make the 5-6 hour drive to Rochester. I have done it in the past. DCA takes place at the end of my vacation time- tough to drive that far home and recuperate and go back to my job. I'm pretty KO'ed as we speak, package slinging isn't easy.

I'm also curious about the fan base in other aspects. I'm curious how much overlap there is between the Downingtown audience and the Big Sounds audience. There are some of us who do attend several contests a year out here. I'm just wondering how many DCA Dead Heads there are...

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I completely agree that it's high time corps like Reading and Hawthorne at the very least make a trip to another region. It makes perfect sense for Reading to travel to Minnesota, and for Hawthorne to

Tie it into a DCI regional?

Nope. Not yet, anyway. Maybe your post will generate some of that. Personally, I don't see how one of the top couple DCA corps making a single trip someplace far away will have any impact on DCA, esp

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OK - point taken...but to answer to the highlighted part of the quote..

Yes there are some fans out here that know who the Cabs and the Bucs are..Homers only know the Bucs by reputation and media..The Cabs were one of 3 Eastern corps that were here last - 1975 Legion..OUt of those 3, only the Cabs are left(Cru and Matadors) When Bill put out the idea of doing a show in Racine..My experience tends to agree with that..I cannot remember a "senior" show in or around Chicaqo that would EVER draw a big crowd..Chicago has NEVER been a place that has been able to market an all-age corps (no offense to those that tried in the past, but they tried to remain in the 60's and 70's from a program point of view)

How many of those bazillion mile road trips have you made since '89? This ain't '89 Jeff. I'd like to think that other corps out east (or down South)won't be so short sighted to think that DCA Central will do all the work for them..I mean heck, nobody did that for MBI or CV or Heat Wave, et al.

BTW - I made those bazillion mile road trips in 89,90 and 92, and my son was JUST a year old when I got on the bus to go to Allentown in 89..along with 90 and 92.

Trust me - all that's being suggested here is a dialogue, and while apprehension is paramount, MBI's been at this awhile..There might be some angles easier seen from the West (or South) Experience is STILL the best teacher..a fresh look may make all the difference.

AND IT STILL TAKES TWO TO TANGO..

Pat

I drove to Winston Salem. Trust me, little about that worked. The plus for me was the trip to Delaware on the way home. But I know many people that wouldn't make that trip, and few locals I talked to knew anything about the show. They did however know about the truck pull across the street

And as I said make an offer they can't refuse. Be public about it. Then if they DO refuse, then we can talk.

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My point in posting the summary of the 990's of the top five corps was not to demonstrate that the eastern corps really can't afford to travel.

It was to demonstrate that - in my opinion - they really need to start changing their business model so they CAN travel in the future. If MBI can continue to amass that much money and actually make a profit in a down economic year it shows that ANY DCA corps can do the same. To continually teeter on the fiscal cliff is what's wrong. It won't guarantee longevity no matter how good the corps is. We've seen that in many corps that have disappeared.

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I'm also curious about the fan base in other aspects. I'm curious how much overlap there is between the Downingtown audience and the Big Sounds audience. There are some of us who do attend several contests a year out here. I'm just wondering how many DCA Dead Heads there are...

For Big Sounds, the majority is locals, with the rest made up of folks who follow their corps and established drum corps fans; for Dtown, it's mostly established drum corps fans, then a combination of BSIM regulars and folks following their corps, although the locals are starting to show more interest. Believe it or not, when BSIM moved from Albright to Exeter, a bunch of the local regulars told me they wouldn't travel that far...it's ten minutes further down the road, smack in the middle of Berks County. What I learned the year of the @#&^%# Hurricane when I cancelled the show and called 600 people to see if they wanted their ticket price refunded or donated to the corps is that the average age of the BSIM locals is 75. Unfortunately, having to cancel in 2011 resulted in folks being reluctant to buy tickets ahead of time. Each year I get orders from new people who just wanted to see what drum corps is all about and end up hooked.

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A short term way to spread the DCA brand outside of the northeast may best be served to a DCI Regional crowd in say Atlanta. Have a limit of 3 DCA corps (minimum for a DCA sanctioned show) so fans get introduced to DCA and to corps outside of that particular region. Instead of say Minnesota Brass going out east they could perform at the regional in Atlanta. The next year or same year say CorpsVets could do the same and travel up to DCI-Minnesota. One year travel could be to Denver or California by other non-eastern corps to continually grow the brand outside of the northeast. The idea is that you can introduce DCI fans to DCA in a considerably safe way to the largest audiences to generate interest in DCA and DCA shows outside of the northeast. Ideally then northeast corps would have time to consistently generate enough revenue to travel outside their region to other DCA shows. Or maybe I'm just crazy and none of this makes sense...

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In part, fan base. Have you been reading the comments on the thread about attempts over the past 30+ years to do DCA contests in NC, IL, TX, OH and no one/small crowds at best showed up? That's a huge fear. We're talking about a corps doing the equivalent of buying a decent used car and setting it on fire in a parking lot in those cases.

Yes, we do have something we all like to do. We think it's a fun and special thing. There have been arguments for awhile on DCP about trying to broaden the fan base and get Joe six pack involved. It's difficult and near impossible at best. The closest thing I've seen to it happening is when the corps ties in the contest to some other local community bash- like the Barnum Festival, or the contest has been around since the 50's and it literally became the local bash. Scranton and Bucknell. There, I see a lot more of the local fans angle. The problem is when people sincerely think everyone's ready to see this cool thing we have, invests the cash, figures people will just show up at the gate in droves, and ends up figuratively burning the 2011 Jetta in the lot.

As it is for Finals, the fan base is also oddly split as well. Jeff's noted the Rochester crowd is composed of mostly different people than the Annapolis crowd. Unless a couple of things happen, I know I have no plans to make the 5-6 hour drive to Rochester. I have done it in the past. DCA takes place at the end of my vacation time- tough to drive that far home and recuperate and go back to my job. I'm pretty KO'ed as we speak, package slinging isn't easy.

I'm also curious about the fan base in other aspects. I'm curious how much overlap there is between the Downingtown audience and the Big Sounds audience. There are some of us who do attend several contests a year out here. I'm just wondering how many DCA Dead Heads there are...

Yes, a new show in an area that has not seen Drum Corps for a long time might bomb with a small crowd showing up. It will take a couple years to get people in the seats. Texas had a good start in getting a show going there but I guess the key person moving that idea is not there any more.

I don't know if Gulf Coast Sound, Frontier, Austin Stars and Vigilantes are still doing anything at the moment or not. There was the makings of a Drum Corps Circuit and 3 of these 4 corps made the trip to the East Coast a few times each and suddenly stopped functioning.

I really think if these corps would have concentrated there efforts in growing the local circuit and a local show in each city they might still be operating as Drum & Bugle Corps today. It's kinda like they chased the East Coast Ring and killed their Corps doing it. It was probably a combination of the bad economy back in '08 which killed membership and the financial pressure of traveling to finals.

We have 4 all age and a new Junior Corps in somewhat close proximity between Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Arkansas. Maybe we'll get a yearly show going out here.

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My point in posting the summary of the 990's of the top five corps was not to demonstrate that the eastern corps really can't afford to travel.

It was to demonstrate that - in my opinion - they really need to start changing their business model so they CAN travel in the future. If MBI can continue to amass that much money and actually make a profit in a down economic year it shows that ANY DCA corps can do the same. To continually teeter on the fiscal cliff is what's wrong. It won't guarantee longevity no matter how good the corps is. We've seen that in many corps that have disappeared.

where are these 990's?

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Seems to me MBI has it's act together. Why not have them hold clinics for the other Corps and startups in an effort to make everyone stronger. For that matter, I'm sure the Renegades have some good ideas on how to develope and market a brand. I've heard Chops Inc. does some creative stuff to maximize funds from parades.

Share the recipe for success.

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Let's keep things in perspective here. "DCA" is the 10 voting members, which lately has changed more than other years. It is not some overseeing lord of the land. It is 10 corps directors voting on the rules of the competitive circuit.

From the dcacorps.org website, "The primary function of Drum Corps Associates is to provide an organization of drum & bugle corps with rules and regulations which provide for continuous progress and growth for drum corps."

The decision for a corps to travel to Show A or B on any given weekend is completely up to that organization. In the long term, it is wise to make decisions that will help other corps to grow and/or continue to be successful, but that always has to be balanced with each corps doing what is best for their own organization.

If the 10 voting members of DCA decided that having Cabs or Bucs travel to Wisconsin or Minnesota was a priority in "providing for the continuous progress and growth for drum corps" then they should set up a short term and long term plan to make this feasible. Award extra share points based on how far a corps travels to a show, or just declare certain shows "For The Good Of The Order Shows" and award extra Championship $$$ for traveling outside a corps region.

DCA probably couldn't completely cover the cost of travel for a NE corps to go to MN, or for MB to come to Scranton, but they could probably subsidize a good portion of it if they budget for it ahead of time. It could also be used a marketing tool by having a threshold of a minimum number of tickets pre-sold for the corps to make the trip. For example, spread the word that "If we have 1,500 tickets sold by July 10th, we will be able to bring the Caballeros to Minnesota on August 10th". If they can't meet the threshold, then the Cabs would have the option of doing another show closer to home.

These ideas may not be the exact answers, but if DCA is going to get corps to travel farther than they need to, they have to come up with some incentives to help pay for it and to make sure the shows are successful. Otherwise, I don't see many NE corps making the long trip very often or at all.

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Ok, I'm through beating a dead horse. Most of us aren't decision makers for DCA corps anyway.

No one wants a single trip to fold a corps, obviously...

All I'm saying is that it is important (if we see the all-age activity as a national one) for Eastern corps to invest in that concept and travel every once in a while. This should be done in a well supported, well thought out manner every few years. Doing this would increase the brand of DCA and make the overall activity better.

It should certainly be done in a fiscally responsible manner, but roadblocks and current situations shouldn't limit DCA from being a national organization. If being a national organization isn't really a priority, then that is fine, just stop saying that it is.

Well, they advertise Championships as WORLD so... you would hope they at least consider it National.

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