N.E. Brigand

When will drum corps be popular enough? How would we know?

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Just now, Bluzes said:

All the way around is correct it's been like that for a long having a son in Dutch Boy and even Boston and living in Conn. We were not able to participate in local fundraising events and other volunteer activities to help pay down some of the tour fees. Competitive drum corps has lost a local connection to them type of opportunities, just the way it is. 

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Well, there are lots of logical reasons for that also I think. Nothing is cheap now, to even try to run even a small  group is crazy expensive., 

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3 minutes ago, Cappybara said:

This guy gets it. I think I might rather watch poker on ESPN than watch baseball 

A word of advice don't ever play golf you may like it and find yourself one day watching it on TV. Leads to looking forward to watching paint dry. Someone was discussing that on the "epic musical fail thread, there is a lot to learn over there.

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19 minutes ago, GUARDLING said:

Well, there are lots of logical reasons for that also I think. Nothing is cheap now, to even try to run even a small  group is crazy expensive., 

Competitive drum corps has lost a local connection to those type of opportunities, just the way it is.   Not really want I was trying to point out. A better way to put it is:

Remote MMs & their parents don't benefit from a local connection to the Corps to volunteer for as an example at bingo year round to help off-set tour fees. Still, think the Corps has strong connections to their communities. A creative corps may find a way for the remote parents to participate in various fundraising activities online. It's a new world more ways of connecting. In an effort to make tour fees more affordable, maybe they are already doing so. That's the beauty is being able to post here and not have a clue about anything. 

 

Edited by Bluzes
typo

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4 minutes ago, Bluzes said:

Competitive drum corps has lost a local connection to those type of opportunities, just the way it is.   Not really want I was trying to point out. A better way to put it is:

Remote MMs & their parents don't benefit from a local connection to the Corps to volunteer for as an example at bingo year round to help off-set tour fees. Still, think the Corps has strong connections to their communities. A creative corps may find a way for the remote parents to participate in various fundraising activities online. It's a new world more ways of connecting. In an effort to make tour fees more affordable, maybe they are already doing so. That the beauty of being able to post here and not have a clue about anything. 

 

I think corps are doing what they can. Some way better than others. As you say, and it's true it's a very different world.

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Popular, what contributes to popularity of a band? A brand, an identity, something recognizable, stylishness, easy for your fans to notice, familiarly, fashionableness. Has recent attire affected any attributes that more traditional attire accomplished towards corps popularity in the past?

Even the most astute fans need a clue who the heck they are from year to year. They still pay a year in advance and don't have any idea what they are doing at all. Then need a playbook to find out who's who.? That raises the question. Are these types of fans "early ticket purchasers" increasing or decreasing? Which way is this trending a means to determine popularity trends. I would bet its been on an upwards trend.

Does drastically changing attire hurt or help popularity trends. BD as trendy as their changing attire has been through the years they always stand out as BD even as classy and as different as their attire has changed. Other corps use all kinds of tricks to make themselves image the show it takes precedence. Do these trends help or hurt popularity? Can't say myself, but recognizable is recognizable and a good show attire is good show attire?  Toss up?

Edited by Bluzes
typo

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18 hours ago, kkrepps said:

Great question to ponder. Well, for one thing, since it's not shrinking as an activity we could assume it's popular enough.

Is there anything that keeps drum corps going artificially? Like a legacy government grant that's going away, or a dwindling pot of money donated in the long ago past? If not, and it's self-sustaining, we could assume it's popular enough.

That doesn't mean promotion should be canned. That is critical to keeping it healthy. As an example of this, 30 some years ago when I was in high school I was a DCI fan. It fell by the wayside when I graduated and life changed. Then just 3 years ago I saw an advertisement for BLL, dragged my wife to it and was hooked again, and so was my wife. Then she pushed a son into the activity (who did it grudgingly), then he was hooked. Since that time we’ve been going to shows, volunteering, participating, donating, buying stuff, brought others, etc.. Now as I said, I was a long ago fan, seeing a BLL ad isn’t going to do the same for Joe six-pack who never heard of DCI. Nevertheless, the outreach to the general public and potential fans via promotion obviously has an impact on keeping it healthy.

For instance, in the 2019 predictions thread, there was this promotional idea:

"Then, at the retreat something derogatory will be said by BAC to BD, or vice versa. A fistfight will ensue, everyone else will jump into it. There will be hundreds jailed and hospitalized. It will be on the evening news, and in 2020 there will be a record number of attendees that have never attended DCI before pushing the audience to over 100,000."

As long as there are good people with good ideas, the activity will remain healthy, and in my book that's popular enough.

 

actually for drum corps to get more popular, DCA needs to learn how to market themselves. DCI has done a great job the last 6 years

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10 hours ago, xandandl said:

point of history: the NY Jets discarded the name Titans when victories did not arrive.

and yet they kept Jets

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31 minutes ago, Jeff Ream said:

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Edited by Bluzes
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27 minutes ago, Jeff Ream said:

point of history: the NY Jets discarded the name Titans when victories did not arrive.

Had season tickets changed to the Jets when they moved out of the Polo Grounds To Shea Stadium because of the low flying Jets around the stadium. Being a sports fan I was in Nam when the Knicks, Mets & Jets won in 69. Jets & Mets were in Shea Stadium

Polo Grounds was great just across the walkway over the hyw from Yankee Stadium could go to two games w/o moving your car for both football and/or baseball. I can't spell because we mostly cut school to go to games.

Edited by Bluzes
typo

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On 8/30/2018 at 1:22 AM, Jeff Ream said:

it's just right for where it is now. If more corps can be formed and sustain, it'll grow. 

I think this is a good point. In order for the activity to grow it needs several things to happen. More corps would equal more shows needed, more facilities for those shows, and then hopefully the crowds follow. 

Great opening thoughts by the OP, and I especially appreciated that quote about baseball.  I love baseball. I don't want to see more people come to baseball if it means cheapening the game or ruining the best aspects. Drum corps is somewhat similar to me. I would not be in favor of certain types of changes that might ruin drum corps for the loyal fans just to attract a few more people to the bigger shows.

Having said that it seems DCI and the corps have made so many changes over the last 2 decades that short of putting woodwinds on the field (definitely NOT in favor of that) or redefining the parameters of the shows in terms of judging or length I am not sure where we go from here.  Woodwinds on the field (and even in the pit) to me just ruins the spirit of drum & bugle corps. It just becomes marching band, and at that point I am out. I see enough of that in the fall. I can put up with all the synths, electric bass, voice, and amplification -- providing it is done with taste -- as long as we keep brass and percussion on the field. 

Filling up a stadium like Lucas Oil (and others) with even more people leads to a problem for fans.  Drum corps shows are not programmed to be seen or heard from anywhere in the stadium.  College marching bands do that. Some HS bands do. Drum corps shows are typically programmed to hit you between the 20s. When you think of it that way these shows are catering to a limited number of people.  It is very much like a Broadway show. They don't build massive theaters in New York for 5,000 to 20,000 people to attend a show.  Doesn't make sense. Many in the audience would be too far back that the effect of music, staging, costuming, dialogue and singing, etc. would not have much impact. Broadway solves this by offering multiples shows per week at the same venue year around.  Watching Santa Clara's amazing and thrilling production this year isn't the same from backfield or the end zone or too far from the field. 

Growth in DCI, hence more popularity, may come from the number of corps.  More corps = more kids involved = more shows needed (potentially) and perhaps a more comprehensive tour. A larger tour schedule = more fans.  Not counting the big regional shows, the average DCI show is held at a HS or college stadium of decent size where most fans will pack in between the 20s. In order to grow we need more of those shows.  If the activity could do that then perhaps a few more regional shows are created as well. 

The problem is that drum corps are non-profit youth groups that need a lot of funding. As of now that is a home-grown operation where many local volunteers are needed. HS marching bands are funded in part by tax-payer money. State colleges, too. DCI needs a way to encourage, support, and help start-up organizations get off the ground and put in place the pieces to start a corps. There are many communities that could benefit from this but finding the people to start and run such an organization is difficult. 

Having said the above, the activity is as healthy as it's been in quite some time (with the exception of the abuse issues that need rooted out). The popularity is much higher than I remember seeing in the early 1990s through 2005.  The entertainment value and level of excellence in performance is very high. It's a more expensive activity today (as expected), but just like Starbucks Coffee the activity found a price point that, while expensive, doesn't leave it hurting for cash and finishing each year on fumes. 

Edited by jwillis35

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