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wolfgang

Project 2021: Reimagining tour

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In 2020, the new Rams and Raiders stadiums are set to open. From what I can tell, the Rams stadium is artificial and Raiders indicated grass for the Raiders but field turf for UNLV per wikipedia. Rams is open air but with favorable climate, and Raiders is indoor. I assume Vegas may handle turf similar to the Cardinals stadium in AZ.

Assumng 2020 would cut too close to completion dates, If the full tour for World Class were nationalized and extended 2 weeks in 2021, looking at the calendar, we could have the following dates as full DCI Regional events to determine seeding:

July 10 LA, July 17 Vegas (with Field turf setup), July 24 San Antonio, July 31 Atlanta, August 6,7 Allentown, August 14 Finals- Indy.

By having everyone at these additional events in major media markets, there is great growth potential for DCI if properly marketed. It makes sense geographically heading west to east. California fans would come in droves, and Vegas is a natural draw with plenty of things to do. 

One caveat that I don"t know is the stadium rental fees, but since they made new Atlanta stadium work, hopefully the LA/Vegas venues would not be too expensive to rent for a day.

Strong opinion #1: Please don't insult our intelligence about costs of travel UNLESS you have a good answer why Pacific Crest, Mandarins, BD, Vanguard, The Academy, Oregon Crusaders, and Cascades are somehow able to head east every year and the midwest/eastern World Class corps couldn't do the same the other direction.

Strong opinion #2:  The heat issue was dealt with in a thread last year about a show in Vegas, but someone may try to dredge it up. It's a non-issue for reasons an actual Vegas resident outlined.

 

Edited by wolfgang
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18 minutes ago, wolfgang said:

In 2020, the new Rams and Raiders stadiums are set to open. From what I can tell, the Rams stadium is artificial and Raiders indicated grass for the Raiders but field turf for UNLV per wikipedia. Rams is open air but with favorable climate, and Raiders is indoor. I assume Vegas may handle turf similar to the Cardinals stadium in AZ.

Assumng 2020 would cut too close to completion dates, If the full tour for World Class were nationalized and extended 2 weeks in 2021, looking at the calendar, we could have the following dates as full DCI Regional events to determine seeding:

July 10 LA, July 17 Vegas (with Field turf setup), July 24 San Antonio, July 31 Atlanta, August 6,7 Allentown, August 14 Finals- Indy.

By having everyone at these additional events in major media markets, there is great growth potential for DCI if properly marketed. It makes sense geographically heading west to east. California fans would come in droves, and Vegas is a natural draw with plenty of things to do. 

One caveat that I don"t know is the stadium rental fees, but since they made new Atlanta stadium work, hopefully the LA/Vegas venues would not be too expensive to rent for a day.

Strong opinion #1: Please don't insult our intelligence about costs of travel UNLESS you have a good answer why Pacific Crest, Mandarins, BD, Vanguard, The Academy, Oregon Crusaders, and Cascades are somehow able to head east every year and the midwest/eastern World Class corps couldn't do the same the other direction.

Strong opinion #2:  The heat issue was dealt with in a thread last year about a show in Vegas, but someone may try to dredge it up. It's a non-issue for reasons an actual Vegas resident outlined.

 

Although having the regionals in a dome, and it is great these are available, these are used for only a few of the 30ish performances most corps have over the summer, heat is still a significant factor in their tour scheduling.  Corps still rehearse outdoors in the heat and many weeknight performances are outdoors where heat will be a factor.  Including that in your proposal is something that should be considered.  Avoiding the hottest part of the country during the hottest time of the year should be avoided as much as possible or at least minimized.  Weeknight shows that often have a lot of performances scheduled, that are in the hot zones so to speak, should have the number of performances maxed to say 6/night.  A mix of competitive performances and exhibitions. You could start a show at 8 (little cooler) and still end at a reasonable time. Allowing for 12 minutes performance time and 5 minutes set up/take down you could easily get through an 8p -10:30p block.  Giving an extra time for corps to set up wouldn't hurt either.  Especially to get electronics right.  Mind you I am thinking shows in a typical hot area during summer tour. Whatever can be done it should be by thinking it through before facing extreme heat again.  There is a rain out option, why not have an extreme heat option?  IMO there is a more significant health risk for corps and patrons in extreme heat and planning ahead should be something DCI is capable of.

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29 minutes ago, LabMaster said:

Although having the regionals in a dome, and it is great these are available, these are used for only a few of the 30ish performances most corps have over the summer, heat is still a significant factor in their tour scheduling.  Corps still rehearse outdoors in the heat and many weeknight performances are outdoors where heat will be a factor.  Including that in your proposal is something that should be considered.  Avoiding the hottest part of the country during the hottest time of the year should be avoided as much as possible or at least minimized.  Weeknight shows that often have a lot of performances scheduled, that are in the hot zones so to speak, should have the number of performances maxed to say 6/night.  A mix of competitive performances and exhibitions. You could start a show at 8 (little cooler) and still end at a reasonable time. Allowing for 12 minutes performance time and 5 minutes set up/take down you could easily get through an 8p -10:30p block.  Giving an extra time for corps to set up wouldn't hurt either.  Especially to get electronics right.  Mind you I am thinking shows in a typical hot area during summer tour. Whatever can be done it should be by thinking it through before facing extreme heat again.  There is a rain out option, why not have an extreme heat option?  IMO there is a more significant health risk for corps and patrons in extreme heat and planning ahead should be something DCI is capable of.

Not saying those aren't legit points, but the Vegas show thread referenced in the original post addressed the rehearsal issue.

Last time I checked, DCI has shows in Riverside and other hot areas of CA, shows in AZ, TX, and the deep south in the hottest times of the year. The latter two also have high humidity to deal with.

Should we cancel San Antonio? While it's an indoor event, the week preceding and days following it are during the hottest (and just as important, most humid) part of the year in Texas.

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36 minutes ago, wolfgang said:

Not saying those aren't legit points, but the Vegas show thread referenced in the original post addressed the rehearsal issue.

Last time I checked, DCI has shows in Riverside and other hot areas of CA, shows in AZ, TX, and the deep south in the hottest times of the year. The latter two also have high humidity to deal with.

Should we cancel San Antonio? While it's an indoor event, the week preceding and days following it are during the hottest (and just as important, most humid) part of the year in Texas.

I'm not saying cancel.  Consider (meaning look into without any bias or thoughts of "we've always done it this way" - is there any thinking more wrong headed than that?) a different timing of it or at the least be more cognizant of the possible extreme heat like last year and plan ahead.  Don't have a show with 8 competitive corps and 4 exhibitions and lengthy pre-show festivities an encore and scores that has to start in the hot sun or start so late to avoid heat, it ends at midnight.  More attention should be paid to logistics and safety of corps and patrons alike.  How stupid can we remain?  Shouldn't we have learned something by now?

and as bad as humidity is, unrelenting searing heat is more dangerous in my mind because you can't feel your body evaporating moisture as much;  and dehydration can set in very quickly.

it may be dry heat but so is your oven and you cook stuff in that.

Edited by LabMaster

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1. Your proposal would require either doing away with the early-season East Coast/Southeast tour, which includes the only shows in Florida, and completely getting rid of the Midwestern tour save for maybe one week of shows, or extending tour for at least a couple weeks. All the Midwestern and Eastern corps (of which there are a lot more than Western corps- this is why we have the current tour model in the first place) that host shows more than a week prior to San Antonio in the current model would be dealt a serious blow to their finances (both directly through ticket sales and indirectly through alumni and community engagement) and their recruiting by losing their home shows in the first model- to say nothing of how upset performers will be to lose performances in locations accessible to their friends and families, or how upset people in the affected regions will be to lose their shows, especially in Florida, since Florida tour just can't happen under this model. The second model would add significant financial strain to EVERYONE, in all parts of the country. Adding two more weeks even just to spring training would add on loads of additional food and housing costs, but you're talking about actually extending tour from seven weeks to nine weeks. Not only do corps have to pay to feed and house their members and staff for an extra two weeks, but they also have to pay for fuel and vehicle leases. These costs, of course, will be directly reflected in member fees, which could easily price people out of marching. So, to recap: this proposal will add financial burdens on everyone in every region, which is bad for the activity as a whole.

2. Where do you propose to find housing and show locations for 23 World Class corps, plus all the Open Class corps that might show up, making two passes through the most sparsely populated part of the country? The region between California and the Missouri River just isn't densely populated enough to support a regional season tour. Let's look at two similarly sized states as examples: Iowa (population 3.1M) and Utah (population 3.4M). Each of these states in 2018 had seven World Class corps perform in it. Utah had one show, July 11 in Ogden, where all seven of those corps performed, and no other World Class shows. Iowa had no shows where all the corps in the state performed together, but three shows spread over a four-day period (July 10 in Sioux City, July 11 in Johnston, and July 13 in Dubuque). This is because Iowa is much more densely populated than Utah. Iowa has enough people in each third of the state to fill the stands at a show, and can also draw people from neighboring states to Sioux City and Dubuque. Utah only has one area with enough people to allow a show to succeed, and having three shows in that one area would hurt all of them. It's the same situation with any other non-coastal Western state compared to any Midwestern or Eastern state. And it's not just attendance at the shows- it also means there's plenty of housing sites available. Additionally, with how close together cities in the Midwest and East are compared to the West, corps can spend much less on fuel to get between cities and get much more floor time. So, to recap: the non-coastal West is too sparsely populated to support the number of shows needed or desired for a regional season tour, or to provide enough housing sites between shows.

There's really no ideal solution to make everyone happy, but keeping the majority of tour in the part of the country with the majority of the corps and the majority of the people seems like the best compromise we can get. It also helps that there's plenty of housing sites and show sites in the Midwest and East that have a strong history with drum corps and are willing to host corps.

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I would like to see DCI at least for one year back in Cali. We have Levi stadium and the new Rams in LA. Great weather and open air finals. 

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The cost of two extra weeks of tour has been mentioned.  I know Academy didn't rehearse in Vegas because of the heat.  I don't think anyone is going to want to do this during finals week.  How about the issue of corps members missing their high school and college band camps because of the extra two weeks and in some cases not being allowed to take part?  How about instructors that need to be back at their schools to teach.  What about the many full tour volunteers that would have to be back at their schools?  Many corps struggle to have enough volunteers now, filling two more weeks would be difficult, if not impossible.

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(Some) School calendars are becoming more of an issue with a change to the summer schedule... for instance Roanoke County VA just this year switched to an earlier summer schedule... for 2019 May 22nd is the last day of the school year and August 12 is the first day... about 10-14 days earlier than previous years.  

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The Academy is pretty adept now in rehearsing in the the dry Southwest heat - or maybe better said, has learned when to be outside and for how long and when to be inside. They've come a long way in training both staff and members on the signs of heat exhaustion and can head it off before it becomes a problem. They also do their best to relay these messages to the corps coming through the Valley for their home show. I've seen different approaches by different corps when it comes to their one day in AZ. They've even sent folks to visiting corps and told them NOT to rehearse outside when the heats been at its worst in the afternoons. Of course, it varies from year to year depending on how high the blast furnace is turned up. Some corps just make it a laundry day and don't rehearse outside that day. So what we have in Phoenix isn't much different than in Vegas. The real issue with Vegas, though, is housing. Academy has had their issues when they've looked into housing there going from preseason training in Page to Cali. Would love to see a season where the tour route get reversed and endingthe major regionals in SoCal and then Denver before going to Indy, but I just don't see that happening. The west coast really misses out always only seeing the very early versions of shows. 

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Obviously I'm biased on this, but man oh man do I wish we could have a reasonable discussion of this. Reasonable as in we give due credit to all the pros, and acknowledge that many of the cons must be applied to other locations already on the drum corps tour.

 

That said, the bigger question I'd like to ask: is drum corps something that travels to audiences, or something that audiences travel to? Answering this might solve more of the tour logistics issues, regardless of region.

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