Drum Corps in the Post-Covid World - What Role Does DCI Have?


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3 hours ago, mjoakes said:

Say I am a nonprofit arts/education organization and I have the resources. I'm not DCI.  I organize 3-5 shows, set up the venues, invite 7-9 corps to perform, arrange for housing and rehearsal sites (and pay for any associated expenses). I manage all other logistics, marketing, ticket sales. All the relevant cash (such as it might be) comes to me. I pay the corps performance fees and prizes. The geography of the shows obviously matters, but ignore that issue for now.

Can I do this? That's mostly asking, can corps that are members of DCI accept my invitations and perform? If allowed, would corps have an interest in participating in my shows?

But also, is there a meaningful difference to how corps operate if my nonprofit demonstrates it can effectively manage everything about the shows, and the corps simply need to show up, do their thing, and collect their money?

I would think this is a "no go" as all DCI shows for their open & world class members have to be sanctioned & held under the umbrella of the DCI organization.  I would think that an organization hosting a DCI show with their members has to through the DCI "vetting" process.  That includes everything including the venue, ticket sales format, etc., but most importantly, the financial backing of the host organization.  To my understanding, there has to be enough monies in reserve to handle all of the corps payouts as well as other obligations.  The monies also have to be in place should there be a weather cancelation to still cover the member corps payments.        

I'm simply speculating based on our school hosting DCI shows several years ago.  These shows were held in partnership with a top corps' booster organization & our our HS band boosters.  As for the vetting process, the DCI staff came in to inspect our venue, corps & fan parking, warm up areas, & to map out our stadium seating for reserve ticket sales.  (DCI handled the ticket sales on their ticket site.). The show was funded & backed by the corps' organization.        

Edited by keystone3ply
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Just because you say so doesn’t make it so! A lot of organizations, independent show sponsors, and numerous regional circuits were eroded instead of supported by DCI. It wasn’t until just recentl

You are a nonprofit arts/education organization and you have the resources.

What is needed are visionary leaders like Jim Jones, Don Warren, George  Bonfiglio, Gale Royer, etc.   I’m not sure that they exist in Drum Corps these days. 

1 hour ago, Fred Windish said:

 

I can tell you, the week before major events, like Regionals and Championship, the Corps Directors are totally focused just on their own group. I have seen them become laser-focused, bull-headed, near monsters. Each looking for an ‘edge’ over all others.
 

 

Nah they are all puddy tats....

Saber tooth tiger is a puddy tat right? 😈

Edited by JimF-LowBari
Can’t say ###### cats... (think about it)
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4 hours ago, mjoakes said:

Say I am a nonprofit arts/education organization and I have the resources.

You are a nonprofit arts/education organization and you have the resources.

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5 hours ago, mjoakes said:

Say I am a nonprofit arts/education organization and I have the resources. I'm not DCI.  I organize 3-5 shows, set up the venues, invite 7-9 corps to perform, arrange for housing and rehearsal sites (and pay for any associated expenses). I manage all other logistics, marketing, ticket sales. All the relevant cash (such as it might be) comes to me. I pay the corps performance fees and prizes. The geography of the shows obviously matters, but ignore that issue for now.

Can I do this? That's mostly asking, can corps that are members of DCI accept my invitations and perform? If allowed, would corps have an interest in participating in my shows?

But also, is there a meaningful difference to how corps operate if my nonprofit demonstrates it can effectively manage everything about the shows, and the corps simply need to show up, do their thing, and collect their money?

NE Brigand beat me to the funny retort line.

You could surely go to all this trouble and fuss and then you'd be sadly disappointed.  For this to work, DCI would need to change a key component of their rules:  Any drum corps can do whatever it wants to raise funds, including performing at civic events and independent performance fundraisers.  But, to the last of my knowledge, there is a provision binding all corps to not perform publicly with any other DCI member corps unless it is at a DCI-sanctioned event.

DCI will charge you, the event-promoter, a fee per drum corps and you would pay that fee directly to DCI.  DCI would then subtract its expenses and add the remainder to the payout "pie" to be paid out according to the already-agree-on payout schedule at the end of the season.

So, yes, you could go to all this trouble.  But no, you wouldn't get any corps to come and, of course, then you have no gate to pay all the production expenses.

And, like trading options, you'll learn to never do that again.  🙂 

 

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1 hour ago, keystone3ply said:

I would think this is a "no go" as all DCI shows for their open & world class members have to be sanctioned & held under the umbrella of the DCI organization.  I would think that an organization hosting a DCI show with their members has to through the DCI "vetting" process.  That includes everything including the venue, ticket sales format, etc., but most importantly, the financial backing of the host organization.  To my understanding, there has to be enough monies in reserve to handle all of the corps payouts as well as other obligations.  The monies also have to be in place should there be a weather cancelation to still cover the member corps payments.        

I'm simply speculating based on our school hosting DCI shows several years ago.  These shows were held in partnership with a top corps' booster organization & our our HS band boosters.  As for the vetting process, the DCI staff came in to inspect our venue, corps & fan parking, warm up areas, & to map out our stadium seating for reserve ticket sales.  (DCI handled the ticket sales on their ticket site.). The show was funded & backed by the corps' organization.        

And, to be specific, the DCI contract has to be paid in full by no later than 24 hours prior to the show's start time.  The promoter can't even rely on the gate for the contract fee.  In this sense, either the host has to put up the funds, or there have to be enough pre-sale tickets to pay the contract by the deadline.  (Our annual goal was always to have the pre-sales cover the contract by no later than one week before showtime so we'd know if we needed any last minute ad spending to get BITS.)

Weather is of little consequence to show producers because there is no refund of the DCI contract if a "performance" is given (pay close attention) as a stand-up on the track.  (No field or uniforms are required.)  The chosen encore corps is usually the one that does the standup, even in the rain if necessary, so that the "fans are assured a performance", and, well, you can fill in the rest.

 

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28 minutes ago, garfield said:

And, to be specific, the DCI contract has to be paid in full by no later than 24 hours prior to the show's start time.  The promoter can't even rely on the gate for the contract fee.  In this sense, either the host has to put up the funds, or there have to be enough pre-sale tickets to pay the contract by the deadline.  (Our annual goal was always to have the pre-sales cover the contract by no later than one week before showtime so we'd know if we needed any last minute ad spending to get BITS.)

Weather is of little consequence to show producers because there is no refund of the DCI contract if a "performance" is given (pay close attention) as a stand-up on the track.  (No field or uniforms are required.)  The chosen encore corps is usually the one that does the standup, even in the rain if necessary, so that the "fans are assured a performance", and, well, you can fill in the rest.

 

Yes, thanks for triggering my memory.  (Guess I need to start eating Prevagen.) 🤓  That was the responsibility of the corps that we partnered with so our boosters didn't have to worry with ticket sales & monies up front.  We handled & received revenue from parking, programs, & concessions.  Lots of work but it was a win-win for our group.    

Our loss, if show was canceled, would have been some concession cost (small amount of non-returnables items) & program printing.  After the corps' booster organization decided to reduce the number of their "home shows" which at that time were 3-4, some of our boosters wanted to start hosting shows independent of another corps organization but when presented with the $20-30k cost upfront, that desire quickly dissolved.  As I remember, that up front cost was based on the number of top 12 groups, open class, etc.  

We hosted those shows in the late 2000s.  So I'm sure the guaranteed up front cost of $20-30k has increased some 12-15 years later.  I know one show was later in the season with several top 6 groups as well as 2 defending champions.  Great shows, lots of work, but it was so worth it for our community & region.                      

Edited by keystone3ply
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31 minutes ago, garfield said:

The chosen encore corps is usually the one that does the standup, even in the rain if necessary, so that the "fans are assured a performance", and, well, you can fill in the rest.

 

We set up our school's gym for a standstill if necessary for a storms with lightning, etc.  Of course, hoping we wouldn't have to utilize it.  That way we could still receive some parking, concession, & program revenue.  The corps would have probably lost most all of the "walk up" tickets sales as we would have lost our walk up revenue. 

  

Edited by keystone3ply
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53 minutes ago, garfield said:

NE Brigand beat me to the funny retort line.

You could surely go to all this trouble and fuss and then you'd be sadly disappointed.  For this to work, DCI would need to change a key component of their rules:  Any drum corps can do whatever it wants to raise funds, including performing at civic events and independent performance fundraisers.  But, to the last of my knowledge, there is a provision binding all corps to not perform publicly with any other DCI member corps unless it is at a DCI-sanctioned event.

DCI will charge you, the event-promoter, a fee per drum corps and you would pay that fee directly to DCI.  DCI would then subtract its expenses and add the remainder to the payout "pie" to be paid out according to the already-agree-on payout schedule at the end of the season.

So, yes, you could go to all this trouble.  But no, you wouldn't get any corps to come and, of course, then you have no gate to pay all the production expenses.

And, like trading options, you'll learn to never do that again.  🙂 

 

At some point between 1972 & now this changed. I guess this change is what drove DCM et al out of business?  Until early 2000s DCI Corps participated in both circuits.  And in the late 1970s there were DCI Corps that still went to VFW Nationals.  Not the top Corps, but finalists. I recall Crossmen winning one year. And I also recall Cavaliers winning Illinois state  VFW in 1983; we were next to them at retreat. 

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33 minutes ago, IllianaLancerContra said:

At some point between 1972 & now this changed. I guess this change is what drove DCM et al out of business?  Until early 2000s DCI Corps participated in both circuits.  And in the late 1970s there were DCI Corps that still went to VFW Nationals.  Not the top Corps, but finalists. I recall Crossmen winning one year. And I also recall Cavaliers winning Illinois state  VFW in 1983; we were next to them at retreat. 

Long Island Kingsmen won 1978 American Legion (19th at DCI?) and 7 corps in the Jr competition. 
For DCA corps were allowed to compete at the lesser circuit of RCA (70s) and ICA (80s). As DCA paid more RCA/ICA shows had corps that had an open weekend. Don’t think anyone higher than 8th place in DCA even did an RCA/ICA show. 
As an aside the lesser circuits (think of them as a Sr OC) helped some top corps when they were starting out (Empire Statesmen, Steel City Ambassadors) or rebuilding (Westshoremen).

Edited by JimF-LowBari
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