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

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12 hours ago, N.E. Brigand said:

This cultural commentator has been heavily pushing his forthcoming book One Billion Americans lately, and I've been thinking maybe I'd read it once it's out in September, but until seeing that tweet from him tonight, it didn't occur to me that the book might have relevance to drum corps, although I suppose it's obvious if I'd just thought about it:

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"'"We need more immigrants to repopulate our empty cities." Get ready for it.'

Oh, I've got a book about this! Meaning, like, the dozens and dozens of cities (mostly midwestern but also some of the smaller northeastern ones) that have been depopulated for decades, not the (likely-fake) trend of New York City depoplating because of Covid.

Springfield, Massachusetts, for example, is far from the hardest-hit city in America. But [...] it's lost 12% of its population since 1960 which creates a lot of secondary problems. If you’d like to know more about why this kind of widespread urban depopulation is a problem, trapping vast swathes of America in a cycle of decline while valuable capital wastes away [...]".

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Many of those cities that lost population since the 1960s are also those where a lot of drum corps were based. Has the activity ever seriously reckoned with that population shift? Or did it carry on as if that hadn't happened? (Not that I'm sure what the right response would have been.) Not just the junior corps. As recently as 20 years ago, Rochester had two DCA finalists and Syracuse had one; those three corps, from cities whose populations peaked in the 1950s, no longer exist. Were they running on fumes the whole time?

well the loss of community organization backed corps didn't help...the churches, veterans groups, CYO's, PAL's etc. But the membership base wasn't exactly right around the corner in those DCA corps you mentioned for decades. All 3 drew from all over NY, PA, down to MD, Ohio, other parts of the Northeast and even Canada.

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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. 

6 hours ago, garfield said:

This is still exactly the point. How much should corps “pitch in” to assure that DCI has the funding to organize, pitch, and get funding support for whatever “stage” the members want?

I’ve wondered aloud if a reverse of the DCI payout scheme would do it well.  They more payout a corps gets, the more they put into the DCI operations funding.  And yes, I’m fully aware that the biggest cats are the hardest to herd.

well, i'll sum the reality of that idea actually happening up succinctly in 2 words:


good luck.

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4 hours ago, garfield said:

Well, this is the root of the matter so, yea, it's not a new predicament, is it?

But it's the crux of the issue.  The individual corps need the gate and wants DCI to make the best gate possible, but then starves DCI by refusing to create a line item for "rainy day fund" or even an operations fund, then demands that whatever is left be paid out to the corps under the aegis that the corps are better marketers of the activity than DCI is (regardless that the responsibility is drafted in the mission documents of DCI).

which is why less inmate control is needed.

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3 hours ago, Continental said:

I think the moderators would prefer that we stay at (B).

I'm sure they are having tremendous moderator parties (masks included)  where topics of the day are discussed ensuring social distancing - with the abstinence of alcohol while consuming copious amounts of diet Dr. Pepper.  It's the moderators on DCP that are causing the shortage of that soft drink. 

usually when I start saying "F......" they get mad.




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2 hours ago, garfield said:

What's really striking is that Jersey Surf, for decades, has been ridiculed for not making a full tour and for being a "part time" drum corps.

I suspect that Surf is probably better positioned to make a "short tour" both meaningful and profitable than many or most corps in the activity.


well with all the stuff i took into GuardCloset's warehouse recently after it was delivered to my driveway, one would hope.

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1 hour ago, garfield said:

The question is:  What's it worth?


well looking at how Varsity runs things, i' guess you'd have to ask how much artistic control would they have to give up control of?

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3 hours ago, garfield said:

If you look really close, you can see lots of social distancing going on in the pic, which maybe helps explain why CNN reported it only being 50,000.

Still, that would be a great attendance at ANY drum corps show!


That would be a great show by any attendance standard. 

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2 hours ago, garfield said:

Of course.  My real question is What is DCI worth if Varsity wants to buy it?

I'd say two times the present value of, say, five years' worth of all revenue above expenses (excluding corps payout).  Two-times-"book" value is really ONLY gate cash flow as the activity as a whole has little or no assets to buy.

Varsity would be pretty much buying the brand.

(But WAIT!  The corps ARE the brand!  Well, we'll see if VS (not Victoria's Secret!) puts in a bid for any of the "brand" drum corps.)


Now look at that! DCI is the brand. 

I took my old beat up corps jacket out and looked at it - noticed something freaking crazy on it. DCI world championship patches on it. What in the heck??? reading some here  I thought it would be a patch with DVBCBC championships on it. 


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3 hours ago, MikeN said:

I actually interviewed Jeff Fiedler for DCP back in whatever year it was the big groups left DCM.  I'm paraphrasing, but their big concerns were the equal pay structure (big corps the same as little corps) and the fact that the circuit was pretty much being run out of someone's car trunk.

DCM did not pay big corps the same as little corps.  Exactly the opposite, in fact... theirs was the one pay scale that took corps size into account.

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