The 2014 Drum Corps International Tour proved to be one of the most successful in recent history, with record-breaking attendance figures recorded in stadiums and at events online and on the movie screen. More than 320,000 spectators headed to more than 100 live events on the 53-day DCI Summer Tour. Tens of thousands additionally visited movie theaters throughout the United States and streamed events live into their living rooms, offices and onto handheld devices thanks to the DCI Fan Network.
The Madison Scouts take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium during the 2014 DCI World Championship Finals.
In the stadiumAttendance at the DCI World Championship Finals on Saturday, Aug. 9, once again surpassed the most ever recorded at Lucas Oil Stadium, which has hosted Championship events every year since 2009. Figures for the 2014 Prelims, Semifinals and Finals competitions include:
- World Championship Prelims, Thursday, Aug. 8 – 6,674
- World Championship Semifinals, Friday Aug. 9 – 11,024
- World Championship Finals, Saturday, Aug. 10 – 21,378
"We're very pleased with the continued growth of DCI's Open Class ensembles, in terms of the increased number of participating units, the improved quality of their performances from top to bottom and their continued focus on organizational stability and development," Open Class Coordinator David Eddleman said. "The fans in Michigan City and Indianapolis were treated to an exceptional year of drum corps produced by our Open Class members." Drum Corps International Executive Director and CEO Dan Acheson echoed Eddleman's thoughts. "Regardless of competitive ranking, the performances of all of the corps taking part in the 2014 DCI Tour were simply exceptional and serve to underscore what we feel is a renaissance taking place in the marching arts. "The thousands of performers who take part in the tour each summer come from unique and varied backgrounds, all with a story to tell about their personal sacrifices and achievements as participants in an extraordinary activity," Acheson said. "This year's tour was a testament to their relentless pursuit of their personal best, and the results on the field were stunning. We're proud of everyone who made this season an exceptional high-water mark for Drum Corps International and its member corps." Before the World Championships, Drum Corps International also saw increases in attendance at all of its major regional events this year over last, setting a new record on July 26 in Atlanta.
Corps assembled for the awards ceremony at the Open Class World Championship Finals.
With the DCI Atlanta Southeastern Championship returning to its usual Saturday date after a stadium scheduling conflict which forced a Sunday event last year, DCI set a record for its highest attendance to date at the Georgia Dome. Attracting 16,613 spectators in 2014, that figure eclipses the previous record of 16,114 set in 2012. The event has been held under the dome since 2006. Attendance at the DCI Southwestern Championship at the San Antonio Alamodome also swelled this summer to 11,671, which is an increase of more than 400 over 2013 and nearly 1,000 over the 2012 event. Just a few hundred under 2012 figures, attendance at the DCI Eastern Classic in Allentown, Pennsylvania was recorded at 14,224 for the combined Friday and Saturday events, demonstrating significant year-over-year growth as well. Another success story on the 2014 DCI Tour was the Tour of Champions series event held at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. After the need for a last-minute relocation from its traditional site at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, 11,186 people ventured to Vanderbilt to see the first DCI competition hosted there since the 1990s.
Santa Clara Vanguard performs to a record crowd at the Atlanta Georgia Dome in July.
At the cinema
In addition to in-stadium events, the Drum Corps International Tour came to movie theaters this summer with the return of its two annual cinema events. The "DCI Tour Premiere," which featured the early-season performances of seven World Class corps recorded in Akron, Ohio, was broadcast in 471 movie theaters. Attendance for this event was recorded at 29,218, up from 23,343 in 2013. Preliminary projections from the 11th "Big, Loud & Live" cinecast of the DCI World Championship Prelims indicate an audience of more than 49,000 in 634 movie theaters across the country. That is anticipated to be another record-setting number once the final attendance figures have been verified.
Drum Corps International hosted events in June and August at movie theaters across the country.
On the web
For fans who couldn't make it to the stadium, the DCI Fan Network, Drum Corps International's popular streaming platform for webcasts, offered one of its most ambitious schedules of live and on-demand events since its launch in 2007. A free preview webcast of Carolina Crown's first public performance of the summer on June 15, set a record for highest number of peak concurrent viewers for a DCI webcast event, with 8,071 taking part in the pre-season excitement. That record was broken just 56 days later when 12,671 concurrent viewers called up YouTube to watch the awards ceremony live from the DCI World Championship Finals. This summer, 15 events were webcast live on the DCI Fan Network, with a total of 20 events available for streaming within hours of the actual performance, capturing 267 performances from 44 corps. To date, more than 581,695 streams of 2014 performances have been initiated, adding up to a whopping 166,550 hours of viewing by subscribers.
Mission control for the webcast of DCI World Championship events at Lucas Oil Stadium.