Drum Corps International
Attendance records set across 2015 Drum Corps International Tour
The Cadets perform in front of a record crowd at the 2015 DCI World Championship Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium.Photo by: Drum Corps International

Attendance records set across 2015 Drum Corps International Tour

by Chris Weber

This August, Drum Corps International once again recorded a record attendance figure at the DCI World Championship Finals, capping off a successful 2015 summer season that saw several additional new records set across the entire tour.

An estimated 330,000 spectators headed to 107 live events on the 53-day DCI Summer Tour. Tens of thousands of additional fans visited movie theaters throughout the United States and enjoyed viewing events in real-time on their personal computers and mobile devices via the newly launched DCI Live! streaming video platform.

“Record-setting attendance throughout the season is an unmistakable sign of ever-increasing awareness of music education's importance and growing support for performing arts across the country,” DCI Executive Director and CEO Dan Acheson said. “The extraordinary young people participating in our DCI Summer Tour are shining examples of the very best attributes of what performing arts have to offer. Their talent, drive, and dedication to excellence are a demonstrable result of their outstanding training in arts education.”

In the Stadium

Carolina Crown
Carolina Crown performs in Lucas Oil Stadium during the 2015 DCI World Championship Finals.


Attendance at the DCI World Championship Finals on Saturday, August 8, once again surpassed the most drum corps fans ever recorded at Lucas Oil Stadium, marking the third straight year that a new record has been set.

Additionally, attendance figures for the Thursday night Prelims and Friday night Semifinals also set records for their respective days when compared across all seven years that World Championship events have been held in Indianapolis.

Figures for the 2015 Prelims, Semifinals and Finals (including paid and complimentary tickets):

• World Championship Prelims, Thursday, August 6 – 7,924
• World Championship Semifinals, Friday August 7 – 11,570
• World Championship Finals, Saturday, August 8 – 24,638

Total attendance for the three-day series was 44,132, an increase of 12.9 percent over 2014. This figure does not include the more than 5,000 corps and staff members who entered the stadium following the completion of their performances with wristbands or staff/VIP credentials.

Total paid attendance for Open Class World Championship events in Michigan City, Indiana (Aug. 3-4) came in at 2,157, up from 1,581 in 2014.

“2015 was an incredible year for DCI’s Open Class,” Open Class Coordinator David Eddleman said. “With the debut of three brand new corps on this year’s Summer Tour in addition to three international ensembles joining us, record crowds in Michigan City and at other Open Class events were treated to some of the most impressive performances ever produced by the talented performers and the designers, instructors and volunteers who support them.”

Ames Field 2015 Finale
More than 2,200 spectators attended the Open Class World Championship in Michigan City, Indiana.


Prior to the World Championships, Drum Corps International also saw increases in attendance at all of its major regional events.

Hosted at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta since 2006, this summer marked the second year in a row that an attendance record was broken during the DCI Southeastern Championship. 18,155 spectators witnessed the competition held within the confines of the indoor stadium facility, breaking the 16,613 figure set in 2014.

Attendance across five events, which comprised this summer’s “DCI Texas Tour,” totaled more than 39,000 attendees. The crowd at the DCI Southwestern Championship at the San Antonio Alamodome was recorded at 12,219, which is an increase of nearly 550 over 2014, and the most at the event in the last 10 years. 

After heading to Nashville in 2014, the return of the DCI Tour to Middle Tennessee State University this summer brought 10,760 spectators to Floyd Stadium, up 1,015 since the last time the event came to Murfreesboro.

Combined attendance at the two-day DCI Eastern Classic in Allentown, Pennsylvania reached nearly 16,000, up more than 1,500 over last summer.

At the Cinema

TV Truck
The very first event of the 2015 DCI Tour was broadcast live in more than 500 movie theaters nationwide.


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 was broadcast to theaters in a live format for the very first time in its five-year history, brought the season-debut performances of six World Class corps from Lucas Oil Stadium to enthusiastic audiences across the country. In-cinema attendance for the event came in at 30,042, up 1,576 from 2014 and more than 7,400 from 2013.

VIDEO: DCI Tour Premiere time lapse

Preliminary projections from the 12th "Big, Loud & Live" cinecast of the DCI World Championship Prelims indicate an audience of more than 45,000. When added to the nearly 8,000 watching the event live in the stadium, the total marks an impressive combined audience of more than 52,000 who witnessed the first day of the 2015 World Championship competition in Indianapolis.

On the Web

Just prior to the start of the 2015 DCI Tour, Drum Corps International launched a brand new edition of its wildly popular DCI.org website, along with the debut of the DCI Live! streaming video platform.

Twenty events—more than ever before—were streamed live on DCI.org this summer, enabling many loyal DCI Fans to watch more than 300 corps performances on their computers and mobile devices.

The webcast of the DCI World Championship Semifinals topped out at more than 3,000 concurrent viewers, which was even more people than watched the 2014 DCI World Championship Finals online. The webcast of the 2015 Finals also set a new high mark, with more than 4,500 concurrent streams in just the third year that the concluding event of the DCI Tour has been offered live on the Internet.

Additionally, at its peak, 14,340 individuals watched the awards ceremony of the DCI World Championship Finals, which was offered for free on YouTube. That is 2,700 more than did so in 2014.

SoundSport and DrumLine Battle

DrumLine Battle
Spectators watch a DrumLine Battle on the day of the DCI World Championship Finals in Indianapolis.

Since launching in 2013, Drum Corps International’s SoundSport and DrumLine Battle programs have captured the imagination of thousands of performers worldwide, creating unprecedented opportunities to participate in local, regional and international events throughout the year. Numerous events and event formats showcase talented performers as a new feature of the DCI Tour, even if not directly connected to one of the competing drum corps ensembles.

The two program extensions benefitted from a strong European debut in the spring of 2015, while activity in Asia, North-, Central- and South America and in other corners of the globe continues to grow and flourish as well.

VIDEO: SoundSport & DrumLine Battle - Indianapolis Highlights 2015

Sixteen officially-sanctioned events (six SoundSport, 10 DrumLine Battle) were hosted this season in conjunction with the summer’s Drum Corps International Tour.

Culminating at the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis this August, the two programs saw a total of 47 units made up of nearly 1,500 performers participating this summer, a 52 percent increase over last year.

Marching Into 2016

Plans are already well underway for Drum Corps International’s 44th summer season.

The DCI World Championships are set to return to Michigan City, Indiana and Indianapolis August 8-13, 2016, which will mark the eighth year in a series that will bring the DCI Finals to Lucas Oil Stadium through 2028. Ticket packages to all three nights of competition in Indy are now on sale.

The complete 2016 DCI Tour schedule is tentatively scheduled to be released a week prior to Thanksgiving on Wednesday, November 18.

Learn more about ticket packages to the 2016 DCI World Championships.

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