Slated to begin on Wednesday, June 26 and feature more than 90 events across more than 30 states, the 2024 Drum Corps International Summer Tour schedule has arrived.
With a handful of exciting new venues and many familiar locations as well, plus the addition of corps from DCI’s newest All-Age classification in the mix, here’s a quick look at some of the highlights to look out for on the 2024 DCI Tour.
“As corps across the country begin the audition and rehearsal portion of their annual operational cycles, the planning process for the 2024 Summer Tour is already coming into sharp focus,” said Dan Acheson, DCI CEO. “The event operations team, our box office staff and our corps housing coordinators are busy at work, ensuring that everyone enjoys a great experience at each and every Drum Corps International Tour event.”
The 2024 DCI Tour will kick off like it did in 2023.
Michigan’s Rockford High School will play host to the DCI Midwest Premiere, Wednesday, June 26, which will feature five of 2023’s World Championship finalist corps — Boston Crusaders, Phantom Regiment, The Cavaliers, Colts, and Blue Stars.
That same group of finalists, plus the 2023 bronze medalist Carolina Crown, will then converge Friday, June 28 in Muncie, Indiana at Ball State University’s Scheumann Stadium, for DCI Central Indiana, an annual staple of the opening week of the DCI Tour.
DCI’s West Coast corps will kick off a full weekend of southern California events in the San Diego (June 28) and Los Angeles (June 29) areas before rounding out their weekend in San Bernardino (June 30).
New and Noteworthy
As the 2024 DCI Tour makes its initial turn into July, many individual corps’ summer seasons kick off across the country ahead of a busy Independence Day weekend. July 5-7 features an impressive 10 events in total, which will put 30 different corps active across the map.
The introduction of one of a handful of new venues to the DCI Tour will serve as a highlight of a jam-packed second weekend, as six corps march to the southeast coast for a new South Carolina event on Friday, July 5.
Early July will also feature the DCI Tour’s return to the Pacific Northwest region for a series of four events, three of which will be hosted by the Seattle Cascades.
Throughout the first weeks of July, key events in Stanford, California (July 6), Lexington, South Carolina (July 6), Sevierville, Tennessee (July 8), Utah (July 10), Tupelo, Mississippi (July 11), and more will lead into one of the busiest days of the summer.
That jam-packed day, Saturday, July 13, will serve as a stepping stone toward the summer’s marquee “regional” events, and features 34 corps across DCI’s World, Open and All-Age divisions, performing in five different cities — Fort Collins, Colorado; Little Rock, Arkansas; Clifton, New Jersey; Vista, California; and a location in Northern Illinois.
Another debut event on the 2024 DCI Tour coming to Hutchinson, Kansas — well-known among drum corps fans as the home of the Sky Ryders in the ‘70s and ‘80s — will play host to a July 16 event. Also that day, be on the lookout for DCI Broken Arrow in Oklahoma. This event will feature the very first head-to-head meeting of 2023’s gold, silver and bronze medalists, Blue Devils, Bluecoats and Carolina Crown, as corps make their way into the Southwestern United States.
One of the marching music activity’s hotbeds will once again host a slew of DCI Tour events.
Commonly known as the “Texas Tour,” an eight-day trip through the Lone Star State will begin in Canyon (July 15), before running through Abilene (July 16), the Waco area (July 18), Denton (July 18) and Houston (July 19).
The DCI Southwestern Championship in San Antonio, Texas (July 20) — the largest event of the summer outside of the DCI World Championships — will serve as the Texas Tour’s cornerstone event. Returning to the San Antonio lineup for the first time since 2019 will be Camden County, New Jersey’s Jersey Surf, which means the full complement of DCI’s World Class corps will face off under the roof of the Alamodome, giving fans a chance to see how everyone stacks up competitively coming into the back-half of the season.
Events in Mesquite (July 22) and McKinney (July 23) will round out 2024’s Texas series.
The Texas swing serves as the precursor to key late-summer events, including the DCI Southeastern Championship in Atlanta (July 27) and NightBEAT in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (July 28).
One of the longest-standing stops on the DCI Tour is the DCI Eastern Classic in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which will once again feature all of DCI’s World Class corps over two nights of competition, Friday August 2 and Saturday, August 3. Two-night ticket packages to the Allentown series are now on sale for a limited time only.
As 2024 marks the flagship season of DCI All-Age competition, a classification dedicated to the weekend-only, all-age brand of drum corps previously organized under Drum Corps Associates (DCA), the 2024 DCI Tour will feature a number of events under the All-Age heading.
New all-age-centric events will also give additional performance opportunities to other ensembles. Saturday, June 29’s event hosted by the Connecticut Hurricanes, for example, will feature DCI All-Age corps, plus New England Open Class corps Spartans and 7th Regiment. The August 4 event in Reading, Pennsylvania, hosted by the defending all-age champion Reading Buccaneers will additionally feature the Boston Crusaders, Crossmen, Madison Scouts and Jersey Surf.
Another highlight of the 2024 DCI Tour will include a new event on August 3 in Rochester, New York — which has previously served as home to the DCA World Championships — that will feature ann 11-corps lineup including the all-age Bushwackers, Hurricanes, Rogues Hollow Regiment, Skyliners and White Sabers along with World Class corps like The Cavaliers, Colts and Blue Knights.
“Being able to add performance opportunities for the all-age corps on this year’s tour is an exciting endeavor,” said Sue Kuehnhold, DCI senior director of ensemble services. “It’s also exciting for us to be able to work World and Open Class corps and SoundSport teams into these event lineups to create some different experiences not only for participants on the tour, but also for our fans as well.”
The DCI All-Age season will culminate at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, for the inaugural DCI All-Age World Championship Finals the morning of Saturday, August 10.
World Championships Week
The DCI World Championships will once again take over the state of Indiana the second week of August for the culmination of the 2024 DCI Summer Tour.
“Finals Week” will kick off in Marion, Indiana, on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University, for the DCI Open Class World Championships, August 5-6.
After the crowning of the Open Class World Champion, the scene will shift to Indianapolis for three days of DCI World Championship competition, August 8-10.
Of course, though, World Championships Week in the Circle City isn’t just about the competition at Lucas Oil Stadium.
An event geared toward spotlighting the importance of music in schools, the fourth-annual “Shining a Light on Music Education” will bring together many of DCI’s corps, SoundSport ensembles, and local performing acts for a festival-style event on Indianapolis’ Monument Circle the evening of Friday, August 9.
Saturday, August 10, will also feature the aforementioned first-ever DCI All-Age Finals, before the summer’s culminating event, the DCI World Championship Finals. The same day, the SoundSport International Music and Food Festival will return to the Indiana Convention Center for its eighth iteration, featuring an array of food trucks, exhibitors and diverse performances on DCI’s all-inclusive SoundSport platform.
A winter tradition, Drum Corps International’s “Mega Monday” will mark the start of tickets going on sale to a number of the most popular events of the 2024 DCI Summer Tour.
The 2024 edition of Mega Monday, set for Monday, December 4, will include such favorites as the DCI Southeastern Championship in Atlanta, DCI West in Stanford, and single-night tickets to the DCI World Championships in Marion, Indiana and Indianapolis as well as the DCI Eastern Classic in Allentown, Pennsylvania.