Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps Associates (DCA) are marching again though in a different direction. Both organizations had their 2020 seasons canceled due to COVID-19. In 2021, with more time for preparations, both have put together plans for their ensembles to resume performing again.
DCA is going fully virtual with the possibility of a live championship if conditions are safe. “Right now, we’re looking at a virtual format to keep the corps safe, to have a competitive season, and to provide drum corps for the fans,” says John Carr, DCA president.
DCA will hold eight shows during July and August with about six or seven competing corps and an alumni exhibition in each. Corps will upload their shows, which will stream live with the help of Box5 Media through a paid subscription service. Judges will score, and critique each performance while fans vote for their favorite group of the evening. At the conclusion of the contest, the scores and “Fan Favorite Feature” will be announced.
The decision whether to hold live championships will be reevaluated in the spring. No matter what, champions will be crowned, according to Carr. “If we do not have a live championship, we will have a virtual championship,” he says.
DCI plans to hold a series of events at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, from Aug. 12 to 14.
“The coming season will, by necessity, be ‘different’ to say the least; but we are determined to safely create a stage like no other in order to offer performance opportunities in the summer of 2021 as a ‘bridge’ to a tour in 2022 and the celebration of DCI’s 50th anniversary season,” said Dan Acheson, DCI president, in a press release.
At its January 2021 annual meeting, DCI announced that its Tour Reopening Task Force will gather data and determine risk-mitigation strategies to ensure safe and successful activities.