Canadian university marching bands are bringing attention to the unspoken agreements about opposing bands traveling to games. While most stadiums and teams allow opposing bands to perform, intense rivalries or important games can cause tensions to rise.
The Queen’s Bands were not allowed to bring their instruments to their final game of the season against the Carleton Ravens at the request of the home team. They responded by attending the game in uniform with vuvuzelas.
The largest and oldest university marching band in Canada, the Queen’s Bands have attended home and away football games since 1905. Carleton’s football program is only two years old and felt that the opposing band would disrupt their game day experience.
“The Queen’s band has been around for a really long time; our band was a little bit concerned about them coming and we wanted to make sure that our band got an opportunity,” said Shannon Chinn, Carleton’s manager of interuniversity sport, to Yahoo. “We want to keep all of the home-field advantage that we can. We had some concerns with the size – they have 80 people in their band, when we’re on offence and whatnot. So our request was that we keep our home-field advantage. We spend a lot of money on our DJ and our game-day experience that we’re trying to establish here.”
Bridget Rusk, the Bands’ finance manager told Yahoo that there has “never been an issue about us bringing our instruments” when the Bands have followed the Gaels to other [Ontario University Athletic Conference] stadiums and they have followed rules about when to be quiet.
“They said it was best for our university to leave all of our instruments at home, due to the fact… well, they cited a number of reasons. The first being that their coaches that had personally requested that we not bring instruments.” Ed Charbonneau, Queen’s drum major told Yahoo. “Other reasons that they cited was that their own university band is rather inexperienced and young and they didn’t want to, I suppose, overshadow them.”
The band posted videos and photos on social media of them with their vuvuzelas. The university also provided vuvuzelas to any Queen’s fan that attended the game.
Thank you @queensgaels football for oiling our thighs today. You were fantastic! pic.twitter.com/gSY3yqbgSZ
— Queen’s Bands (@QueensBands) October 25, 2014
Queens ended up beating Carleton 37-15, preventing them from advancing to the playoffs.