DCI suspends “Big, Loud and Live” cinema event in 2024

(dci.org)

For 18 seasons, Drum Corps International partnered with Fathom Events and its predecessors to bring the excitement of Marching Music’s Major League™ to digital cinema screens across the United States.

A prolonged decline in attendance at DCI’s World Championship cinema event mirrors a continued nationwide trend of diminishing movie theater attendance and the increased demand for more convenient in-home live streaming alternatives. This has led to the decision for DCI to suspend its “Big, Loud & Live” theater presentation indefinitely.

“We realize that the ‘Big, Loud and Live’ event was much more than merely watching a drum corps show in a movie theater,” said Bob Jacobs, DCI senior director of marketing. “These cinematic events helped to replicate and extend the spirit of shared participation and sense of community which is fundamental to the drum corps experience, and were a highlight of the summer for many individuals and groups – especially those who weren’t able to witness a live DCI Tour event in-person. For many folks across the country, these events have truly served as ‘the next-best thing to being there.’”

DCI fathom events

First airing in a select number of cinemas during the 2004 DCI World Championships, attendance at and locations carrying “Big Loud & Live” grew over the next decade to a highwater mark in 2014. As at-home streaming video options became more readily available in subsequent years, attendance showed a consistent decline over the next five seasons before the cancellation of the 2020 DCI Tour due to the pandemic.

While “Big, Loud & Live” events returned in 2022 and 2023, with a slight uptick year over year, attendance figures were more than 50 percent below what they were in the mid 2010s.

“Our creative partnership with Fathom was pioneering since its inception and helped usher-in an industry-changing era of innovative theatrical digital content delivery on the grand scale from a wide range of sources worldwide,” Jacobs said. “The quality of our productions has been executed at the absolute highest professional broadcast standards, but sadly, the economies of scale simply no longer work in our favor, forcing the difficult decision to suspend the cinema program.”

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