I have been calling drum corps an endangered cultural institution on this blog since 2012. Back then, I "expect[ed] Peak Oil, economic decline, and social upheaval to end the national touring model, which has been around since 1971, by 2020." I said that "drum corps' hopes...rest on the one thing that makes Americans act, messing with their entertainment. Americans want their entertainment, and will do just about anything to keep it going." This week, as a relief from shootings by and of police, drum corps gave Americans their entertainment as the following video went viral.
Stories about this video popped up on AOL, Mashable, Jezebel, Huffington Post, and several television stations, including Fox 25 in Boston (of course). This is exactly the kind of attention that the activity needs for its continued survival and I welcome it.
It's not just this video. Odyssey Online has extensive coverage of drum corps in their news and features site for Millennials. Also, Dwayne Johnson is recording a reality show about drum corps this summer that will air on Fuse later this year. I have never seen so much mainstream coverage of drum corps in my life as this summer. I also remember when I marched, fans and members wished for more exposure for "the best youth activity no one has ever heard of." Well, they're all getting their wish. Happy now? I am, and I haven't been this optimistic about the future of The Activity in a decade.