Spring Training Presented By Digital Performance Gear
DCI Spring Training is presented by Digital Performance Gear.

As the 2024 DCI Tour inches closer and corps across the country get rehearsals underway, those instrumental to the behind-the-scenes operation and production of Drum Corps International’s Summer Tour events returned to Indianapolis for a “spring training” of their own. 

Approximately 30 individuals who make up DCI’s on-site event managers, contest coordinators and event safety managers gathered in Indianapolis earlier this May, for two days of intensive training and extensive discussions in preparation for the summer ahead. 

These people are the key decision makers who work to ensure the smooth operation of nearly 90 DCI Tour events across the country.

Attendees included: 

Event managers who handle all of the logistics for a DCI Tour event. These individuals ensure the successful execution of every aspect of the event, serving as a main point of contact with stadium officials, supervising all on-site event staff, and dealing with any unforeseen issues that may pop up during the course of the day.

Contest coordinators handle the competitive aspects of an event, which includes ensuring that the show is running and staying on schedule. They are also the main point of contact with each event’s judging panel and coordinate the release of the results at the conclusion of the evening. 

Event safety managers were initially brought on board in 2021 to handle COVID compliance and now serve as an additional set of eyes working alongside event managers during a DCI show. These individuals analyze the overall safety across a variety of areas, anything from monitoring weather and how it will affect the course of an event to ensuring that the setup of merchandise tents and trailers in the festival marketplace don’t cause any safety concerns or hazards.

Hosted for more than a decade, the weekend-long training gave attendees a refresher about how each of their roles interconnects during a DCI-operated event.
“This meeting always allows us to dig into what the roles and responsibilities of an event manager, a contest coordinator and an event safety manager entail, and fostering the important relationships between the three positions at every show,” said DCI’s senior event operations manager Eric Hjellming. “By the time they get to the stadium, they know what to expect from each other and how best to serve all their constituents from the performing corps to the spectators in the audience.” 

Hjellming added that the discussions held during the meeting are vital in identifying any action items regarding summer event operations that still need to be addressed and ensuring the team is comfortable working through event safety protocols. It is also paramount in creating a baseline for healthy working relationships throughout the 2024 season.

“We’ve already laid that groundwork, and I think that one of the most critical pieces that we set the stage for in May is just being comfortable with our team and knowing how to best work together,” Hjellming said. 

The 2024 DCI Tour is set to kickoff on Wednesday, June 26 in Rockford, Michigan.

View the complete 2024 DCI Tour Schedule