Finding the Perfect Bowl Game for Your Student Performance Group
With college football season upon us, now is the perfect time to start planning next year’s bowl game trip. Bowl game events are exciting for bands because they often feature not only a pre-game or halftime performance at a well-attended (and watched) college football event, but also a full complement of parades, festivals and one-of-a-kind opportunities. With so many to choose from, here are our top five picks for bowl game performances:
Taking place in sunny Tampa, Florida, the Outback Bowl provides bands with the opportunity to perform as a part of a mass band halftime event, in an NFL stadium. The event includes festival competitions for concert, jazz, and marching bands, making it an ideal trip for the entire band department. The winner of the marching festival also performs their field show during the pregame. Bands can also participate in the Outback Bowl Parade, which takes place the evening before the game in Tampa’s historic Ybor City. The Tampa area has a number of student friendly attractions, including Busch Gardens (where groups enjoy an included New Year’s Eve fireworks show and awards celebration) and the beaches of Clearwater. Furthermore, Tampa is only a one hour drive from the Walt Disney World® Resort, making it easy to combine your bowl game performance with a trip to see your favorite Disney characters.
Valero Alamo Bowl
Pack your bags and instruments for sunny San Antonio, Texas, to take part in the Valero Alamo Bowl. This mass band event, during halftime of the bowl game, also features a marching show festival. As an added bonus, the festival winner performs their field show before the game’s kickoff. Bands also love performing in the unique Alamo Bowl Pep Rally, in which bands perform on barges floating through the famous River Walk. All of this culminates with an awards ceremony featuring dinner and dancing at the Downtown Convention Center. In your free time, be sure to stop by The Alamo and take in the atmosphere of the River Walk.
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Laissez les bons temps rouler! Head on down to the Big Easy for an opportunity to perform in the prestigious Sugar Bowl. Formerly one of the four BCS bowls (the other three being the Orange, Fiesta, and Rose Bowls), the Sugar Bowl is now a part of the College Football Playoff. The event features the Sugar Bowl Battle of the Bands field show competition, a New Year’s Eve awards party, a performance at Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter, and a mass band performance during the game’s halftime. While in town, be sure to take in all of the culture and music of New Orleans, and order some beignets at Café du Monde.
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl is now a part of the College Football Playoff, which is the most prestigious series of games in college football. This mass band pre-game event takes place inside the Georgia Dome, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, and “where the weather is always perfect.” The event also features concert, jazz, and field show festivals, as well as a parade down Peachtree Street prior to kick off. All of this is capped off with a special awards banquet in the Georgia Convention Center. During your free time, be sure to visit some of Atlanta’s most popular attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, CNN Center, and World of Coca-Cola.
The home of Elvis (Memphis, Tennessee) is also the home of one of our top picks for bowl games. It is an ideal choice for groups on a more limited budget, who still want the full experience of participating in a bowl game. The event features clinics for jazz, concert, and marching bands, so your entire band program can be included in the trip. On the day prior to the game, show off what you learned in the Liberty Bowl Parade on Beale Street in downtown Memphis. Then, celebrate your accomplishments at an awards dinner that evening. On game day, everyone rehearses for the mass band halftime event on the field of the stadium in which they will be performing. Don’t forget to visit Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum while you are in town.
We hope these top picks help you decide which bowl game is right for you. Bob Rogers Travel can plan, customize, and book a trip to any bowl game. Contact us to start planning today! It is sure to be an experience both you and your students will not soon forget.
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