Bandfest Summons the Sounds of the Rose Parade

Big brass-tastic songs will again fill Robinson Stadium at Pasadena City College.

What to Know

  • Friday, Dec. 29 and Saturday, Dec. 30
  • Robinson Stadium at Pasadena City College
  • A general ticket is $15

Watching field show after field show after field show of award-winning bands online?

It's an easy way to pass an hour, and by "hour" we mean an afternoon. For folding into all of that percussive joy, and trumpet-y grandeur, and precision dance, and tuba shine can brighten a person's outlook, general vibe, and, quite possibly, put a spring in her step.

But seeing field shows in person? Presented by the bands chosen to march in the Rose Parade? One after the other? With two whole days to soak up the sounds? There's no clicking or liking or replaying involved: You're there in person, with the band, at Pasadena City College's Robinson Stadium.

That's the traditional location for Bandfest, the two-day brass bash that sends drummers, flutists, performers, and every essential part of a band out to show their amazing stuff a few days ahead of the Rose Parade.

Bandfest Presented by Remo will ba-ba-bumpa-ba-ba-baaaa on Friday, Dec. 29 and Saturday, Dec. 30. A ticket bought ahead of time (and this is a solid idea, purchasing in advance) is $15, though some may be sold at PCC 30 minutes ahead of each performance, "pending availability."

"Over the course of two days, each band, along with its auxilary performers, will present the field show that has led to its success," says the Tournament of Roses web site.

The bands set to participate in the 2018 Rose Parade include Homestead High School of Cupertino, California, the University of Massachusetts Minutemen of Amherst, and Australia's Marching Koalas of Dangar, New South Wales, Australia.

Some fans will watch every band play every note over the two days, but if you can only dip in for an hour, to wade into all of that surround-sound-ness that a field show so seamlessly achieves, do so.

For hearing and seeing a band at Bandfest is a wholly different experience from hearing and seeing the troupe as they walk by you down Colorado Boulevard on the morning of New Year's Day.

A wonderful happening, to be sure, but different compared to immersing in a honest-to-piccolo field show, which is at the thrumming, drumming heart of Bandfest.

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