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  • Derek D. Ross

Band Line-Up & Official Events Announced During 2021 National Battle of the Bands Press Conference

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 24, 2021): The largest HBCU marching band event and the second largest African American event in the state of Texas is back. Tickets are on sale to the 2021 Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands (NBOTB) presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on August 29 at 4:00 p.m. CST.

“After more than a year with no homecomings or major events where HBCU alumni, students, and fans have traditionally gathered to celebrate their love of the HBCU experience, showcase their school spirit, and connect with friends and loved ones, we are grateful to announce the return of the National Battle of the Bands,” says Derek Webber, CEO of Webber Marketing and Creator of the National Battle of the Bands.

Webber adds, “Our event was designed to be the nation’s best kick-off to the fall marching band season by showcasing new performances of the country’s top marching bands. We cannot wait for our fans to gather safely to hear the sound, feel the energy, and witness the finesse of these HBCU marching bands on August 29.”

Early bird tickets can be purchased for $15 using the code: band, while supplies last. General admission tickets can be purchased for $20 after early bird tickets run out and during the week of the event. To purchase tickets, visit

“We’re thrilled to serve as the title sponsor of the National Battle of the Bands once again,” said Gabrielle Ivey, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for Cracker Barrel. “We’re committed to investing in the next generation of leaders, which is why we have been supporting HBCUs since 2016. We look forward to the NBOTB where we can come together and kick off the season by watching the country’s top marching bands as we engage with the communities in which we serve. We value what everyone brings to the table and believe that each person should be treated that way.”

More than 2,000 members from eight of the nation’s top marching bands will celebrate the culture of their universities at what will be the 2021 kickoff to the Fall marching band season. Each band will bring its own unique style and sound to an event that was created to celebrate, support, and recognize the excellence of Black college marching bands.

This year’s band line-up includes Bethune Cookman University, Marching Wildcats; Langston University, “Marching Pride” Band; North Carolina A&T State University, The Blue and Gold Marching Machine; Norfolk State University, The Spartan “Legion” Marching Band; Southern University, Human Jukebox; Jackson State University, The Sonic Boom of the South; Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands; and Texas Southern University, “Ocean of Soul” Marching Band.

"We are so excited that the National Battle of the Bands is back on the calendar this August and are looking forward to welcoming all 8 bands to our city. Houston is proud to be the home of this unparalleled celebration of arts, education, and HBCU culture," said Harris County - Houston Sports Authority Vice President Chris Massey. "This event is truly unlike any other. The spirit, energy, and passion coming from these bands just can't be matched."

The NBOTB partnership with the HCHSA helps to support the advancement of the event’s mission to enhance the exposure of HBCUs and their marching bands, and the role they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders. The partnership is also significant because it supports the growth of scholarships, and expands the awareness of higher learning with music, arts, and entertainment.

Also returning will be several official NBOTB events such as the NBOTB Greek Stroll Off, The Emerge Experience Entrepreneur Event, and HBCU S.T.E.M. College Recruitment and Health Fair. An eSports Gaming Tournament & Masterclass will be a new addition to this year’s event line-up.

It’s truly an honor and privilege to sponsor the National Battle of the Bands presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar,” said Chauncey Hamlett, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Pepsi Beverages North America, South Division. “The battle of the bands is an iconic tradition, not only amongst Historically Black Colleges and Universities, but a staple in American culture.”

To purchase tickets and for more information about the NBOTB visit and stay updated on social media at @NationalBattleOfTheBands (Facebook/Instagram) / @NationalBOTB (Twitter).


Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar

The event’s mission is to enhance the exposure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their marching bands, the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing our future leaders. Event organizers have generated more than $500,000 in scholarships for the participating colleges and universities.

Webber Marketing and Consulting

Webber Marketing & Consulting (WMC), LLC is based in Charlotte, North Carolina and is the largest marketing agency of record for HBCUs specializing in strategic outreach program development, on-site event execution, experiential marketing, and media. WMC provides their clients with focused programs that deliver measurable results, improve market position, and build for future successes.

Harris County - Houston Sports Authority

The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority maintains the facilities and services the debt of the world-class, professional sports venues it was created to build. To support this primary mission, Houston Sports serves as a leading proponent for attracting sporting events to Houston and for promoting the city as a home for sports-related activities, to ultimately enhance Houston’s economic development and bring better quality of life for its residents. Houston Sports also created the annual Houston Sports Awards to honor the area’s outstanding athletes.

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Texas Bowl and the Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019 and 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the “Battle of the Piney Woods” rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.



FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Derek Ross, Webber Marketing/National Battle of the Bands, Amber Malaque, Harris County-Houston Sports Authority,

Omar Majzoub, Lone Star Sports & Entertainment,

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