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Announcing: Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands

Houston to host the inaugural band showcase on Labor Day weekend at NRG Stadium

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 9, 2019): The wait is over! The inaugural Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores National Battle of the Bands (NBOTB) will take place at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Labor Day weekend.

During yesterday’s press conference, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner along with partners, business, and community leaders, echoed their excitement of the partnership between Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC and the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority (HCHSA) to bring the NBOTB experience to the H-Town.

“Houston has a successful track record for hosting successful events that draw thousands of people to our welcoming city. We are excited about partnering with Harris County, The Houston Sports Authority and Webber Marketing and Consulting for the 2019 Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “The invitation-only competition featuring student musicians from Historically Black Colleges and Universities will put Houston on the map for hosting another thrilling event. It’s guaranteed great entertainment. I encourage everyone to attend and also stay tuned for exciting activities leading up to the competition.”

More than 2,000 members from eight of the nation’s top HBCU bands will celebrate the culture of their universities at what will be the largest African American event in Texas. Each band has its own unique style and sound and was created to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of Black college marching bands.

This year’s band line-up includes Texas Southern University, Ocean of Soul Marching Band; North Carolina Central University, The Sound Machine Marching Band; Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm Band; Talladega College, Marching Tornado Band; Southern University, Human Jukebox; Miles College, Purple Marching Machine; and Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands; with the final band announcement to come.

“It is an honor to introduce Houston and the surrounding communities-at-large to the extraordinary talents of the students who represent the HBCU marching bands participating in this year’s National Battle of the Bands,” says Derek Webber, CEO, Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC.

“Our goal is to enhance the exposure of HBCU marching bands and the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders; while also introducing patrons to the spirit and community of the HBCU experience, which they will encounter throughout the weekend.”

Added Harris County – Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke, “There’s nothing like this event. It’s packed with super high-energy performances by some the country’s most elite marching bands. They’ll have you on your feet dancing at your seats from start to finish.”

The day of celebration kicks off with the HBCU STEM college recruitment fair which is free and open to area students interested in higher education opportunities from 20 of the top HBCUs in the country. Education and scholarship partner H-E-B is sponsoring the H-E-B Tailgate Cook Off Experience later that afternoon. An official step show will also be a part of the weekend’s festivities; more details to come.

Texas is home to nine HBCU schools and more than 20 HBCU alumni associations have chapters in the Greater Houston area.

“It’s fitting that this impressive showdown will be in Harris County — one of the largest and most diverse counties in the country,’’ Hidalgo said. “The competition will be fierce and I’m excited to see these extremely talented bands strut their stuff, but make no mistake, I’ll be rooting for our very own Texas Southern University’s Ocean of Soul Marching Band!”

Event organizers unveiled the official logo for the NBOTB, which includes the Houston skyline, and signature band instruments including the horn, drum head and drum sticks; whose distinctive musical sounds are synonymous with the marching band experience. Cracker Barrel, who is a new member of the NBOTB family, is also highlighted in the logo as the event’s official title sponsor.

“Cracker Barrel is delighted to partner with the Harris County Houston Sports Authority (HCHSA), Webber Marketing, and each of the participating colleges and universities to bring the National Battle of the Bands to Houston! We are excited to continue our existing relationships with HBCUs as well as establish new and lasting partnerships. We look forward to engaging with both the local Houston community and those traveling from across the country for this incredible event.”

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.

Tickets go on sale April 19. Early bird tickets can be purchased for $15, while supplies lasts. General admission tickets can be purchased for $20 during the week of the event. To purchase tickets visit For questions about tickets email

For more information about theNational Battle of the Bands, visit


About the Cracker Old Country Stores’ Barrel National Battle of the Bands

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 $350,000 in scholarships for the participating colleges and universities.

About 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.


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