Originating as an idea borrowed from a fundraising tradition between the Madison Scouts and Boston Crusaders, the Backyard Brawl had previously seen success in its early years, netting substantial amounts for each participating corps. However, like any great competition, it experienced its highs and lows, evolving over time to adapt to changing circumstances and priorities within the drum corps community.

After a hiatus, the Backyard Brawl returned in 2024 with a fresh format and renewed vigor. This time, it took place in April, kicking off with a lighthearted joint April Fool’s prank that set the tone for the friendly yet fiercely competitive atmosphere to come. The Cavaliers and Phantom Regiment collaborated closely to craft a challenge that would engage their respective fan bases while staying true to the spirit of the rivalry that defined their relationship.

From the outset, both corps threw themselves into the competition with gusto. The Cavaliers surged ahead early on, establishing a commanding lead that seemed insurmountable. Yet, Phantom Regiment refused to back down, rallying their supporters and mounting a comeback that kept fans on the edge of their seats until the very end.

In a thrilling conclusion to the month-long competition, the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau made a surprise appearance, delivering a game-changing check for that propelled Phantom Regiment to victory by a margin of mere dollars. The announcement was made in a joint livestream from the corps’ April camp training sites, underscoring the sense of camaraderie and mutual respect that existed between the two rivals.

The final tally revealed an astonishing total of $87,729.20 raised by the dedicated fan bases of The Cavaliers and Phantom Regiment. This remarkable achievement not only demonstrated the generosity and passion of drum corps fans but also highlighted the importance of community support in sustaining the missions of these cherished organizations.

In addition to the fundraising success, the Backyard Brawl also gave rise to the SPLUTA Collection, a collaborative effort between The Cavaliers and Phantom Regiment that captured the essence of their shared rivalry. Proceeds from the SPLUTA Collection funded the Backyard Brawl Championship Belt and the oversized checks presented during the winner’s announcement, with any surplus being evenly distributed between the two corps.

As the dust settles on another thrilling chapter in the storied rivalry between The Cavaliers and Phantom Regiment, one thing remains abundantly clear: the Backyard Brawl is more than just a competition—it’s a celebration of tradition, friendship, and the unwavering spirit of the drum corps community. Here’s to many more years of friendly rivalry and shared success in the years to come.

PR staff celebrate with the Backyard Brawl Championship Belt