Honda Battle of the Bands
The Honda Battle of the Bands (sometimes abbreviated Honda or HBOB) is an annual marching band exhibition which features performances by HBCU bands. Sponsored by Honda, the Invitational Showcase takes place in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia in late January, while the Celebration Tour takes place between the months of August and November at regular season football games, although Honda Battle of the Bands (and its abbreviations) is often intended to refer only to the invitational showcase, which first took place in 2003. Seemingly contradictory to the name, Honda's "battle" is not a competition in the traditional sense; that is, no winner is crowned during the event. Rather, the bands compete for the favor of the audience, each other, and the greater community.
|The fictitious BET Big Southern Classic from the 2002 film Drumline was similar to the HBOB.|
Honda's Celebration Tour takes place annually at HBCU football venues, often universities' campus stadiums. During this tour, fans, as well as university and conference officials, have the opportunity to see a number of bands in action through their field shows, stands performances, and "Fifth Quarter" (post-game performances). For the Invitational Showcase, each year two bands are selected from each of the four HBCU athletic conferences--the CIAA, the MEAC, the SIAC, and the SWAC--and two independent HBCUs. The participating schools are selected by equal parts of the following criteria: Fan voting through an online poll; selections of the commissioners of the four conferences and college presidents; and votes from the band directors. None of the university officials involved in the selection process may vote for their own institution.
Since its inception in 2003, The following colleges have participated in the Honda Invitational Showcase:
- In its inaugural year, Honda did not invite two teams per conference.
- Tennessee State competes in the Ohio Valley Conference, which is not an HBCU conference, and as such is considered an independent.
- hondabattleofthebands.com official web site