The Ohio State University Marching Band will perform at an NFL game next year in London, taking its groundbreaking field performances abroad for the first time.
The marching band will perform a pregame show on Sunday, Oct. 25, at the matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars in Wembley Stadium. It is the second of three games scheduled in London this fall as part of the NFL International Series.
Ohio State’s marching band has traveled across the nation following the Buckeyes, routinely performs at Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns games and has received invitations to international sporting events in the past, but this is the first time the scheduling stars aligned to make travel abroad for the band possible, interim director Christopher Hoch said in the release. The football team is at Rutgers on Oct. 24, a trip the band is not making, allowing it to head overseas for the performance.
“We’re fortunate to have an international reputation thanks to shows that have gone viral on video or received widespread media attention,” Hoch said. “It will be a real thrill to have a chance to perform for the people of London.
“The NFL has requested a London-themed halftime show but left the creative elements up to us. We are planning a very special and exciting performance.”
The performance is a first for the NFL International Series, as well.
“We are very excited to be bringing the Ohio State University to Wembley and can’t wait to see what they have in store for our fans,” said NFLUK Managing Director Alistair Kirkwood. “This will be very different to anything we have done at the International Series games before and we know that the band is planning something spectacular to celebrate and commemorate being in the UK.”
Ohio State's band has become one of the most iconic in the nation, developing halftime shows that have more than 10 million views on YouTube.
“We couldn’t be the world-class band that we’ve become without the tremendous dedication of our student musicians. They work incredibly hard preparing and performing each season, and I’m really pleased that they are being rewarded with this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Hoch said.
“Our shows have been seen online around the world, but to actually perform in person on such a global stage will be the opportunity of a lifetime,” added head drum major Nathan MacMaster. “I can't wait for this amazing opportunity to represent The Ohio State University."
The NFL will cover all of the band’s travel costs for the London trip.
Hoch was named interim director of the band in May as it still sorts through the fallout from last summer's stunning dismissal of director Jon Waters for tolerating a sexualized culture within the band. Waters has sued the school for damages, saying many of its claims are untrue and that he was working to fix a broken and long-held culture.