Why Purdue’s band will be without ‘The World’s Largest Drum’ vs. Notre Dame

Written by on September 17, 2021

For the first time since 1979, Purdue’s All-American Band will be without “The World’s Largest Drum” for their halftime performance. The drum is simply too big to fit into Notre Dame Stadium. According to Purdue, the drum would fit if the band was allowed to use the home team’s tunnel, but that isn’t going to happen.

“According to a communication from the University of Notre Dame, our Band will not be permitted to take the World’s Largest Drum through their tunnel and onto the football field for this Saturday’s game,” Purdue spokesperson Aaron Yoder told ESPN. “Notre Dame Athletics has restricted use of their main tunnel to their own football team and band, which is the only entrance large enough for the Drum.

“We have been told that visiting teams and bands have to use a separate tunnel that is much smaller. Our Drum is about 10 feet tall on its carriage and 565 pounds so it doesn’t even come close to fitting in this other tunnel.”

Purdue’s band has performed with the drum at away games at Notre Dame Stadium in the past. However, Notre Dame Stadium renovations dating back to 2017 included adding a visitor’s tunnel. That tunnel, which did not exist the last time Purdue played at the stadium (in the 2012 season), cannot fit Purdue’s drum.

According to the school, “The World’s Largest Drum” is estimated to be around 10 feet tall and weigh 565 pounds. The drum was originally constructed in 1921 and will turn 100 years old this season. 

The last time Purdue’s band didn’t have the drum for a performance during a football game was back in 1979 when they played Northwestern. That time, the drum went missing from storage the night before the game. 

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