WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — For the first time since 1979, Purdue's All-American Marching Band will perform without the World's Largest Drum when the team travels to Notre Dame on Saturday.
The Big Bass Drum, which stands approximately 10 feet tall on its carriage, is too big to fit through Notre Dame Stadium's visiting team tunnel. The Fighting Irish are also refusing to let the marching band use the main tunnel.
"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," said Aaron Yoder, a spokesman for the university's bands and orchestras, to ESPN.com.
"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."
In the past, the drum made the trip to South Bend, Indiana, where Purdue will play No. 12 Notre Dame at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. However, renovations at Notre Dame Stadium in 2017 added a visitor tunnel that now restricts its access to the field.
The World's Largest Drum, which was built in 1921, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The last time the All-American Marching Band performed without the drum was in 1979 after it went missing the night before Purdue played Northwestern.
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