“Got a little story for ya, Ags.”
The year was 1931. A group of cadets was gathered in Peanut Owens’ dorm room in Puryear Hall on the campus of Texas A&M University. Someone suggested the freshmen class should meet on the steps of the YMCA Building at midnight to practice yells. An after-dinner yell practice had been a ritual for nearly 20 years, but never at midnight.
The two senior Yell Leaders said they couldn’t authorize the event, but they might just show up. Word quickly spread, and that evening, Midnight Yell was born. Eventually, the tradition moved to Kyle Field, where it’s held the night before every home game.
The event begins with the Yell Leaders leading the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band into the stadium, as current students, former students and fans pack into the stands. The Yell Leaders help the crowd practice yells, “The Aggie War Hymn” is sung, the cannon is fired and Yell Leaders tell fables about how the Aggies are going to beat their opponent on the field the next day.
While the crowds were small in the 1930s, nowadays more than 25,000 people fill the east grandstands for each Midnight Yell. And thousands more around the world are now able to join the Aggie tradition online through a livestream produced by KAMU.
The first time Midnight Yell made it online was in 2016 – shot by just one iPhone. In 2019, KAMU was brought on to stream the event with multiple, high-definition cameras. A year later, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the livestream was often the only way for students and fans to experience yell, with some practices held in a nearly empty stadium.
Now in 2023, KAMU is proud to return for a fifth year of livestreaming Midnight Yell. The first practice will be Sept. 2 at 12 a.m., ahead of the season-opening game against New Mexico.