I have decided to start a new series of commentary articles, called “It’s Just My Opinion”! This is my first article, and your feedback is appreciated and welcomed!
I was raised on Southern Gospel Music, I’ve been going to concerts for as long as I can remember. Yet I’m troubled by what I’m seeing as a trend in at least my area. Here in the Metropolitan Detroit area, we are not a mecca of Gospel Music, yet we have had great concerts through the years. The Cathedral Quartet was a mere 5 hours away, in Stow, Ohio, and they would regularly come to our area. Through the years, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, and the Booth Brothers have become some of the most popular artists in our region.
What I have noticed lately is a lack of attendance at many concerts. Now there are a multitude of reasons why attendance is suffering, some answers I don’t have. But because I am a person that trys to think of logical reasons, I put together a list of complaints I hear. In some cases people say they cannot afford to purchase tickets to the concert or fuel to make the trip, and with the economy the way it is, especially here in Michigan, it is understandable. Then there are some flat-out ridiculous excuses like, “Oh, I heard them once 10 years ago” . Then my personal favorite, “I wish you would have this artist for a concert, i would come hear them“.
So I am going to address these things, one at a time.
1. We all understand the hardship of the economy, and how things are complicated by a lack of income. Theres nothing to be embarrassed about, many people find themselves in the same situation. I have told people this, and other promoters I know have as well. If you don’t have the funds, but you want to come, call me and talk to me and we will work something out. I remember Michael Booth telling a story about sneaking in to a church to watch the Cathedrals. He said knowing what he knows now, he would have simply told George or Glen he didn’t have cash for a ticket, and they would have helped him. I have no problem helping someone who truly wants to hear the music. There have been great people who invested in my life to fuel that fire of love for Gospel Music, and I want to do the same for others.
But on the other hand, there are some who complain about the price of tickets, I was told recently “I just can’t justify paying that much money to hear a gospel group“. Ok, point taken, $16 is not free. BUT, the same people who complain about a $16 ticket for a gospel concert have no problem whatsoever going to a sporting event or maybe even a secular concert and paying more than $16 for their ticket, but they also pay for parking, concessions, and other amenities. People spend money on things that they like or that matters to them. If you don’t like Gospel Music, that’s your prerogative, but don’t tell me it’s too much money when you spend double or triple the amount on the entertainment you enjoy!
2. The “Oh I saw them once 10 years ago” excuse drives me insane. I’m glad you saw Greater Vision 10 years ago, but guess what. THINGS CHANGE! They are not the same group they were 10 years ago, they sing different songs, it’s a different experience! I, personally, love the current group, and enjoy them now more than I ever have. Don’t rob yourself of a blessing because you saw a group once in 1997.
3. If i have to book a certain artist to get you in the door, you won’t come, especially if you’re not coming to concerts now! A local pastor I know, who is quite a Southern Gospel fan, has always been vocal about the groups he would like to see in our area, yet when those groups come to sing, he doesn’t support the concerts. Then there are some people I haven’t seen at a concert in a long time, yet I run into them at Tigers games. I value the input of those who love the music, but if you’re not supporting it NOW, you won’t do it later!
My whole point is this, it doesn’t matter who is singing, if you can go, GO! WE NEED TO SUPPORT GOSPEL MUSIC!!! It always bugs me when I hear local gospel groups from my region talk about how they would love to sing for a promoter yet they don’t support that promoters concerts. If prices keep rising yet attendance keeps declining, this music will only be a memory to those of us who love it. Fellow bloggers, this goes for you as well!! Support Gospel Music in your area!!! We need to do everything in our power to promote and preserve this music for future generations, and if we do all do our part, I believe the Lord could do great and mighty things!
Hey, it’s just my opinion!!!