NQC politics: an update

Insightful reader JB writes with an interesting and plausible theory about Integrity’s absence from the main NQC stage:

I find it interesting that no one has ever mentioned that Kingdom Heirs front-man Steve French is a director on the board of NQC. Now let’s think about this: three of your groups members bolt and start their own quartet across town from your meal ticket [Integrity plays at the Louise Mandrell Theater in Pigeon Forge, TN, the same town where KH’s home base, Dollywood, is located]. I’m guessing he was not very happy about that whole move. Now it’s time for NQC, you happen to be on the board of directors and can say if a group performs on the main stage or not … Hmmmm

If this were any other administrative or executive body, I’d say it was preposterous to suggest that the personal animus of one board member could drive policy in some aspects. But in this case I’m as willing to believe it as I would be disappointed if this is what really happened and no other board members piped up to oppose the move. Still, I’d stress that this is all speculation, however persuasive. David Bruce Murray offers some helpful context to this Integrity fracas. And to be honest, I’m not that worked up about it. Though I’m willing to believe personal beefs were at play in the decision, there’s also plenty of historical context to suggest that the NQC board doesn’t like to put new groups on stage too soon after their debut. And if this is a rule of theirs, it’s certainly not a hard and fast one: SSQ got on stage last year after very little time or experience on the road, certainly no more than Integrity or Mercy’s Mark had by the time this year’s convention rolled around. Nevertheless, IQ and MM both got thirty-minute showcases, which isn’t the equivalent of a main stage performance but it is something. What surprises me more than IQ’s absence from the main stage is that enough fans complained to Claude Hopper to warrant his mentioning it from the stage. Only reinforces my notion that IQ has some kind of semi-culty following of rabidly loyal fans. Do they have kool-aid breaks during every show at the Mandrell Theater (that was a joke, btw, before a slew of IQ fans take umbrage)?

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