Legacy Five in PA

Either the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette knows something we don’t or those folks in PA are going to be in for a surprise when L5 takes the stage there:

Legacy Five, a Southern gospel band, will play at 7:30 pm tomorrow at Northgate Church, 238 West View Ave. Tickets are $12

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  1. Chrystal wrote:

    This may be completely off topic, but I just have to say it. It really bothers me that people are being charged admission to get into this church to hear this group. If it were in a convention center, I could kinda understand that a little bit more, even though I really don’t like that either…but a church? Since when should anyone have to pay to be admitted to a church, regardless of who is appearing there?

    What’s my beef with it? Well, people are being charged to get through the church door! What happens when a poor family, or someone in a financial crisis shows up at this church, and they can’t afford to get in? This is one time that they are not financially able to be ministered to. You may say, well, this is different…it’s a gospel music concert. Hmmmm. Really? Many would argue that it’s another form of ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ, only they’re doing it through song. I guess this would be one night that I would not be able to afford to be ministered to either, because I’m in a financial crisis right now myself.

    Doing things like this bothers me.

  2. Will wrote:

    I have an idea; let’s do nothing but free concerts. Also, let’s have all radio stations have free advertising and XM needs to be free because they play gospel music. Here’s something else, why charge for music. CD’s should be free.

    I’m sorry if this sounds mean spirited, I really don’t mean to sound like that. If it is a worship service then yes, it should be free. But, you can’t expect performers, musicians, stage hands and webmasters to make nothing off their efforts, time and talent.

    I hear the other side, “well churches should eat the cost.” Really? Does the average fan know what it costs to run a quality show? A good website? Does the average SG fan know how much money it takes to run a radio station?

    I agree, the Gospel must be free to all but, the music, the entertainment aspect of it, should cost. I work part time as a preacher and part time in radio. If you know anything about either one then you know I make a next to nothing salary. But, if I want to hear L5 in a concert setting I would drop 12 bucks and not whine a bit.

    We can’t all be “tent makers”. These men and women are on the road up to 300 days a year. I know they are living their lives for Christ but I know people belly aching about the cost of concerts (or, even having to pay for tickets) and the cost of music (or, even having to pay for CD’s) is driving a lot of good people out of the BUSINESS. Guess what? It is a business, whether you want it to be or not. I know the next response, “well you are not doing it for the glory of God.” Wanna bet? Why else would I get up at 5 am on Saturday morning and go to a radio station until 2pm? It’s not the check. When I was working at a top 3 rated country station in a top 50 market, then yes, I was doing it for the money. But, even now, I do need to feed my family.

    I know my comment’s will be looked at as mean spirited by some and for that I’m sorry. But, I know that these are the thoughts of a lot of people in the BUSINESS, even though for fear of persecution, they can’t say it. I know, I’ve been told by a lot of them (people in the BUSINESS).

  3. Chrystal wrote:

    I see where you’re coming from, and can see that you’re passionate about your point of view. Please understand where I’m coming from as well…

    In the 8th chapter of Luke, it mentions how Jesus and His disciples were traveling from one city to another proclaiming and preaching the Kingdom of God, and they were being accompanied by folks who were contributing to the support of His ministry out of their private means. I am NOT one of those who believes that singers and ministers can not and should not be supported. This is a real touchy subject, and I understand that. I understand how performers feel, but please understand how the poor among you feel as well. I am one of them.

    I know it’s only $12, but it happens to be $12 that I don’t have right now. What about those of us who want to be included, but can’t afford it? Are we to be left standing outside, unallowed to gain entrance unless we pay? This is one sticky point that bothers me. Thank God that Jesus and His disciples found another way to cover their costs without charging people admission to hear Him. Otherwise, many would be exempt from hearing the Word of God, or being ministered to.

    If I want a CD or DVD, I expect to pay the cost for that, and never at any time did I say otherwise. Nor did I even hint that advertisement on radio stations should be free. All the christian radio stations in my area are listener supported, much as Jesus’s ministry was. But I know that is only possible because I live in the belt buckle of the Bible belt where there is a large Christian audience. That is not possible everywhere, therefore, advertisement is necessary to cover the station’s costs. You won’t get an argument out of me on that subject either!

    It would be better to have financially supported ministries so no one will be kept out at the door because they can’t afford to pay. The followers of Jesus knew that preaching the gospel required support, and they paid gladly because they loved Him, and so that the gospel of the Kingdom could be spread abroad; and in so doing, the poor and lost among them were able to hear the word. When Jesus told the twelve not to take scrip in their purses, He was telling them not to charge anyone for their preaching. However, never did He say that it was wrong to have people financially support their ministries, there’s a big difference. But then again, even that is abused in the church today. But, that is another debate. :-D

    We can agree to disagree. That’s okay.

  4. Tom wrote:

    If more sg fans were willing to pay $25 to $30 a ticket in order to see L5 (and other groups), instead of whining about how they should get their entertainment for free because they’re Christians, then maybe they could be entertained with the full band that was advertised instead of having to endure stracks . . . .

    Someone should have suggested to Mel Gibson that people should be admitted for free to see Passion of the Christ. I’m sure that all sides of the entertainment industry, including music and film, are willing to examine new economic models.

  5. Will wrote:

    I will say this; I have never heard anyone told to stand outside of a church building because they couldn’t afford to get into a singing of any kind. Note; I said a church. But to say someone is left out of the L5 concert because they can’t afford the ticket is unfortunate but, I have heard no one ever complain when they don’t have $15 to see Olsteen or $17 to see Mercy Me.

    What got me was your quote, “What’s my beef with it? Well, people are being charged to get through the church door!” That’s putting an over emphasis on the building. The church is the people and not the location. But, with that said and like I said previously, I’ve never seen anyone ever left outside of a church building who couldn’t afford to get in to see an SG concert.

    I understand you didn’t include CD’s or radio but, that is the natural progression of the argument.

    I agree to disagree.

    As for Tom, ditto friend. Look at Gaither, the success of the videos, tour and even now EHSSQ is the money he is putting in to his product. I know I made a lot of people cringe when I said “his product” but it is his livelihood… and he is very good at it.

    As the business model suggest, you have to spend money to make money. Does this say we should or are doing our jobs for profit? No, Heaven forbid. I truly hope it’s to the glory of God.

    My whole point is that if we expect the quality of music in SG to grow, we need to support it better. I’m glad the passion came through the post because I truly love the SG industry.

  6. Chrystal wrote:

    Tom,

    Whining??? So, poor Christians who can’t afford ticket prices are just WHINING when they say they can’t afford a ticket? You think folks like me expect to get ENTERTAINMENT for free just because we’re Christians? That is extremely presumptuous of you. You make it sound like the less fortunate among us are just sniveling babies who are expecting a handout. Thanks a lot.

    Will,

    Thank you for the civil reply. You said something I want to address just briefly. You said that you never saw anyone left standing outside. I agree with that. It’s because those of us who can’t afford it just stay home.

  7. Chrystal wrote:

    Oh, and I just want to add that I understand people feel differently about this subject. I honestly think that folks who are on the other side of the argument are NOT motivated out of greed, and most truly want to glorify the Lord in what they do. Good intentions all the way.

    I just wanted to make sure that I made that clear.

  8. Lacey wrote:

    May I insert a comment before there is bloodshed? If you will notice this concert was on a Friday night. I personally have no problem with a ticketed concert at a church on any day except Sunday. Why? Because Sunday is a day when ANYONE who happens to be passing by might decide to go to church and I think it would send the wrong message for them to be greeted at the door by someone asking for money to get in the building. If a singing group wasn’t there, at most churches it would be a regular church service and I don’t think that should be forgotten when planning a concert on a Sunday. Any other night however, it’s just a building. Just like when there is a wedding, doesn’t the preacher get paid and sometimes the building get rented?
    On a side note, if we should go by how Jesus did things in the Bible, didn’t He kick the people who bought and sold things out of the temple? Does that mean that the product table shouldn’t be set up? Ummmm… Talk about opening a can of worms!
    I have been on several sides of the money issue. I’ve been the one telling a promoter that I would make up the difference if the love offering wasn’t enough to cover a group’s flat. I’ve sat in a concert with nothing to put in or stayed home because I couldn’t afford the ticket price. And I’ve also been the singer that only got paid with a plate of food at a homecoming or a tape from the pastor’s singing group! So I understand the frustration fueling this debate. However, I do have sort of a problem with the attitude that it should be everyone’s RIGHT to go to a free gospel concert. Perhaps in a perfect world that would be true but I just don’t see it being possible. It is also, to me, kind of an insult to the many groups who would make sure that everyone did get into the concert whether they could pay or not and even go so far as to give them CD’s. Just my thoughts at this time of night.

  9. Richard wrote:

    Crystal,

    I could be wrong, but I honestly think that if you showed up at the church concert and told anyone there that you’d like to attend but couldnt afford a ticket, I almost assure you that you will be admitted for free. Either someone would gladly take care of your ticket or they wouldnt worry about charging.
    I understand that your pride may permit you to ask, but it is indeed an option, that I really feel would make a difference.. I have promoted several concerts in auditoriums, and HAVE had on occassion an elderly person who wanted to attend but was on a low fixed income, and I gladly let her in.

    just a thought

  10. anonymous wrote:

    Chrystal”
    I agree with everything you have said. We have a small church and once a year my husband and I want to have a “professional” group come for our homecoming. Our church pays a very small portion and my husband and I put money back all year to cover the rest of the cost just so we can offer a free concert. I don’t think you or anyone else is whining when we say “we can’t afford” a $12 ticket. I am thankful when there are free or freewill offering concerts. That allows you to go and then have a little extra to purchase their product. Several yrs. ago we would have The Cathedrals once a yr. and we had to worry about selling tickets and advertising, and sponsors. When your name is on the dotted line and you are the guarantor, it is different. I love SG music and I am thankful for those who travel and spread the word. There’s nothing like it. As for Gaither, my opinion is that his ticket price is outragious, but, his whole “business” is another story in itself.

  11. Scott wrote:

    I would like to point out a few things about this, the first being that if this concert were being held anywhere other than a church the cost would most likely be even higher per ticket…which would mean even less people could afford to come. Renting a “civic center” or other public building, paying the insurance, paying for security (a requirement for almost any building owned by any government entity or public building) would greatly increase the cost of hosting a concert. Most church’s either don’t charge to host a concert, or only charge a “cleanup fee”.

    Chrystal’s reference to the story in Luke is fine, but we are really talking about very different situations. Jesus’ ministry in this case was a very local one, only going so far as they could travel on foot or by donkey. Jesus and most of the disicples also don’t appear to have been married with kids to support financially either. On the other hand, these full time groups are usually the main income for at least 5 families (the house payment, car payment, insurance, food, gas, utilities..all the things we all have to pay for), plus they have to have pay their office personnel, the record company they are with gets their cut of sales, the booking agents get a percentage of each concert and radio promoters have to be paid to promote the music we all love to radio…none of this is to mention expenses such as the bus payment, bus insurance, gas for the bus, bus maintanance and repairs, clothing for the group so they can all dress alike in suits like most people want them too…etc..plus another expense for the promoter of each concert is advertising the concert so fans know about it. There is a lot of cost involved for the group and the promoter as well.
    And the sad truth is, most Christians do not “give” to support SG groups or concerts. We have put on many SG concerts in our area, and we tried doing love offerings for concerts. You know what the average came down to when we divided the amount of people at the concerts by the amount of offering recieved? Less than TWO DOLLARS per person!! Some people would give $5, $10, and a few maybe even $20…but most would only throw in a dollar or the change in their pocket…and almost as many gave nothing. In all of the concerts we have done over the last 10 years there have only been 2 concerts that we didn’t lose money on as promoters. And all of these concerts were “successes” as far as attendance and how the people reacted. The same person that didn’t put a dime in the offering would come up afterwards and say how much they enjoyed the concert and couldn’t wait for “so&so” to come back. A BIG reason so many people have left the industry over the last few years is there isn’t the financial support needed from the “fans”. These singers are giving up practically every Wednesday night thru Sunday night with their families to travel and sing for the fans…and the financial support is so bad almost every SG singer and musician HAS to do some work on the side Monday thru Wednesday to make enough extra money for their family to survive. Have you seen the “At Home With” features in the SN magazine? Even members of most of the “top” groups in SG live in homes that are middle to lower-middle class, they are struggling just like you and me to survive.

    Lastly, and I’m not saying this is the case specifically with Chrystal, there is an attitude in many Americans that we “should be able to do it all”. That it’s “not right” if we can’t afford to do something because of the cost. That’s reality, that’s life. We have to pick and choose what we want to spend our money on. I know people who complain of not having enough money to go to a concert, yet they spend hundreds of dollars a month on their cigarettes! Personally I’ve worked in the ministry for 13 years, and my income is so low that my family qualifies for the state supplimented child health care. It’s a good thing, because we couldn’t afford health insurance otherwise. Yeah, that’s another expense for SG singers and groups too…they don’t get Health Insurance benefits, a retirement plan or 401K either.
    Sorry this is so long…it’s just a very personal point, and I don’t think most people have ANY idea what a sacrifice MOST of the people in this Industry are making to do this. From the radio station dj’s to the concert promoters to the singers…we could all be making MUCH more money doing something else.
    But here we are…please pray for us, and if you love this music, please support it financially.
    Thank you!

  12. Will wrote:

    Chrystal,

    One last thought, it’s not that people that couldn’t afford to get in the building just didn’t show up. I have seen a ton… well, atleast a couple of hundred people get in to concerts after concacting the Pastor and explaining what their problem was. In one instance not only a pastor got the family in, he got the family in for free and had a private sit down with the group before the show. It happens all the time in SG it’s one of the reasons I love SG.

  13. Lacey wrote:

    Well said Scott. Thank you for expressing it even better than I could. If every fan really stopped and thought about all the cost of being out on the road and putting on concerts, I would hope they would be a little more thankful for the sacrifice made by many artist and more understanding of the costs.

  14. stella cope wrote:

    My daughter and her husband sing in a southern gospel group, which because of what I have to say, will remain anonymous. Their group is fairly successful in industry terms; they have sung on the main stage at NQC, have been nominated for various awards, their projects have been received positive reviews. Yet, despite their sucesses, they have gone out on many weekends where they have actually lost money. The fuel and other expenses have been more than they have made in “love offerings.” Many weeks where they would have been better off just staying home. Obviously they believe they have been called by God to minister in song; otherwise they wouldn’t have two mortgages and other debts just trying to keep the group afloat. My question to Crystal and others of her thinking is, If they can’t sell tickets at a church venue, and the average love offering is between $2-$3 per person, just how are they supposed to make a living? Just who are the people you say should be supporting them, and how do we find them?

  15. Chrystal wrote:

    So many say they are called by God to minister in song, but then cry that they can’t make it financially. Sends out so many mixed signals.

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