I’ve been traveling through most of the latest NQC developments, which means that much of the time I’ve had one eye on the computer and the other on the roadmap. At any rate, and perhaps needless to say given the boneheadedness of my remarks in the post below on the issue, I hadn’t looked closely at the new line-ups for NQC 08 until just now.
First, I’d note that David Bruce Murray HAS looked closely and has generated copious analysis of the mainstage schedule, complete with a legend and statistical summaries and everything. My reaction won’t be nearly as systematic or thoughtful and will be (shocking news this morning!) much shorter.
In general, the line-ups look much, much stronger for Thursday-Saturday, which (to be perfectly honest) is all I really care about. The only real puzzlers to me are the Pfeifers and the Skyline Boys (which isn’t to say they’re the only groups whose stands will find me doing something outside the main hall). But whatever. There’ll always be Ehrlers.
There are still some dead spots, naturally, but unlike recently, these are mostly isolated on either side by more or less bankable talent (and thank you thank you to whoever decided to put Mark Lowry and LS in the middle of the Saturday night line-up so those of us who are exhausted by that point can hear ML/LS without having to sit through every last other act on the bill). On the whole and purely in the abstract, this all looks quite well done.
I said something like this to a friend of mine in email late last night and she replied, “yeah, as deck-chair shuffling goes, it’s impressive.” Indeed, for those who see NQC as needing a more fundamental re-imagining, this will be probably seem like so many half-measures. The jury is (and will probably stay) out on this one for a while, but in the meantime, I wonder: how much of an effect will these recent changes collectively have on bottom-line ticket sales? I guess the answer depends in part on just how and where NQC is losing most of its customers: are people who used to stay the whole week leaving early? Or are people who used to show up only on weekends staying home entirely? Or both? Or something else? As per usual, I’m actually asking.
Update: David Bruce Murray has some details on showcase ticket pricing for NQC 08. He also has more details about the GVB/EHSSQ arrangement, including Clarke Beasley hinting that GVB’s and EHSSQ’s mainstage appearances won’t last more than 20-25 minutes. I gotta say, this seems like a strange place for an aristocracy like NQC to suddenly discover democracy. DBM is right: for every person who comes to NQC just to hear the Dixie Melody Boys sing forgettable songs with tracks that sound like they’re being spooled off a used cassette tape, there are a bunch more who come to see the proven best-sellers, and in this case, that’s Lowry and Gaither and EHSSQ. Let the clock run.Email this Post