The SN Concert-list firewall

Reader HP writes to asks:

Since Singing News went to subscription based website, could that be hurting attendance at concerts, since that is making it much more difficult for folks like me to keep track of who is where and when? The last good SG concert info I got was on CCM’s website.

Since I don’t have any clue about the answer to this question, I’ll turn it over to your collective wisdom.  Any SN staffers, promoters, artists or others out there in a position to give anecdotal or other evidence on this question? What about ordinary fans who don’t subscribe to the SN? Consider the floor yours.

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  1. Bones wrote:

    The groups who are singing today,are not as good as they used to be. They do not know who their fans are,they don’t say,hello. If you heard one group you’ve heard them all. That’s why people don’t go. If they wanted to attend they would find a way to know when the singing is.

  2. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Is your brand new washing machine or lawn mower today as good as the older models made years ago?
    You know the answer.
    So I would rather depend a southern gospel music concert than to depend on my brand new lawn mower or washing machine.
    Its all about your focus in life.

  3. Rob wrote:

    I don’t think SN going to website has had anything to do with concert attendance. The print issue still goes out each month and people that subscribe to SN for concert announcements still take the print issue. I believe the biggest issue in attendance has been the econony, too many concerts in the area and too much other stuff for people to do these days. People had rather pay $50.00 for a Country or Gaither Concert than pay $15.00 - $20.00 for a good SG concert.

  4. Tom Kirby wrote:

    Don’t think it has any impact unless the web based edition has later information. The publication requires so much advance notice for a listing that half of the appearances don’t even get listed! I depend on my local radio station and newspapers even though I have been a subscriber since inception. And, as Bones wrote, not only do most - and I only say most - of them sound the same, there are too many groups!!!!!

  5. Brady wrote:

    There are plenty of ways to find out when and where concerts are happening without having to use the tired old excuses of blaming Singing News or the quality of groups today.

    Most groups’ websites are free and have a touring schedule. Go check them out. Many artists also publish free newsletters or weekly emails that include their tour dates. You can also find groups schedules by going to the websites of booking agents, like Harper Agency ( or Beckie Simmons Agency ( or Dominion Agency ( and click on iteneraries or concerts and it will list all the groups these agencies represent and the concert listings for each.

    If a person doesn’t want to jar loose and pay for a subscription to Singing News or their website, there are plenty of other free ways to find out what’s going on in the world of southern gospel music. Those who really want to know where the concert are will find them, instead of just complaining about it.

  6. richard nash wrote:

    As a promoter of Gospel Music, it appears that there is a decline in the true interest of attending gospel sings. We primarily offer FREE ADMISSION sings and don’t charge. We have only had 1 sing where we charged. I too feel like if someone really wants to attend a sing they will find out who is where. On the other hand, I feel like that SN should make it available to everyone where the singing groups will be.

  7. cdguy wrote:

    If we think the groups are not as good as they used to be, maybe it’s US, not the groups. Will there ever be another Statesmen Quartet? or Cathedrals? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean there are no groups out there as good as the ones we listened to when we first fell in love with this music.

    There are a LOT of great groups out there. You may just have to dig a little deeper to find them.

    Also, are you as good looking as you used to be? As fit and trim as you used to be? As in love with your wife as you were when you first got married?

  8. Art wrote:

    Some groups know their fans base and who they are targeting…..those are the ones that are at the top of their game, selling out large venues, producing fresh sounds and videos that rival those in other genres. You know who they are…..

  9. Jake wrote:

    Many if not all of the “bigger name” groups have websites, and you can sign up to receive periodic e-mail updates. Often these include their itinerary for the upcoming period of time.

  10. Just Me wrote:

    Ever notice, today more than ever before, if there’s a noticeable decline in attention toward anything, people start pointing fingers at the wrong answer. The SN has nothing to do with the decline of attendance of SG concerts. As with anything else, people are expecting more for their money. SG music is declining in quality and even love offering concerts are not worth the time and effort to go. You get what you pay for and most all gospel concerts are now nothing but bad gospel karaoke. And every day there’s 10 more new groups of “nobodys” who believe and act as if they are the next Statesmen, Cathedrals or Happy Goodman Family.

    So keep pointing fingers, keep explaining it away and keep passing blame. Till there is someone who looks in the mirror and starts fixing themselves instead of “passing the buck” to someone else, it will continue the downhill slide. And we all know whats at the bottom.

  11. Gayla Fooks wrote:

    You can also visit
    Most of the “big name groups” as well as many others list their schedules on this one central site. You can also enter your zip code to find concerts in your area.


  12. Lovelife wrote:

    #7, cdguy; I agree with your post, however, my response to your last line….My husband loves me more today than he did when we got married. I know what you are saying, I just thought it was kinda funny.
    I get really tired of people saying there’s too many groups, too many singers, they’re not as good… blah, blah, blah. So who do we knock off the stage first and who is in charge of determining who stays and who leaves??? This really drives me crazy. I’m going to a singing Friday night and I’m so thankful there is one close to me. They are not my favorite group, but, that’s what makes it so great. Different groups, different strokes for different folks. I love SG music and how it speaks to my heart and soul.

  13. Jes wrote:

    Brady has it right. The info is out there and in abundance to those who want to find it… especially, if you are seeking out an individual group. However, for the older generation, I assume it is slightly more difficult to scour the web for dates. I assume again that most people want to plug in their zip-code to discover what concerts are in their area or nominal driving distance, with little to no regard of what group is performing. I don’t blame the SN for going forward with the subscription based website/edition. Who doesn’t want to make a buck off of their info/service?

  14. Ted Watson wrote:

    If you’re looking for a ‘master calendar’ of events in your area, sign up with (I’m not affiliated with them.) Artists sign up with them (free) and load their calendar info. Fans sign up (free) and get weekly updates of events in their area. It think it’s a great service that deserves our support!

  15. CVH wrote:

    This may be a tangent to the conversation but since several people have mentioned various groups’ websites and email updates, I have to say I have been very impressed with the weekly email updates sent out by Gerald Wolfe and Greater Vision. Not only is the design clean and fresh every week, the content is updated and there are always concert listings with links to the venues, promotional mentions and a personal thought from Gerald. I think they do an excellent job utilizing the technology to stay in touch, building a community of fans and their brand at the same time.

  16. shanjenkins wrote:

    The fact that the SN has made the concert listing a subscription-only service has definitely limited my attendance at concerts. I agree that you can go the website of an artist and find out where they are appearing for free, but I tend to only visit the websites of my favorite artists. What was so great about having access to the SN lists of dates was that I could look every weekend to see who would be appearing within driving distance of my home. I have attended many concerts of artists that I probably never would have seen had the listings not been so convenient. Now, I pretty much only go to the concerts of my favorites. I stopped subscribing to the SN several years ago because the content just became really dull, and boring to me. Not gonna waste my money on a tired, old magazine. Just my opinion.

  17. Larry Boyd wrote:

    I for one liked the query capabilities the SN website offered but don’t care to fork over the $$. Are there any other sites where you can perform similar searches? To me a consolidated query/portal is better than searching a number of other sites.

  18. Extra Ink wrote:

    I, for one, get really tired every time I go over to the Singing News website and want to look at a particular page of having to go get my magazine from last month and type in my subscription number. I click on the “Remember My Number” button every time I type it in, then the next time I want to look at the Top 80 chart or whatever, I have to go find my magazine again because the website didn’t remember my number! Give me a break. What’s the big deal with making the site accessible?

  19. quartet-man wrote:

    #18 the same thing happens to me. At first I thought it might be getting removed by a cleanup program I sometime use. Now I am not so sure,

  20. RDB wrote:

    I’ve never used SN to find concert info. I either check websites of artists I’m interested in or perhaps if a concert is promoted well enough I’ll hear about it locally. The internet has made the SN list more or less obsolete, since the same information is available in so many other places. Another place to check is websites of agencies representing multiple (mostly) quality artists, such as Harper Agency. Of course, that won’t find you the good independent group, but chances are they’re smart enough to open up concerts for groups that already have a following.

  21. Stac wrote:

    I’m just wondering if the folks talking about forking over cash for SN supscription know that you can join internet only for $15? That’s $1.25 a month, you have no excuse to miss out on anything.

  22. HP wrote:

    Interesting takes. #16 is in line with what I’m thinking. I used to check the SN website just to see if anybody was around. I have my favorite groups that I check their website, but there are probably a lot of groups around on a Sunday night that I never hear about cause I’ve never heard of them. I’ll have to bookmark the gospelgigs website. To grow any industry, availability is crucial. Many comments about the people that really want to come will find out about the concerts…… What about the casual fans? Don’t they count? I guess no groups really want their money?

  23. Aaron Swain wrote:

    For those who live in the state of VA, we have a full schedule of concerts throughout the state at

    We strive to keep the site as current as possible to make sure you have an opportunity to know when artists will appear in VA.

  24. Spencer Morgan wrote:

    If we get rid of the con men in gospel singing maybe some people would attend more. I have a website coming soon detailing one such con man promoting gospel music. It is sickening the things that people do when professing to be a Christian.

  25. scope wrote:

    Seems to me that the people who want everything free on the internet are the same people who think putting a dollar in the plate constitutes a “love offering.” Why do so many think they are entitled to something for nothing?

  26. Sally Hart wrote:

    Perhaps at some point I clicked the “remember me” button, but I don’t see where it says I am signed in, and I am looking at all the concerts. I even see a section where you can look by state. ?????
    I’m not real computer literate, but I know I didn’t sign in just now.

  27. Blackstone wrote:

    If a group is good, it will survive. They may have to shorten transportation a bit, the the “cream” will rise to the top. Those groups who aren’t as good, sing locally parttime until you can afford the big bus.
    RE: Singing News, this magazine is put together two months ahead so cannot include the latest bookings.

  28. David Morris wrote:

    No. 25 hit the nail squarely on the head. Those that find if beneath them to pay the $10 to $15 to subscribe to the SN or the site are the same ones who watch the plate pass at a “love offering” concert. I go to sings at a church locally almost every Saturday night. The pastor of the church is always poking other promoters by saying “You could have gone over to Tampa or where ever and paid $35 for a Gaither concert, but we don’t charge” When the buckets come around I watch people put in a quarter or a dollar or make change. My rule of thumb is to put in what a ticket to a concert would have probably cost, usually around $15. It just amazes me that people want it all for free because it is ministry. Buy the subscription, you will know where the groups are and you may learn something in the process.

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