200*

*Updated with corrected numbers.

That’s how many people I guesstimated to have been at the MTQ, Ivan Parker, Perrys concert I attended last night. It was a Bill Bailey event, one he’s done annually here for 15 or 20 years. A few commenters have expressed dismay about the attendance figure, and I could be off by 50 or 75 people, I’d think. But my hunch says it was closer to 200 than 300 and that maybe that’s being generous. [Update: the exacter number was 330 in the house, as per the concert promoter.] But someone please correct me if you have better numbers. Certainly the parking lot was full of empty spots near the building and I came late (incidentally, I saw at least three license plates from Ontario on my way in). Even Bailey commented from the stage on the numbers being down.

Instead of a ticket price, there was a suggested “donation” of $10 a head and big tub for donating sitting on a small table inside the door. Between Parker and the Perrys, Bailey took to the stage to explain that the $10 “donation” was to help cover the artists’ flats. Then he told a long story about the life-changing effects of gospel music and passed the plate buckets around to cover, as he also explained, his own overhead (a little later, Tracey Stuffle made a joke from the stage that likened the cost of bus fuel to fueling a space ship; cost containment is clearly on everyone’s mind). Maybe this donation-and-bucket approach works better than just charging $15 at the door, but for my part, I certainly would’ve paid $20 for a ticket to spare us all the bucket-passing hard sell.

Anyway, a few of you have suggested in email that, as one reader put it, “somebody lost a ton of money last night.”  That same reader went on to say:

What a shame; it costs the artist a ton to drive that far south in their big buses.  Three weeks ago I went to a GV/L5/BB Jubilee concert; showed up 30 minutes before it started and bought the last remaining tickets. It was completely sold out with 2,100 in Lancaster, PA.  I was shocked.

Southwest Florida is a strange place.  This time of year it’s basically the little Midwest and southern Canada. But the snowbird demographic cuts across a pretty diverse range of suburban cultures in the Southern Uplands, Midwest and Great Lakes states. Moreover, getting the word out around here has got to be tough, since the idea of a “home” church isn’t as stable here for devout snowbirds as it is “back home” and “up north.” I did see a blurb in the paper the weekend before the concert, and there was a photo spread from the concert in the local section this morning (suggesting Bailey has the local media’s attention). But obviously this kind of exposure had limited effect for whatever reason.

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Comments

  1. Tjeerd wrote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slOyyf8-UPg

    No doubt, Bill Baily takes a bath at some of these concerts. All I can say is GOD BLESS THIS MAN.
    This seems to be a labour (Canadian spelling) of love. He has done an enormous service to the music we love.
    Three years ago New Years Eve I dragged my reluctant family from our rented condo at Isla Del Sol (St. Petes Fl,) and went to the Happy Gospel Center and attended a Bill Baily New Years eve concert featuring the Perry’s and the Brown’s. You Tube clip above.
    The church was packed, we were late and sat at the very front. I believe it was a 5 dollar a head plus love offering.
    I paned the audience, as you can see it was snow bird.

  2. Bill Bailey wrote:

    Actually 308 paid with approximately 330 in the house.

  3. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    Honestly, as we were watching the bowl games, we wonder how Bill Bailey would be doing at his concert last Saturday.
    Maybe “live” bowl games in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville plus Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl on Saturday all on TV free for the asking!
    Free makes it alot easier decision to make decision in these days of a tough economy.
    Another factor to consider is the fact that some people from Florida went up to Nashville for a southern gospel celebration this past weekend. Most of those is art of Bill Bailey’s base.

    Outback
    Florida 37, Penn State 24 Tampa, Fla.
    Raymond James Stadium Jan. 1
    1 p.m. ABC Capital One
    Alabama 49, Michigan State 7 Orlando, Fla.
    Florida Citrus Bowl Jan. 1
    1 p.m. ESPN
    ESPN3.com Progressive Gator Bowl
    Mississippi State 52, Michigan 14 Jacksonville, Fla.
    EverBank Field Jan. 1
    1:30 p.m. ESPN2
    ESPN3.com Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO
    TCU 21, Wisconsin 19 Pasadena, Calif.
    Rose Bowl Jan. 1
    5 p.m. ESPN
    ESPN3.com Tostitos Fiesta
    Oklahoma 48, Connecticut 20 Glendale, Ariz.
    U. of Phoenix Stadium Jan. 1
    8:30 p.m. ESPN/ESPN3D
    ESPN3.com Discover Orange
    Stanford vs. Virginia Tech Miami
    Sun Life Stadium Jan. 3
    8:30 p.m. ESPN
    ESPN3.com

  4. Guymiddle wrote:

    My personal preference is to pay a full ticket price ($15-$20+) and not have to hear the love offering speech. It especially bothers me when the performers get in on it. Maybe the $10 donation at the door is a way to increase attendance.

    I have been to many of Bill Bailey’s concerts and really appreciate what he does for SG music. The economy combined with the snowbirds on a budget must make it very difficult.

  5. NG wrote:

    Bill Bailey: Just currious but how do you determine that 308 paid (and about 22 didn’t) when donations are put in a big tub. Does someone count those making a donation? If so, mwhat if one person makes a donation for a couple or family?

    It’s great you promote so many SGM concerts but do you mind saying why you chose to ask for donations rather than sell tickets. Thanks.

  6. Kevin Womble wrote:

    The problem is everyone complains but no one takes action. For those of you who don’t want the hard sell or to hear the speech, what exactly did you put in the bucket? I hope it was at least $15 to $20 since everyone appears willing to pay that for a ticket. If you want to stop the hard sell then you need to put your money where your mouth is. I’m just sayin’.

  7. Me wrote:

    I agree with Kevin. I also think Mr. Bailey is extremely generous to open it up for a love offering/donation. The SG world should be glowing in this gesture of generosity.

    Mr. Bailey, thank-you, keep doing what you are doing.

  8. Bill Bailey wrote:

    Although there is a “tub” at the entrance, there is an attendant who is there to receive the donation and to make change. We also have Booster Club members who are not expected to pay the suggested donation because admission is included in their Booster Club membership. (Many of our Booster Club members give generously in the offerings and throughout the year to support our ministry.) This accounts for the extra number of people who may not have been paid. We also use the term “requested” in our advertisements. There is normally a few who may come in that do not give the full suggested amount (i.e. a family with children, etc).

    We do sell tickets at our major events such as the 2011 Winter Convention, Waldo Jubilees, Bean Blossom, etc. However, most of our one-night events are easier to manage on the door donation / love offering basis. It makes the event more affordable for people to come, and I have a personal conviction of not turning anyone away at the door because of money. There are also tax implications and legal issues regarding selling a hard ticket. We are very conscious of this, being a non-profit.

    From a strategy standpoint, many of our one-night concerts are held in areas where there are plenty of “love offering” concerts (Bible belt). Our format gives us a somewhat “middle ground” to compete in this environment. Between the door donation and the love offering, we are able to get close to what the actual ticket price would have been, and therefore hopefully meet the budget.

    This is not a new concept. The most successful concert tour in contemporary Christian music, “Winter Jam” and “Summer Jam”, use this format. I first learned of it from the group, “Truth”, who were using it in churches during the 80’s.

    2011 is our 25th anniversary promoting concerts. Our concert promotions has always been a “donor-based” ministry. I have nothing against my concert promoter friends who operate as a “for profit” business. (Believe me, there isn’t much “profit”, regardless!) This is just the direction that we felt led to take. God has been faithful to provide us with many friends along the way who have believed in what we do, and been generous enough to support it. Their generosity and God’s faithfulness have allowed many people the opportunity to hear the music (and most importantly, the Message) that might otherwise not have heard. To them I say “thank you”, and to God be the Glory.

  9. art wrote:

    #8 - Thanks for taking the time to explain this stuff. Best of luck.

  10. NG wrote:

    Bill: Thank you for your prompt detailed response to my questions in #5. Most appreciated by a potential snowbird.

  11. Shirley Rowsey wrote:

    I really appreciate the honesty in the reviews and other issues of the host of this website. Mostly we have watered-down descriptions of projects that have been called a review, but are not, in other publications, on websites, etc. I would just like to say in defense of Ivan Parker that we all know that he has been and IS an incredible singer. He happens to obviously be experiencing some vocal issues. I’m sure that he would love to take some time off to heal and come back full force but I’m also sure in an industry as small as southern gospel in an economy that is friendly to no one, it is just not possible. I hope a doctor can help him because he is still a gift to the industry and in my encounters with him at concerts, a true gentleman. As for poor crowds and love-offering vs. ticketed concerts….we would have to learn in this industry how to present programs that are worthy of a crowd sitting through and paying to see. The day of the traditional “gospel sing” is over, I believe. There are far too many entertainment options for Christians that are done with excellence. When we realize what we’re doing isn’t working, stop allowing a few geriatrics to run the thing while only considering their own group, and try to expand the audience with this music that is worthy of the masses, we will get better. I understand some of it is garbage, but there is garbage in every genre, including ours. If it’s worth coming to see and promoted even half way properly, people will come to see it.

  12. Gary Cooper wrote:

    In October 2009 my wife and I were visiting family in KY and happened upon a concert with Jeff and Sheri Easter at a church in Nortonville, KY. It was being done on a love offering basis with no ticket required. Just before the intermission, Jeff goes into the love offering diatribe. His actual words were: “now there’s not a one of you that bought a ticket to get in here tonight. We’re fixing to take up an offering, and just so you know, that big ole bus out there don’t run on water!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The only thing I’ve ever seen that was equal to that was the master of offering begging, Cecil Blackwood, who gave a longer speech about the love offering than the first half of the program was. Unreal. I sing in a local “weekend warrior” quartet, and we’ve never mentioned anything on the stage about the offering, and won’t even open it and count it until we’re away from the church.

  13. weber wrote:

    #12 you are absolutely right, Cecil Blackwood begged for money at every concert, and those artists that do this today should park the bus, get a van and trailor and live within their means. Gospel singers need to stop leaving their families with nothing(Jim Hamil) and many others , and find a lucritive job in addition to their desire to travel and sing…just sayin…

  14. Charles wrote:

    Did anyone go to the New Years Eve concert in Woodville, TX featuring HisSong, McMillan and Life, Paul’s Journey, The Stanleys, Randy and Sherri Miller and a host of local talent. It was wonderful. We had a great time. McMillan and Life had a fill in- a girl, and she was top notch and really great.-Jennifer Wilkerson. We bought her CD. Some of the groups were too loud but still it was a great night. Wish we had heard more of McMillan and Life and Randy Miller and his wife.

  15. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    I always loved JD Sumner’s long product pitches, but that’s because he understood the concept of using something called humor rather than a guilt trip to get people to buy his stuff.

  16. quartet-man wrote:

    #15 Exactly. He didn’t like the hard sell, but realized “selling” had to be done to some degree. He got James Blackwood to allow him to use humor. That way he let people know what was out there, reminded them, yet didn’t strong arm, guilt or hard sell. It turned into entertainment.

  17. GAconcertgoer wrote:

    While I can believe Bill in giving this number (mainly because it’s a believable number), It is funny to see how numbers are often stretched. I attended a concert in Villa Rica, GA, on December 30. Have been there many times. The building absolutely cannot hold over 600 people! I counted roughly 500 chairs put out (I did so because of curiousity about possibly crowd size).
    Then I see in Southern Gospel Forums where a member there was told by the promoter that they had approx 1300 in attendance and around 100 people that showed up and left due to no seats available.
    1300 is quite a few more than 500. If you don’t believe me, then attend one of these concerts and count for yourself.
    Granted, 500 is an awesome crowd for SG anymore (sadly), I love evangelistic numbers :)

  18. 2miles wrote:

    fwiw…

    I was just listening to XM and Marlin came on and announced Mr. Bill Bailey’s concert in Vidalia, GA Thursday night. It has Triumphant, Booth Brothers, Gold City and Karen Peck and New River. After announcing the concert, Marlin basically said “no need to go, it’s going to be so full that the fire marshall ain’t gonna let you in”…kinda reminded me of Yogi Bera…”Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded”…

    I plan on arriving before the doors open and keep my fingers crossed. Maybe Mr. Bailey can inform us, but I imagine that the auditorium will hold 1,000 and then side audtorium will hold an additional 150 or so…They basically do two sets, one in each room…

    Looks like what he does is successfully in Vidalia at least…I am thankful that he does it like he does…

  19. accent wrote:

    #17 GAconcertgoer. I totaly agree with you if you were there you know that there was no way possible for 1300 to be in that building. Granted the seats were full with people (mostly artist) standing around the back talking all the time and I’l sure you liked Billy Boy’s pitch for a love offering and selling his cd package there. He took at least 15 minutes of valuable time doing this.
    If there had been 1300 people there paying the $10.00 donation at the door it should have been plenty of money to pay the artist they had to pay. I don’t see a need for people to streeeeech the number of people at a concert. And I was wondering WHY Bill Bailey was there in the first place?????? Was he the promoter of the concert?

  20. Ben Storie wrote:

    #19 accent - I respectfully disagree with your comment that 1300 paying customers should be more than enough. Maybe it is. But maybe not. Consider: 1300 people paying $10 a ticket is $13,000, right? This may or may not be enough to cover the cost of the event. Not after the promoter pays for the facility, the artists, advertising costs, etc. My family used to do the weekend warrior thing and we had a $1000 honorarium that covered our gas, food, lodging and misc expenses. And no one really earned a check in our group. For groups that tour year-round and pay several salaries I would imagine they need an honorarium of at least $2500 to keep from going in the red. Very popular groups would likely have a considerably higher fee. I agree that $13,000 sounds sufficient, but live concert events with several groups are simply very expensive. I imagine that’s why everyone who takes the microphone is doing a sales pitch of some kind.

  21. Wade wrote:

    God Bless anybody who promotes SGM Concerts!!! I love it!!! Have promoted SEVERAL but you loose your ass too much it is not worth it!!!

    I try to go and support any time I hear of a SANGIN’ But too often here in Chattanooga we get McKameys, Indpos & Primitive Quartet!!! I am sure they are all good ppl but just not enough xanax.

    I hate the ticketed event where they take up an offering and have been blown away when I have actually saw the promoter come out and do his own product pitch with some UNBELIEVABLE offer that is only good while supplies last… that just SUCKS the money out of every bodies pocket for all the performers that are to come!!!

    Don’t even get me started on the local and regional groups you have to endure before you get to what ya paid for!!!

    If anybody in Chattanooga Area has a sangin’ let me know and I will help any way I can!!!

  22. Sensible wrote:

    #17 and #19 - I have always heard there were around a 1000 at that concert as well in Villa Rica, GA. It is questionable. I think Bill shows up at a lot of concerts that is not his own just to sell a few products of old stuff. The host group will allow him to introduce a group or two if not emcee the whole thing. It is all in hopes that he will use the host group in his concerts. As the old story goes - scratch my back, and I’ll scratch your back. That is the SG game you have to play.

  23. irishlad wrote:

    If one top name comes to N.ireland the main concert on sat night usually has say 2000 + depending on the group and venue. Ticket price around £10- £15 or $15-$20 total say $20,000 then they do a free sunday am and sunday pm maybe a love offering mon night. Take flights,the group’s flat,their agency fee etc etc twenty grand gets eaten up big time…but hey, they get to see N.ireland and it’s fine people, we get to see them.

  24. Kyle wrote:

    Personally, if there is going to be a local or regional group on the bill, they should be limited to 20 minutes, tops. I know that a lot of songs can be thrown into that 20 minutes, or they can spend 20 minutes singing two songs and doing product pitches, but when 20 minutes is up, you’re outta there.

    I used to sing in a regional group, and we prided ourselves in being able to cram as many as 5-6 songs into a 20 minute set. We didn’t talk, we didn’t do a product pitch, we just SANG.

    I will say, there are a few promoters that I’ve worked with, both in a group setting and as a soloist, who will do everything short of getting on their knees to beg for an offering. In one instance, a promoter had a full product table of knick-knacks (looked like a flea market), pushed his product (never mentioned ours), begged for an offering, then told us after the show, “Well, you know, I gotta pay my bills, so I can only do this much for ya.”

    Let’s do some math. Let’s say a promoter got a deal on a group who is booking a “pass-through” date for $2000. The promoter got lucky and can use their home church to book the event, so there is no charge for a venue. Advertising is around $500. That’s $2500 that needs to be made to break even.

    Ticketed event, $10 a piece, you’d have to have 250 people present. $15 a piece, 167 people. $20 a piece, 125 people. Seems like awfully low numbers, doesn’t it? Next time you go to a gospel concert, count how many people are actually there. You’d be surprised!!

  25. JIM PEARSON wrote:

    I DON’T NORMALLY ANSWER QUESTION OR COMMENTS WROTE ON FORUMS BECAUSE EVERYBODY HAS AN OPINION AND VERY SELDOM CAN CHANGE IT. THE VILLA RICA CONCERT I COULD NOT START TO TELL YOU HOW MANY WAS THERE , BUT I DO KNOW IF YOU TOOK THE TIME TO COUNT THE CHAIR YOU MISS IT ABOUT 300 ACCORDING TO WHAT DONATION WENT THRU THE DOOR. AS FAR AS BILL BAILEY A DEAR FRIEND FOR YEARS AND ONE OF THE PREMIER MC ALONG WITH JERRY GOFF AND DANNY JONES THAT ALSO DOES OUR MC WORK. REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBERS THERE IT WAS A GREAT NIGHT FOR SOUTHERN GOSPEL MUSIC

  26. Ethan wrote:

    Wade, I agree we need better concerts in Chattanooga. In case you were not aware, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound will be at Highland Park on January 14.

  27. Brett wrote:

    Susan Unthank passed away today. Please keep their family in your prayers!

  28. GAconcertgoer wrote:

    #17 & 19… I didn’t make any comment about how much money could have been taken in to pay artists. Don’t care. I can only imagine that any promoter probably doesn’t make much if any promoting SG. I commend Diplomats on their great crowds. And about the 1300 figure, I didn’t come up with hearing that, you can read it over at Southern Gospel Forums. Dianna? said she talked with the promoter and was told that there was around that number. Go read for yourself.
    Mr. Pearson, I’m very impressed with your crowd size, it was an excellent concert. Enjoy your group, and it doesn’t get better than Gold City, Dixie Echoes, and Karen Peck on the same program! I still say there wasn’t over 500 there, but again that is a GREAT attendance.
    I never mentioned anything about Bill Bailey selling things in my post. He was there as an emcee (he does a great job at that), he promotes his event (no problem with that at all), and obviously any group will let him do this in order to try to get on his events. I will admit that him coming to other peoples concerts selling his product would seem as if it would cut into product sales of the groups on the program. Fans are only going to spend a certain amount at a concert. Before the major groups even went on stage, Bill gave his $20 deal, then THEY TOOK A SPECIAL INTERMISSION just for people to get one of those sets (**only 40 available**). Get ‘em quick, spend your money with him, then later in the concert buy something from the other groups. They tell you about their product, but there’s no other intermission at all! Concert ends, people bolt for the door. Only winner in sales = Bill Bailey. Same analogy could be said for one of his concerts. You would think that his sales would affect the artist. But at his own concerts, he can do what he wants (he does have to pay the bills - i get that), but at other events, why do it?

  29. GospelMusicFan wrote:

    The artists will go anywhere if you have a history of getting people to a southern gospel music concert.
    Results is what really counts because using “love” to go off the deep end in blind faith doesn’t pay the bills all the time.

  30. Wade wrote:

    Ethan… Thanks for the heads up!!! Add me as a FB Friend if you do facebook!!!

    Kyle, have you promoted a concert ever???

    I do not mean set something up for a church. But signed the contracts. Bought the event insurance after securing a venue. Dealt with The Artist when they arrive on scene & start their bickering…and at the end of the night come up with your own money to cover things if you did not get your DREAM scenario for putting on a show??? Just wondering???

    Just like no pimp EVER makes too much money because of the BS you have to put up with, a SGM Promoter NEVER makes too much money either!!!

  31. Michael McIlwain wrote:

    Some middle aged members of my church went to the Gaither Homecoming concert back in December that Doug mentioned in another post and were blown away. They felt that they totally got their money’s worth of good music even though tickets were $44 per person. However, Gaither has always marketed himself well. He mentioned in one of his books about a time early in his music career he called a promoter to see how ticket sales were going and the promoter said he had put up a few posters and called the radio station. Gaither knew then that he could not afford to put his family’s livelihood in the hands of someone who did not have their best interest at heart and hired his sister to promote the trio.

    I think others could do some of what Gaither has done, but there has to be a very high standard of excellence for it to happen.

  32. Extra Ink wrote:

    People will pay $50-$100 to go hear Tim McGraw or Carrie Underwood or Rascal Flatts, then gripe because they had to pay $10 at a gospel concert where someone sang to them about God for the whole set.

    People like Taranda Greene, Karen Peck, Daniel Riley, and many others in SG music are equal or superior vocalists to many of the country artists making millions. However, these same SG artists are working 200+ dates per year because they love this music and the One they are singing about.

    SG fans are, for the most part, cheapskates, and they don’t appreciate what is being offered to them for next to nothing financially. At the same time, these SG artists are shaving years off their life riding around in buses four-five nights per week, eating bologna sandwiches, and singing to griping crowds of 75-100 on many occasions.

  33. BUICK wrote:

    Wade (30) and Extra Ink (32) - Help me understand: if people don’t like doing what they are doing, why should they not do something else? If the promoter isn’t making enough money to cover his cost AND his aggravation, let him put his talents to another end. If the artiste thinks his audience is taking unfair financial advantage of him, let him do something else for a living and sing in his home church. Don’t give me the old saw about doing it because you love working for the Lord because you don’t sound like you love working for the Lord. And don’t tell me you love Him and then run His kids down. (If people tell me they love me but then trash my kids, I doubt that they really love me.)

    I am employed in a faith-based ministry. If I griped as much about my ministry as the people on this site do, I would be told to find a different source of income. As one of the “fans” who pays for the promoters and performers, I’m saying that if you don’t like your working conditions, get another job. (Maybe the economics will weed-out the marginal promoters and performers and we’ll get down to a few really polished pros.)

  34. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    Well said, No. 33.

  35. Ruth Meyers wrote:

    Yes Wade. Signature Sound will be in Chattanooga next week. I hope to see you there.

  36. Wade wrote:

    Ahhh Buick… I did stop!!! If you are promoting concerts and doing good then THANK YOU!!! I was not griping just telling people who might consider promoting a concert or think it is as easy and Kyle suggested!!!

    Ruth yes we should see each other there. Ethan is going too!!!!

  37. Ethan wrote:

    Hopefully this blasted snow will not have any affect on the EHSS concert Friday. Chattanooga does not do well with snow.

  38. observor wrote:

    Frank Arnold has seemed to be very successful through the years promoting his concerts. The prices for one of his concerts this weekend are 23.50/21.50/17.50 (6.00 for children). Also his concerts alway include several big name artists.

  39. Wade wrote:

    Ethan… it will be OK buy then!!! Hopefully we can meet Ruth there too!!!!

  40. Mike McIlwain wrote:

    #33, Buick, You make a lot of sense. I would add that many of these don’t need to leave singing and pursue another vocation, but maybe they need to leave “full-time” singing and pursue another vocation that gives them a base salary and then travel two weekends a month. We live in a mobile society in which people can work from home and can work by means of laptop computers, iPads, and smart phones. There are many things that people can do that will allow them to earn a living and keep them from taking very small engagements just to put fuel in the bus.
    Doing things this way does not mean that the small venues get left out. By having a base salary from another business venture these groups can donate at least 10 percent of their performances and build a spirit of good will among their fans. With the internet groups can stay in touch with their fans and not always have to travel to the fans’ town to meet them. Chatting, YouTube, and Facebook gives the musician great opportunities to connect with fans and with folks to whom you desire to minister.

    I’ve been slow to embrace technology, but in the last 5 years I’ve come to see how important it is. Even many of the senior adults here at my church in SW Florida are on Facebook. While I would agree that most who desire to minister will never become wealthy, the Scriptures tell us about Abraham, Joseph of Arimathea and others who were wealthy. Part of being successful is being efficient as well as being effective. Both elements must be utilized if one is to have success.

  41. Jake wrote:

    #32 Extra Ink — You made a comment I have often heard on message boards, and I think there is some real truth to it as well. That is about how people will pay big bucks to go to a secular concert, but grumble about 10 bucks for an SG concert.

    Part of the problem is that people can be cheap, especially when it is related to church or Christianity. So that may be one of the reasons. Another reason is that during the course of a year some people may attend several SG concerts with their whole family, whereas a Carrie Underwood type concert might be a once-a-year event, and not necessarily Dad, Mom, and all the kids will be going and sitting together in a row.

    But there may be another reason. When you attend a big bucks, big name concert — whether a secular venue or even for a bigger name Christian artist (Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, for instance) — you get a high quality concert for your money. It is usually in a big venue, not a church that seats 200 people; you have high quality sound and lights; and you don’t have to listen to the artists tell a lot of corny jokes & made up stories about each other, product pitching, and/or mini sermons in between many of the songs. I’m not saying any of those things is bad or necessarily wrong, but the level of professionalism tends to be lower. And the ticket prices reflect it.

    If you ever attend a Gaither homecoming event, it tends to have a higher quality “feel” about it. The tickets may be higher than most SG stand-alone concerts, but you are getting a lot more for your money.

    I would venture to guess that the SG groups that bring in the highest ticket prices are probably the ones which have the greatest “professionalism” to them.

    And by the way, I’m not saying this to debate the “entertainment vs. ministry” thing. SG groups that are called to minister to small churches and feel more comfortable with the intimacy of interaction with the congregation and try to keep it all homey and casual are not necessarily doing anything wrong. They just aren’t as likely to sell a ticket for a high price.

  42. oldtimer wrote:

    Another thought in the discussion of the price of sg concerts vs the price of secular concerts: Most of the folks who complain about paying $20. for a sg concert ticket are probably not the people who are going to see Carrie Underwood, Rod Stewart, et al.

    So the comparison is lost.

  43. Wade wrote:

    oldtimer… you’d be surprised!!!

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