Race for the gospel bottom
I’m talking, of course, about the contracting influence and reach of two of gospel music’s most historically important reputational events: NQC and the Dove Awards. The former, as we all know, is about to open next month for its final stand in Louisville before downsizing from the the convention equivalent of a plantation estate at the KFEC to a 2bd/2ba condo in Pigeon Forge.
Meanwhile, the Dove Awards, after having somewhat desperately vacated its prestigious home at the Opry complex and moved to Atlanta’s Fox Theater a few years ago, has packed up the UHaul again and is now headed back to Nashville … for Lipscomb University … to the school’s Allen Arena (no word yet on whether ticket holders will be allowed to at least park in the Opry complex for old time’s sake and then take a shuttle over to Lipscomb).
As with the NQC, this is no real surprise, at least not the general drift toward regional venues and the scaled-back scope of programming. The GMA has been in full-blown declensionary contraction for a while now (I’d be surprised if you’d need more than one hand to count the number of full time GMA employees), and it’s not unreasonable to wonder if it will survive the decade in any recognizable form. When neither fans nor artists seem to need or care much about investing in organizations that are increasingly seen in the digital age as outdated and ineffective reputational protection rackets, the future is decidedly not uncloudy.
I don’t have anything witty or insightful to say about this. It just seems worth noting when one watches the long slow dissolution of entire quadrants of an economic and cultural infrastructure with such a vast and rich history.Email this Post