Attending The Extra Mile

Southern Gospel aficiandos have gathered in different ways over the years. First there were singing schools (and an occasional church homecoming).

Then there were concerts. The live Southern Gospel experience has largely revolved around the 90-minute-concert format for decades. But any concert promoter will tell you that it’s getting harder to make this model work. Gas prices—and thus artist flats—are up, and love offerings are all too often more love than offering. It’s getting harder and harder for artists to pull off 180 dates per year.

So what’s next?

Concerts won’t go away completely any time soon, but the Talley Trio is trying a concept that could be the future of the live Southern Gospel experience. Lauren Talley is launching her new CD and book The Extra Mile at a March 20th event in Pigeon Forge.

I will be there.

I’m pretty excited about this, and not just because it will be my first time to set foot in the state of Tennessee. It’s the concept that intrigues me: It’s an all-day event with speaking sessions by Lauren and Debra, and evening concerts by Lauren and by the group.

It will be the first Southern Gospel concert in six decades with no product table. (Okay, that’s probably a slight exaggeration.) Instead, the $87 ticket cost includes the two sessions, lunch, the two concerts, and autographed copies of Lauren’s new CD and the accompanying book, and the new Talley Trio CD Songs in the Night.

Though this is a single event, could the future of Southern Gospel include artists debuting new projects with a five or ten city self-promoted conference tour?

With the web design work I’ve been doing with Crossroads, I’ve also been working on a few other new projects that will be announced there. I got clearance to say this much about the concept, but stay tuned for more!

Will any of you be there?

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17 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. A whole day of Talleys for an $87 ticket? That’s $174 a couple. Hmmmm. Maybe if they’d throw in the Booth Brothers.

    • It’s not just the day – the ticket price includes their most recent CD, Lauren’s most recent CD, and Lauren’s new book. Run the numbers on those and you’re down to the standard concert ticket cost. 🙂

      • That is a valid point. However, just because people pay to attend a concert does not mean that they will buy product. I would say true fans of the Talley Trio would enjoy this, but I can’t see the normal concert-goer finding this a bargain.

  2. Even IF you get the two CD’s (autographed even) the concerts and sessions and the value for all is there, I don’t see people who think a couple of dollars is enough for a concert and who almost have a stroke when $15-$20 ticket price is tried will go for it. I could be wrong. Good for them for trying to make it work, but I think too many people are set in their ways and already have an idea of the way things shojld be and the price charged.

    • There is that problem, for sure. But if Southern Gospel is going to survive in today’s climate, we have to come up with something besides the 200-dates-a-year singing to 150-people-a-night model.

      I’m not saying this is it for sure, but I think it has a better chance than anything else I’ve seen yet.

  3. I hope it works for them. This is the first information that I’ve seen and the date is March 20. Looks like they should have been doing earlier advertising so people could have made plans if they wanted to attended. Cost wise not bad – 2 cds $30.00 – book $15.00 – Lunch $15.00 – two sessions $27.00. Two concerts – FREE = $87.00

    • Rob way to crunch the numbers, plus as someone else mentioned above, you get the personal experience with the Talley’s! Photo ops, signing possiblities… Even if I didn’t consider myself a fan, with a friendly personal approach I will feel more like they were friends, and be more inclined to be a fan. Blessings to all.

  4. I’m thinking this will be an awesome event especially for the Talley hardcores. I just wonder if they should have considered a couples price simply due to the fact most households don’t purchase 2 of the same cds. Robert they have been advertising on their websites which makes sense because the people that visit regularly will want to attend. Also think I saw it on on SN’s site too. Great concept hope it works out.

    • Good point about the “couples price”. In addition, what about the extra expense for attendees of hotel, travel and the like. I would say that unless you lived within reasonable driving distance it will cost way more than $87 per person.

    • A couples price does sound like a good idea.

  5. I won’t be there. I like the concept. I’m interested in knowing how well it turns out. I could see some groups doing well with something like this.

    Daniel, please give us an update on how well the event goes.

  6. I could see how this would be attractive to hardcores like someone said. Still, even for them, they may not have the money to pay for the concert and travel.

    Funny, someone said about concert prices. Gold City and the Booth Brothers are coming to PA this Saturday and I tried to get 2 tickets up front @ $27.00 a piece…sold out too months ago. Paid $40.00 for balcony seats. I guess people around here don’t mind paying for a good concert. Too bad, I wanted those front row seats 🙁 lol

  7. I agree with several of the above. I could see myself going to something like this if I’m a die-hard fan of the group. But at those prices, they will have trouble attracting the “general” SG public. Do they have enough of a die-hard fan base to make it work? That’s the question.

  8. If there are only 50 people who pay the ticket price, the Talleys have made more money than they might have made working a multi-artist concert somewhere. Whatever comes in is all theirs.

    Seems like good business.

  9. I agree that most Talleys fans couldn’t make the trek across the country to do this. But suppose a CD launch involved 5-10 of these events, one per state/region?

    (This is a one-time thing for this project, but who knows what the future may hold. I’m just speculating.)

    That way many of their fans would be 2 1/2 hours or less, and could feasibly drive in for the (long) day.

    • One question…if this did catch on with other groups, how many people could really afford a price like $87 for multiple groups that they may enjoy? Could start to become pretty pricey.