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?