Here we go… First thing to know is that this is real… the people are real…. the concert is real so in a sense this is now a reality blog..
But first, a bit of backstory. It has always been a dream of mine to present many of the Pioneers of Contemporary Christian Music to the New Millennium audience and everyone inbetween them and the Jesus Movement generation (aka Baby Boomers). There is a line that spans the decade from the early 1970’s to present day on which few have points along the way. Phil Keaggy, Randy Stonehill, Chuck Girard, Nancy Honeytree Miller, David Meece, and Matthew Ward are among those who do. People in the church today need to know their musical roots and have the opportunity to appreciate those who paved the way for what is known as “Today’s Christian Music.” That is part of the vision behind SnTRadio.com and the primary motivation for the idea to have concerts in the family entertainment capital of the world — Orlando, Florida USA.
The hard truth is concert promotion is wrought with risk. What if nobody buys tickets in advance or doesn’t show up after pouring thousands of dollars into making the market aware of the event? That is what keeps every event coordinator and concert promoter that I’ve ever known up at night. Our first concert on December 7th suffered that cruel fate but sometimes you have to break up the fallow ground in order to make the field fertile enough to bring forth a harvest. It was pre Christmas and people make all manner of plans at that time of year. But those that did come on a love offering basis that night were treated to an evening of quality music that would’ve cost $35 or more per person if it were held at venues in Downtown Disney or Universal’s City Walk.
To be fair, nobody in the audience was informed that Randy Stonehill drove down from South Carolina and David Meece flew in from Nashville, Tennessee too be there after a decade long absence. The audience was graciously advised by the hosting Church Lead Pastor that this was how they make a living and to please give a love gift worthy of a living wage for a highly trained professional musician. At the moment the offering plates were being passed almost two and a half hours into the performances, one couple hurriedly got up and rushed out the door to avoid participating in the love offering based on their comment overheard by a security person manning one of the product tables. No love shown there. What do you think the average “love offering” per person was? You are not going to believe how mature adult persons who have been blessed by their music responded. It was not quite $4.84. So that breaks down to $2.42 per man for both Randy and David for roughly 75 minutes of work each without a cent towards what it cost to get them here, house and feed them. Not a lot of “love” in the love offering either would you agree?. Minimum wage is what, just under $8.00?
Please understand that I am only stating the facts and trying to give you insight into what the financial inequality is that confronts many Christian artists ministering on a love offering basis. Hopefully, you are being encouraged to treat anyone who ministers on a love offering basis to better than what was just reported above. Who made up the gap? That’s right, The artists both took a lesser than normal fee and SnTRadio.com covered the rest. Like I stated earlier, concerts are a risky proposition. But that doesn’t excuse people being disrespectful. We all need to be more generous and giving. But our sights are not on short term monetary gain or loss. No, our sights are on adding souls to the Kingdom of God either by making new disciples or snatching away from the jaws of death those who once followed the Lamb of God. And the music of their “first love” is what shall draw them back into the fold. That is why we present SnTRadio.com 24/7 on the internet.
So in just 27 days, Phil Keaggy, one of most important guitarists of the past 30 years is coming to town to share his unique gifts in Central Florida. There’s even a short set where Randy Stonehill will join him and play as a duet..Who wants to miss that? All the preferred seats have sold and general admission tickets are beginning to sell. Honestly the venue does not have a bad seat in the place and we can comfortably seat just about 550 or 600. It is a good start. Line of sight to the stage is great from every seat and the sound is impeccable. There are no sup[port poles blocking anyone’s view. The sound is clear and strong but not too loud.
Tomorrow will be day 26 and counting. Check back, won’t you? This story is far from over.