Gospel Soundcheck

Hold onto your hats, Christian music fans. The 42nd Annual Dove Awards will be broadcast next April from … Atlanta, GA.
For viewers at home, the news isn’t any big deal. If you’re sitting on your couch, who cares where the stage is.
For those of us in the industry, it puts yet another question mark on an industry that has seen some changes the last year or so.
Remember last fall, when the rumor circulated about the GMA closing its doors? And the “Save the GMA” fundraiser that was supposed to pull the organization out of its financial hole?

We were told that nothing was changing with GMA and the industry – and then GMA week, the biggest week in Christian music that culminates in the Dove Awards, was essentially cancelled except for the Doves.
And now the Doves are moving to Atlanta.
For music fans, it’ll be a great thing. The Gospel Music Channel is the leading television provider of Christian music programming; think MTV plus VH1 plus a Jesus Fish. Having the show in their home city should help with llogistics and programming and costs. (Of course, I know nothing about television programming or producing a live show, so take that comment with a grain of salt.)
But what about the rest of the industry? GMA Week was always such a great time – a poser fest at times, for sure, but what celebrity-laden entertainment event isn’t? – but it was the week where writers like myself, who don’t live in Nashville, got to meet up with artists and publicists, see bands, and generally get an update on what’s going on in Christian music.
This year, with no GMA Week, I had to rely on press releases and press kits. And you know how I am with that pile of stuff in my office. You know this blog has suffered in the past six months or more. I’m a people person, not a product person. I get way more out of having lunch with an artist than I usually do having a formal phone interview with them.
So in 2010 the industry was struggling with some changes in direction.
Which, if you read my post today at my Notes From The Funny Farm blog, is where I’m at right now, too.
I’m not criticizing GMA; in fact, I totally understand where they’re at. God has a plan, and when he’s fulfilled that purpose, he moves you on to other things. Nothing could please God more, I would think, than to have music based on His word leave the subculture and become part of the mainstream.
And while Christian musicians need a community where they can go for support and accountabilty, maybe it’s time to start shining our light in the open. The music’s gotten better, the artists are being taken more seriously, the world is open to the message.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but yesterday’s announcement definitely adds another facet to the very changing Christian music industry.
I’ve love to hear what you think: Is Christian music as an industry reaching its end?
Gospel Music Association rumors and problems; where does GMA go from here?
Is the Gospel Music Association shutting its doors?
Save The GMA fundraiser raises questions about future of Christian music

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