The third week in April, which is normally Christian music’s biggest marketing week of the year, has morphed into Christian music’s biggest day of the year. As this year’s GMA Dove Week (formerly know as GMA Week) was approaching, I felt this sense that I may be missing something that everyone else knows about? The plethora of GMA Week activities from the past were not to be found. As I spoke with publicists, record labels, artist managers and others in the industry, I realized I wasn’t “out of the know”. There simply was very little going. I did have one meeting at the Renaissance Hotel and it was odd to hear silence in a place that would normally pose as the heartbeat of Christian music.
In the midst of the week’s silence, there were three events that I enjoyed attending.
Indie University is a yearly conference that Keith Mohr puts on for independent artists. I had the privilege of serving on the artist development and artist manager panel at the event. This conference is a great thing for independent artist as it gives them an opportunity to learn better ways to navigate the music industry while providing them an incredible networking opportunity. Even though I have been in the music business over twenty years, I still learned some things from the publishing session I attended.
The Objective was an event put on by Scott Macleod for indy artists. This event was designed to encourage indy Christian artist to chase after ministry as opposed to the idea of being a “rock star”. There were mentors on hand for the artist meet with. I was amazed at the attendance and had an opportunity to meet some incredible people.
Seth Holloway’s “Back To Music” showcase at 12th & Porter proved to be a great night of music. Seth has been doing this showcase for years during GMA Week. Thankfully, Seth continues to press on with his showcase as he presents some great music. Highlights of the evening were a band called True Story, and a rock the house performance by Byron “Mr Talkbox” Chambers! Major label A&R and publishing companies were in attendance so I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more of these indy artists find themselves a major label home.
As I reflect on the past, I can’t help but wonder why GMA Week disappeared? Finances obviously played a big role but did the GMA lose focus on it’s purpose? Did it serve the industry as a whole? Did it address the current needs of the industry?
What suggestions do you have for the GMA?