Artist Garden Entertainment attended the artist managers track of GMA Week this week and we were pleasantly surprised! Coming from a record label perspective in previous years, I really didn’t know what to expect. For GMA Week, someone would hand me a badge, a schedule and point me in the direction of where I needed to be for specific meetings and showcases. I have taken in a few seminars in the music professional track in the past only to be disappointed by the attendance. I kind of expected the same this year, however, I was really impressed. This year, I participated in the MAPs track which is designed for managers, agents and promoters. One of my favorite seminars was “Deal or No Deal” with Roy Morgan, founder of Premier Productions. I walked away from that seminar with a ton of new knowledge about live concerts. There were other great panels including the artist symposium with Amy Grant, Marty Roe of Diamond Rio, Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay, Stephen Petree of Shiny Toy Guns, Brad Arnold of Three Doors Down, Cedric Dent of Take Six, Brian Littrel of Backstreet Boys, and Michael Sweet of Stryper (and now lead singer for Boston). Probably the highlight of my week was seeing Jars of Clay perform an acoustic set at 3rd & Lindsley.
One thing that I continually heard all week was that this was the last year for GMA Week. Not sure where that rumor started but it spread fast. It strikes me as a little odd that people in the Christian music industry would want to speak that into being. Yes, the industry is changing and GMA week should evolve to reflect the change but I would hate to see GMA Week disappear. Apparently many of the Christian radio stations chose not to attend this year for political reasons and are planning their own separate convention in Florida? If that is true, it is extremely disappointing. Of all industries, the Christian music industry should be a team and work together to build the presence of Christian music in the world. Anyone who chose not attend this year really missed one of the best GMA Weeks I have attended in the last twelve years!