Posted by: coomercove | February 8, 2008

Should local groups appear at a paid event?

The Singing News website has a poll question asking, “When you pay for a concert ticket to see a major artist, do you mind sitting through two or three local groups before the featured singers appear?”

A thread on the Singing News forum has start to discuss the question.

I’m ok with ONE local group opening for the concert headliners at ticketed events, but with certain conditions.

Announce that the local group will be there before the event. I don’t want to pay $20 or more for a Gold City concert ticket to find out it’s a Gold City, the Billy Bob Trio, and the Maw & Paw Quartet concert ticket.

Limit the local group’s performance. Limit their time. Limit their talking. Limit their song choices. No more than 30 minutes. Local groups, if this concert could be your big break, show us what you’ve got, don’t tell us. If I’m at a Gold City concert, I don’t want to hear a local group sing “Midnight Cry” or “I’m Not Giving Up” or even Gold City songs that weren’t big hits. That just reminds me that the group isn’t Gold City.

Make sure the local group should be singing in public before you book them.

As an example of how NOT to have local groups start a concert, take notes from the following.  We went to a Mark Trammell Trio/Perrys concert last year around Thanksgiving (full concert review here).  We took a 18 year old friend with us. Come to find out, an unadvertised local group was singing as well. This group talked before EVERY song. The group’s set was just as long as the other two groups. The group’s sound tracks were on CD, but sounded like they recorded them off of 8 tracks. The tracks weren’t fit for use in a small country church, much less at a concert that people paid to attend. We had to apologize to our friend for putting him (and us) through it.

The experience was enough to make me say local groups should not appear at ticketed events, but I also know that you can find good local groups to open a concert that will add to the event. But promoters should do more than stop somebody and say, “Hey… do you sing? Want to open my concert? Just sing as long as the Lord leads you.”



  1. What you said — except only give them 20 minutes!

  2. I agree. Our church quartet opens the concerts we host. We sing at MOST 2 songs before the headliners and then 1 or 2 during intermission. At a ticketed concert, I would agree with Dean, 20 minutes, tops.

  3. […] Posted on February 9, 2008 by coomercove In the Singing News’ Forum thread I linked to yesterday, I posted an analogy of local groups to minor league baseball levels. Think of it as like minor […]

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