NEW YORK – Popular Christian songstress Rebecca St. James has been invited to play at a secular venue in upstate New York on June 15 as a test to see whether or not Christian concerts can sell.
For the event at Artpark in Lewiston, N.Y., near Niagara Falls, the Australian native will have to "sell well" to solidify performances for other Christian artists in the future at the well-known location.
"Artists like Rebecca St. James usually sing in safe, churchy environments," explained an announcement sent out by marketing guru Mark Weber in his "Holy Arc Network." "But every once in a while, a visionary comes along and wants to help get the Gospel message out to a crowd outside the Christian bubble – that somewhat exclusionary subculture that so many people wish didn't exist. Well, here's your chance to help burst the bubble, as Josh Maloni, a twenty-something Western N.Y. visionary, took a total leap of faith and worked it out that Rebecca St. James would headline a Christian concert at none other than Artpark."
According to agreement, the success of the upcoming concert will gauge whether or not Christians should be able to play at Artpark in the future. Should the St. James concert sell 2,000 tickets or more, the venue staff would continue to allow other religious artists. Any less and "that venue will most likely avoid Christian concerts, for years!" according to Weber.
"Basically, this concert at this venue is a test – a test to see whether or not the area's little Christian community can play with the big secular boys," added the"Holy Arc" promoter.
Weber, who runs the Primo PR 716 marketing company for artists, is now encouraging all Christians in the area to attend the concert to support future endeavors as well as St. James herself.
The Aussie vocalist has had much success in Christian music since she first arrived in the states as a teenager in 1991. She has won a Grammy Award, multiple Dove Awards, had two Gold certified records, and recorded 17 top ten singles (nine which reached No. 1).
She has also been a major promoter of sexual purity and abstinence until marriage. Her single "Wait for Me" focused on the topic and was the title of her 46-city tour in 2000. In 2002, she published a book titled Wait for Me: Rediscovering the Joy of Purity in Romance, which further elaborated on the issue.
St. James also just ended the U.S. Worship Revolution Tour held this spring, performing with British favorites Delirious? and fellow Australian Vicky Beeching.
Opening for St. James at the Artpark event will be Relevant Worship, a major Christian rock band in western New York, and local teenage Christian singer Brooke Yaiser.
Concert promoters are asking everyone to pray for the event and to participate if possible so the evening can be a precedent for future concerts.
"So what's it going to be? Is this 'Christian concert at a secular venue, Artpark, for the first time ever' going to succeed?" summarized Weber. "Depends on whether or not you and your peeps buy tickets and attend. Show you care about Christ, and Christian music in Western New York."
On the web: information for the concert at the Artpark website.