This past weekend of the 13th and 14th of June saw pastors, community leaders, artists, industry executives and some of the most the most influential professionals of UK Gospel come together for the Gospel Summit 2014, organised by GMIA’s CEO Juliet Fletcher. Attendees came from across the UK and further afield in Europe to be inspired, advised, educated and to network.
Hosted by broadcasters and artists Karl Nova, and Ni-Cola, the two day event which was held at The Drum in Birmingham kicked off with the first ever GMIA Executives’ Church & Gospel Leaders Luncheon to discuss the direction in which UK Gospel was heading and how to influence it. There were presentations from many different organisations including the Bible Society, along with performances from various artists including previous Time 2 Shine winners Annastasia Baker and Boma Diri. The luncheon was brought to a close by Noel Robinson singing his latest single ‘I Am Devoted’ after reminding the church leaders of why it was so important for churches to support their resident Gospel artists.
This was followed by the first ever Jump Music Video Awards in the evening. Many guests commented that this was a great initiative, showing appreciation of the efforts of UK Gospel artistsb to produce high quality music and videos to glorify God. All the winners were well chosen. David B scooped three awards including Best Male Music Video while Tara Brown won Best Female, both well deserved. It was a evening of brilliant entertainment with performances from Faith Child, Ekklesisa and Junior Robinson to name a few
For the main industry day representatives from BBC, Premier Gospel & UCB and more were in attendance helping to shape a new lanscape for the scene. Workshops and panels on being market ready, rights ready, business ready and charts ready were hosted by industry experts including GMIA Executive Linton Beckles, Keep the Faith Editor Marcia Dixon, Claire McNeil of AIM, Ryan Bruce of Glocal Entertainment, GL360 founder Roger Moore, Matthew Ojar of PRSfM, songwriter Eddie Martin, IMDC director John Fisher and many others. O’Neil Dennis of Step FWD also spoke passionately about the Step FWD UK Top 10 Christian Chart and thanked the many supporters for the huge success to date. The day also allowed countless opportunities for individuals to raise their questions and concerns in regards to all things Gospel music. Various discussions were generated and issues dealt with. Fresh connections were made and old alliances renewed.
Workshop discussions were based around the following:
– Music Video Workshop: How to make a quality video for less
– Choir & Vocal Workshop with tips for Choir Directing
– Songwriters Workshop: Improving Your Craft
– How to set up and run your own artist-owned record label
– The Business of Gospel in Europe – ‘Our United States’
– How to get the best out of your online music distributor
The weekend was brought to a close with the Know Showcase which featured many amazing UK artists such as Wole Awolola, The Reapers Choir and GL artists Natty Joshia, Treblez and Dee Moore, Junior Robinson, Millicent Stephenson and Watchman. The showcase was a great reminder of just how much talent there is in UK Gospel. The winners of the BBC Songs of Praise Choir of the Year competition, the Town Hall Choir ended the weekends festivities with the entire audience on their feet and were the perfect ending to an amazing weekend.
This is certainly going to be the first of many breakthrough weekends for UK Gospel. The Euro Gospel Summit is next and we cannot wait. London watch out. Breakthrough is just around the corner.
Michael A & Love