The other day I was thinking about the mysterious process by which certain artists are invited to perform on mainstage and other artists aren’t. And a question occurred to me: Does it not seem strange that you basically only perform on mainstage if you’re either a really big name or a no-name?
I just don’t understand how it is that a group like the Erwins (who seem like sweet kids, so this isn’t at all intended as a personal slam), can get two spots on mainstage, while Beyond the Ashes, for example, gets zero. And Wilburn & Wilburn get a measly one song with a choir at the very beginning of the program, plus being on stage during the encore of a Perrys song. And don’t even get me started about a group like Paid in Full, who just celebrated 20 years of quality music.
Bottom line is, I get the idea of giving people nobody’s ever heard of before an opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to be heard, but I think that for the sake of quality it’s not fair to exclude other artists much more deserving of that time. Many times the showcase groups that “win” a spot on mainstage have little or no talent at all. I’m not saying this is the case for everyone—I named the Erwins because they appeared twice, but they’re not even the worst example. I won’t specifically name all the worst ones because I don’t think there’s any constructive point to it. Suffice it to say that I think anyone with a moderately critical ear who sat through the entirety of NQC would agree with me. And for that matter, there were big-name groups who didn’t impress me musically either.
But now I yield the floor. What are your thoughts, gentle readers?