Editor’s note: In this article, Abisola Alawode details why The Experience, a yearly gospel music concert is worth celebrating.
I have never met Pastor Paul Adefarasin, neither have I communicated with him or anyone who works closely him in any form. I had to start this article on this note so those who may accuse me of overly praising him know that there is no relationship between us
I’m writing about him because of his work with the yearly gospel festival that is known as The Experience. Friday, December 1, 2017 saw the 12th edition taking place at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos and several gospel stars like Tim Godfrey, Don Moen, Donnie McClurkin, Segun Obe, Kenny Blaq, Akpororo, Tope Alabi, Nathaniel Bassey, and Chioma Jesus performed.
Lagos state governor Akinwunmi Ambode as well other top government officials were also present at the event.
Year in year out, Pastor Paul and his team organize this concert with little or no public solicitation for funds (Instead, they have links on their website instructing anyone who is willing to donate just how they can do that) and writing as someone who knows how things work in the Nigerian entertainment industry, this is nothing short of amazing.
A little context about why this is so. There has been clamor for a Nigerian act to fill up a prestigious venue like TBS for years but only one person has actually come close to doing so – Phyno with his annual Phynofest concert.
Even so, Phynofest started about two years ago and the 2017 edition saw the 22,000 Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium venue filled up. Impressive numbers until one considers that The Experience started in 2006 and this year’s edition saw over 100,000 attend.
I was able to arrive at this number after considering the capacity of TBS (50,000) and according to eye witness reports of those who were on ground.
Add the number of people who watched the live stream on YouTube and other social media channels, the number of people that were part of the concert easily hits above 200,000.
There is no concert or festival or event in Nigeria that comes close to The Experience. Why it isn’t celebrated more in the country is also due to one reason, because it is a gospel event.
Gospel music in this part of the world is still seen as a hobby with many even expecting gospel musicians not to be paid for their performances since they sing about the gospel of Christ.
Why this is so is a topic for another day but this also gives more credence to what Pastor Paul and his team achieve every year.
Another reason why The Experience is worth celebrating is the fact that it is an Interdenominational event. Meaning every Christian irrespective of your church is invited. And even though the event is organised by the head of The House on The Rock Church, members of white garment churches are not turned back at the door.
Like I mentioned earlier, I have no relationship with Pastor Paul Adefarasin, I however think excellence should always be celebrated and for 12 years, Pastor Paul and his team have given Nigerians and the rest of the world excellence in the form of a gospel music concert.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of Gospelcrib.com