Jonathan Bellamy spoke to the founder of MINISTRY OF MUSIC, Mike Maidment, about his vision to provide practical help to the UK live scene
I suspect there are many Cross Rhythms readers who have dreamed of putting on a Christian music concert at their local church or community centre. Now a new organisation has been formed to help make such dreams a reality. Bristol-based Ministry Of Music is an organisation which can provide singers, bands, worship leaders, deejays, dance crews and technical services to ensure outreach events, worship services or conferences are a success. Founder Mike Maidment is using his 15 years of experience in the Christian music/event scene in establishing Ministry Of Music and Cross Rhythms are working in partnership with MOM so that the number of live events featuring Christian music is expanded. The Ministry has already built up an impressive roster of artists including Brought Into Being, Hannah Franklin, mpfree, NGM Band, Pseudonym, Rob Newey, Release dance crew, Royal Foundlings, Sounds Of Salvation, The Escape and Veetacore. I spoke to Mike recently about MOM.
Jonathan: Tell me a bit about Ministry Of Music.
Mike: Ministry Of Music is an organisation which wants to help Christian bands and artists find more events for them to play at so that they can perform their music in front of more people. Also, as well as helping the bands and artists. we are really keen to help event organisers who are looking for the right artists for their events but maybe sometimes find it hard to find those artists. So we want to join up bands, artists and event organisers so there can be more music events happening across the UK.
Jonathan: You actually build with both do you? You're actively looking for event organisers and you're actively looking for, I suppose in particular, independent UK artists?
Mike: Definitely. I want to be someone who can support both sides of an event, yes.
Jonathan: What's the background to this in terms of identifying a need there?
Mike: Well, I personally have been involved in the music scene for many years. I used to be an artist myself in a band and I know how hard it was sometimes to find events to play at. I've also managed other bands, and again it's not always easy to find events to play at, especially when you're a new band, when you are an artist trying to make it. I've also been on the other side of the fence. I've often tried to organise events; but sometimes you know, it's not easy to find the right artist for your event at a price you can afford. So I know there's a need there and I'm trying to sort of fill that need.
Jonathan: Unpack that a little bit more. Say somebody's thinking of putting on events; what size of events would you look to cater for?
Mike: I'm not actually going to be providing the event management for somebody but I could obviously provide the artists for anybody's events. I'm looking specifically to support Christian event organisers and really it could be an event of any size. I'm working with some newer bands but I'm also working with some more established bands who are used to performing at larger events.
Jonathan: What about different styles or different types of audiences?
Mike: Yes, definitely. At the moment I'm working for around 12 different artists. They range from solo singers through to bands and deejays. I work with a dance group as well so we're trying to cover all the different styles of music. And the idea is eventually to grow the number of artists that we are working with. So we've got different artists right across the country in all the different regions.
Jonathan: What is your take on the UK Christian independent music scene?
Mike: You know, there are loads of great independent bands out there. And what with the new ways of getting their music out there on the internet, it's a lot easier for them to have their music heard today than maybe it was in the past. But it still can be very difficult for them sometimes to find events to play at which is why I've set up Ministry Of Music. But there is a good scene out there and I just want to try and help it sort of move along and get more events happening. If there's anybody out there who wants to put an event on, if they would like to contact me that would be fantastic. I'm finding it easier to make contact with the artists at the moment but it's just trying to find all those event organisers or would-be concert promoters out there that I may not know about. Our website is www.ministryofmusic.co.ukThe opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.