WHAT HAD initially begun as one of the most prominent tours in the USA deteriorated this summer into a melee of confusion. All but four of the Christian music festival promoters who committed to the $75,000 E.R.A.C.E. artist package, featuring DC Talk, God's Property and various Gotee Records' artists, moved forward without one of the tour's anchor artists. The presence of B-Rite Music's God's Property on the E.R.A.C.E. lineup was in jeopardy after confusion erupted in May over contract negotiations. A series of accusations regarding broken verbal agreements, unauthorised parties making decisions for the group and a lack of signed contracts resulted in numerous heated conversations and threats of litigation between several of the parties involved. At press time, the Dallas-based group of inner-city youth was slated to appear at only four of the 13 festivals originally scheduled. The other nine E.R.A.C.E. night dates were set to continue without God's property in the evening's line-up. The E.R.A.C.E. nights, facilitated by True Artist Management (DC Talk's management) are intended to promote racial unity and serve as the national kick off for The E.R.A.C.E. (Eliminating Racism And Creating Equality) Foundation formed in 1997. During Gospel Music Week '98, True Artist announced the tour proceeds would go toward the purchase of a building that would be home to a school for gang members in Long Beach, California. "We are deeply saddened that the recent chain of events regarding the 'E.R.A.C.E.' tour have taken place," True Artist's Dan Pitts and Laurie Anderson said in a written statement. "We have the utmost respect for the kids in God's Property and for what they are trying to accomplish through their ministry... Our desire and a main focus of the 'E.R.A.C.E.' tour was to put this incredible group in front of a new audience." CR

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