Low turn-out was no fault of Selmians

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Over the weekend recording artist Mystikal performed in Selma to an audience of less than 200 people.

The low turnout was probably disappointing for the artist and the show’s promoter. It is unfortunate such a small audience greeted a musician who has a platinum album and once received a Grammy nomination.

Mystikal, who has a national following, probably won’t be saying too many good things about Selma in the near future.

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That said, the low turnout cannot be blamed on the people of Selma. There were several variables that led to the paltry showing. Some of those variables could have been changed and some could not.

First, the promoter said many Selmians simply did not believe a performer as popular as Mystikal was playing in Selma. Selmians have been the victims of performances and announcements in the past that have not occurred. If we are a little jaded, it’s because of past experiences.

Second, rural venues like Selma are not always hotbeds for rap fans. Granted, many young people listen to the music, but rap is more popular in urban markets and big cities.

The promotion of the show also has to be questioned. If a promoter cannot convince the prospective audience that the show is occurring, then the promoter’s message either is not being delivered to enough media outlets enough times, or the message is not on target.

The Tom Joyner Show a couple of weeks ago drew huge crowds. Joyner is a big celebrity and Selmians had no problem believing he was coming here. That show was promoted far in advance and promoted well.

Finally, Mystikal competed in an already small market against a comedy show and two high school proms on the night he played. We simply aren’t big enough to support numerous events on a given night.

Selmians have shown they know how to turn out and support an event. Bridge Crossing Jubilee, Market Day, the Tom Joyner Sky Show, and the recent James Perkins Jr. Tennis Classic are prime examples.

For Selmians to attend events they need to be informed about them and the event has to appeal to them. Apparently, the Mystikal concert and its promotion didn’t connect with this community.