I’m sure the other bloggers will be posting about their Fall Fest experience. And if they’re not, they should be. So I won’t repeat what they’re sure to include. However, I would like to muse about a lesson I learned during this year’s festivities.
Though this was my third Fall Fest, it was just my first time to have the pleasure of “working” the KBCU (radio station) booth. I call it “work”, however, it was nothing of the sort. I got the rundown earlier in the week of what was expected during my one hour shift. Play music, talk to passersby, hand out free stuff. Easy.
As a radio enthusiast, I wanted my shift to be more than the mundane. I wanted to engage in lively discussion with people who were legitimately interested in what we were doing on campus. Perhaps even inspire them with my music selection. Make connections, meet someone who was in the industry and could give me some pointers or, heck, even an internship.
I know, a bit idealistic.
During my time at our booth, along with my girlfriend (make your jokes now), who also has a radio show, I spoke with perhaps 6 people. And even that may be a bit generous. They were cordial and I appreciated the feigned interest, but it was nothing close to what I had anticipated. Perhaps it was the music that turned them off. Though I did try to make it poppy and upbeat. No one seemed too interested in what we were doing or playing.
Let me say this now, the music I play (and listen to) is by Christian artists. Now without getting into the differences in “Christian music” and “Christians making music”, I’ll call it what I will. It’s not your typical K-LOVE or praise/worship music. It’s music that any secular artist could play (stylistically), but with a message of hope. “Christian rock” seems too vague, as the spectrum ranges from indie, pop, hard rock, and metal.
Now I was not surprised, given the demographic of Fall Fest attendees, that there was little interest in the music. However, I was still holding out for someone to say something. Anything.
A friend mentioned in passing that he had heard some folks commenting on the music selection. Prepared with my “if my music is too loud; you’re too old” comeback, I let him finish by saying that what had been said was positive.
Not too long after that a young gentleman came by the booth. Clad in a Bethel polo, it was apparent that he worked for the school. He thanked me for playing such a music selection and commented on how no stations “played this stuff” around here. We spoke briefly about “good” music and I shamelessly promoted my weekly radio show (every Sunday night from 8-10. Tune in kids, it’s awesome).
After our short chat, he returned to his booth. And I, after reveling a moment longer than would be considered humble, stopped to think and the lyrics of a song you’ll probably never hear came to mind:
I’m not trying to save it all, I just want to create a ripple. And even if one individual is affected it’s monumental with an unusual perspective that’s beautiful in essence…
I realized then that, I had the opportunity to encourage another through the music. Sure it was just one person, but isn’t that enough? It’s more than nobody.
I realized that’s what makes Bethel special as well. The opportunity to be in that position. Some might call it a divine appointment, I wouldn’t argue with that. Being at Bethel has landed me the opportunity to be on a radio station, playing what I want, to an unlimited audience. Had I been anywhere else at that moment, the opportunity would not have been there.
It seems foolish that a 60+ year old would be interested in the musical tastes of a young whipper-snapper in a flatbill and deep V. (Not that I’m giving up hope however) But my faith in others’ musical tastes was restored and heart warmed.
But seriously though, check out my radio show…