Richmond, VA – “The 3rd Annual Gospel Music Fest with The Belle” is set to return to a city that has long been known for its mixture of Traditional and Quartet sounds. From Sunday morning church services to evening Gospel concerts, the stage is now being set for one of the largest Gospel outdoor concerts on the East Coast. The 3rd Annual Gospel Music Fest with “The Belle” will include the sounds of Traditional, Contemporary, Urban, Gospel Hip-Hop and Neo Soul Gospel and it’s absolutely FREE to the public!
The vision was birthed from the spirit of Gospel music industry, multimedia journalist, publicist and promoter Sheilah Belle a.k.a. “The Belle” after receiving the invitation, now three years ago, from the Cultural Arts Manager for the City of Richmond, Brian Little to pull together a Gospel event.
“I’m a Richmond native, who grew up in Byrd Park. My weekends often included going to Dogwood Dell with family members and friends to see plays and concerts or enjoy the fireworks while standing around Fountain Lake. When I received the call to pull together and produce a Gospel Event for my own city, I was speechless,” says The Belle. “All I could think about were the endless opportunities I could provide for so many talented people who sing and dance before the Lord from Richmond and beyond.”
It was only days later when The Belle put together a rough draft with Brian Little smiling with approval.
Little says, “While we have had several spiritual and inspirational events hosted for the city of Richmond at various venues, I am excited about what Ms. Belle is bringing to the table for Dogwood Dell. Our goal is to grow what we have been doing for years and open the doors for new comers and new talent.”
Traditionally Dogwood Dell has played host to concerts, plays and musicals that showcase local talent from June to August yearly. Family members and friends come throughout the Summer with lawn chairs and picnic baskets. Some of their special Gospel guests over the years have included Larry Bland and the Volunteer Choir, God’s Image and Cora Armstrong. This year you can expect to see a few more familiar faces and several new ones, along with more than 20 other groups and performers.
The Belle says, “I am extremely excited about the doors God is opening and making room for as we now have talent coming in from as far away as Jacksonville, FL and Boston, Mass. My goal this year is to truly have something for everyone from traditional to Gospel Hip Hop.”
This year, The Belle says, “I’m also excited about the Praise Party we will be bringing to life this year, which will be produced by Stellar Award Winner Minister Earl Bynum!
One of our highlights this year will be a special tribute to the Legendary Larry Bland, who is responsible for so much of Richmond’s Gospel Heritage. This is such an honor to do something for someone, who has already done so much for so many!
There is so much talent out here, not only in Richmond, but across the country and providing them with a stage, an audience and an opportunity, is what some of them simply need. Hopefully we’ll be able to provide just that with the blessing of my own city.”
Currently our line up includes, Dr. Bobby Jones, Dottie Peoples, Troy Sneed, Monica Lisa Stevenson, Black RVA, Gerald Scott, Soul Tempo, Maggie Ingram & The Ingramettes, Minister Earl Bynum and the Mount, James Johnson & The Voices of Cedar Street, Sensere, Alvin Fowlkes & The Bomb Squad, Van Boyd, First Creation, J. T. Logan, Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music, Soul Tempo, Patrick Dopson, Bryan Pound, Jonathan McReynolds, Young Mieo, Da Hype of SPBC, Blaze, Tye Berkley and Gavin Davis.
This year’s event will once again be co-hosted by Dr. Bobby Jones and Sheilah Belle, aka, The Belle.
Last year, crowd estimates were around 10,000 to 15,000 people.
The Belle says, “While this is a serious under taking, this is also a major community effort as well. We have already enlisted the help of more than fifty volunteers and at least fifty more are needed.”
With just about 2 months to go, a meeting for Volunteers will be held THIS SATURDAY, May 5th, 2012 @10am at Dogwood Dell, in Byrd Park, Richmond, VA.
“This is merely another platform that God is giving His people to represent the kingdom. May we all pull together and ask for God’s guidance and blessing over this event and all of those involved to make it a success,” says “The Belle.