When I first moved to town, back when I worked as an intern at a publishing company, the writers and suits are the place talked about this great golf trip they took every year to Colorado – to a place they called “Useless Park.” They did some writing, some mingling and lots of swinging at a little white ball. And they loved it.
I had no idea what Useless Park was or why it was so…useless. Was that a gripe or a compliment? Hard to tell among jaded music professionals sometimes. There’s a fine line between cynical and thankful sometimes.
But now I’m here and about to discover for myself what this place is all about. Turns out it’s actually called “Estes Park” and it’s a gathering of independent artists and professional musicians of all “Christian” genres coming together to learn and refresh and take in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
There are two views of the Gospel Music Association’s Music In The Rockies conference held here every year: 1.It’s an essential and life changing conference for anyone in pursuit of a “Christian” record deal. 2.It’s a waste of a lot of money for the independent artists it claims to benefit and is instead created as PR for the industry and recreation for it’s professionals.
I’ll weigh in with my two cents of course after I experience it for myself and do my best to make my participation in it meaningful for me and those in attendance.
Even if Estes really does turn out to be useless, at the very least I got to wake up in a corridor of America whose skyline is interrupted by snowcapped and tree dotted mountain peaks instead of steel and concrete creations of man. As artists it’s fitting and humbling to come together at God’s footstool, in the middle of his masterpieces, naked and unadorned by our doodlings and rendering of Him. Here it’s hard not to feel small. And that’s good for us big rock stars every now and then.