Wilds & Associates Announces Cancellation of the 17th Annual Gospel Music FanFair

(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Feb. 24, 2021/Kennedy, AL) Randall Wilds, CEO of Wilds & Associates – the promotional company that presents the annual Gospel Music FanFair – has announced the cancellation of the 2021 Gospel Music FanFair event scheduled for May 10-15, 2021.

In an official statement released Wednesday, Wilds explained how COVID restrictions would significantly reduce artist and vendor participation.

“While our lives seem to be slowly returning to some level of normalcy in much of the country, health and safety restrictions still in place in many states due to COVID are still having a crippling impact on attendance at public events. Even abiding by social distancing guidelines with seating arrangements inside the performing arts theatre, we could still accommodate a somewhat sizeable attendance. However, we have been informed by the administration of The Center for Rural Development, the home of Gospel Music FanFair for the past several years, that we would be restricted to a very limited number of booths for artists and vendors in the exhibit hall. The Gospel Music FanFair Board of Directors has concluded that this would have a domino effect resulting in overall low attendance and artist/vendor participation. Therefore, we have made the painful decision to cancel this year’s event.”

“While we are disheartened to have to make this decision, we are happy to cooperate with state and federal guidelines for the sake of everyone’s health and safety. During the past year, we have lost so many Gospel greats to COVID, and this pandemic has had a devastating effect on us all. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Let’s continue to pray for our nation.”

In the coming months, as conditions improve and restrictions are slowly and safely lifted, be watching for announcements regarding next year’s event. Although planning is already underway, solid dates have not yet been determined. To receive the earliest announcements regarding Gospel Music FanFair and other events, products and services offered by Wilds & Associates, please visit to sign up for the newsletter.

Announcements will also soon be forthcoming regarding the 17th annual Gospel Music Fan Awards. As a reminder, the second and final ballot will be published on March 1, 2021, listing the top ten nominees. Visit or for more information and to access the online ballot.

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Formed over 19 years ago by Deon & Susan Unthank originally as, the site was birthed from an email discussion group by the same name. The SoGospelNews email discussion list was created by the Unthanks after the Singing News shut down its extremely popular discussion list. SoGospelNews started as a simple webpage listing artists, fans, individuals, etc. that were avid supporters of the newly formed SoGospelNews talk list. The site eventually took on printing news for Southern Gospel artists, and eventually took on reviewing the latest recordings from both signed and independent artists within the small genre. SoGospelNews became the most viewed Southern Gospel website on the Internet with over 4,000,000 hits per month.

The Unthank family are now involved in the site, as well as the addition of over two dozen staff writers. The website is based out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In April 2010, SoGospelNews changed its name to The name change allows them to cover news items of not only Southern Gospel, but also Country Gospel, Inspirational, and Black Gospel.

On January 5, 2011, Susan Unthank passed away, leaving the website in control of Deon, their son, Chris, and their daughter Amy.