Rick Blackburn set up D13 Live Music Events to help bring positive Christian music back to NC. He’s currently trying to bring the City RockFest Tour to town with fans’ help via a Go Fund Me campaign, a campaign that ends in just a few days. Here’s our interview with Rick so check it out to find out more about him, his favorite music and how you can help support the campaign.
[JW] Could you introduce us to who Rick Blackburn is, where you’re from and how you came to Christ?
[RB] I am from Winston Salem, NC. I have an awesome wife and 5 kids, whom I am very proud of. I love being a husband and dad more than anything else in this world. I accepted Christ when I was just 13, but a divorce and falling out of church during that time, at a young age, made me mad at God for awhile. Eventually, after failing to find happiness in drugs and alcohol, I had a head on collision with Jesus around 30 yrs old and had to admit, He is the only way to true happiness. Now, I just try my best to trust Him and do what He put me here to do.
[JW] When and how did you fall in love with Christian music?
[RB] Music has always been as important to me as air. As far back as I can remember, music spoke to me in a way that a lot of people don’t understand, still does. I’m an old school, heavy metal, hard rock guy and during my transition from “running with the devil” to desiring a deeper relationship with God, I needed something different than the “sex-drugs-rock n roll” thing. It was difficult trying to find something to replace that, but then I discovered Disciple, Pillar, Demon Hunter, POD. I thought it was so cool that these bands could produce the hard music I loved so much, with a more positive, spiritual message.
[JW] What’s your favorite genre of music and who are some of your favorite bands/artists?
[RB] Alternative metal, Nu metal, Symphonic metal. Oh, I have a dozen or so favorite bands: Disciple, POD, Megadeth, Nightwish, Deftones, to name a few… So many favorites, it’s hard to choose just one.
[JW] How have you seen Christian music impacting people at the numerous concerts you’ve been to?
[RB] My first real christian rock concert was Disciple, probably around 1998. I was blown away. How could these guys rock so hard and still preach the gospel? I’ve seen Disciple more times than I can count and you’ll never see less than 20 people raise their hand and say, “I choose to accept this Jesus” after Kevin Young’s message. It made me realize that our God is big enough to use these heavy rockers to spread the gospel in a mighty way.
[JW] What’s the local Christian music scene like in NC?
[RB] Back in the 90’s into the early 2000’s was pretty good. A lot of cool bands rolled through. Over the last 10 years, it seems the live music scene around here has died. Especially christian hard rock. You still have Winter Jam roll through yearly, which is ok at best and the K-Love bands play here and there. It seems the venues and churches that used to have the heavier bands, have just lost interest.
[JW] You run a company called D13 Live Music Events, what made you start it up and what’s the D13 part mean?
[RB] D13 is short for District 13, so I’m obviously a Hunger Games fan. District13LiveMusicEvents was too long, so D13 it was and for some odd reason, the number
13 has always appealed to me. I think one day I just got fed up with places not booking the bands I liked in our area, so I decided to give concert promotions a shot. It’s extremely harder than I ever imagined.
[JW] You’re currently running a Go Fund Me to bring the popular City RockFest Tour to Jamestown, NC in May, what made you start that campaign up?
[RB] My kids and I have followed this tour since they started, except for the last 2 years, they stopped getting booked in NC, so I’m determined to get this awesome rock show here one way or another. I wish I had the money to just book it myself and have a free concert for the kids and community, unfortunately I don’t, so we started a gofundme, in hopes to gather support from other people who see the need in something like this here. We’re praying that God will send the money. I don’t want to charge for tickets.
[JW] When does the campaign end?
[RB] Its now on it’s 3rd and final week. It ends Sunday Feb 11th at midnight. We prayed for the money in 3 weeks, so hopefully God will open peoples eyes and hearts to give. I told God if He gives us the money, I’ll stand onstage May 2 in Jamestown, NC along with everyone that is there and give Him praise for making it all happen.
[JW] Tell people how they can get involved in helping bring positive music back to NC…
[RB] Support D13 LiveMusicEvents and other christian promoters in NC with your prayers and donations. We can bring it back, if we do it together.
[JW] So do they get tickets in return for backing the campaign?
[RB] Yes. A $100. donation gets you 4 VIP passes to the concert. Businesses and sponsors giving $500. or more get 4 VIP passes and 4 general admission as well, as being able to set up a merch table, hang a banner, plus the MC will call out their names between sets.
[JW] What song or album are you currently obsessed with?
[RB] I’m obsessed with music in general. I am very excited and anxiously awaiting Zahna’s new album. I believe she’s gonna surprise some people with a very unique style.
[JW] We’re eagerly awaiting that album too! How can the JesusWired readers be praying for you?
[RB] Pray for God to open more doors for future concerts for D13 and especially for us to reach our goal to bring City Rockfest 2018 to Jamestown, NC on May 2
[JW] Thanks for talking to us today Rick, any final comments?
[RB] Keep supporting these bands that work so hard for you. I’m talking about the bands they won’t play on radio. The bands that play from the heart, for God, for little to no money. That’s the bands D13 wants to support.
Support the Go Fund Me campaign here