Sometime back in 1998, the Director of the Lake of the Ozarks Association, Joel Pottinger, had the first idea of a music festival. Since Joel was an ardent Southern Gospel fan, he envisioned a Gospel Festival. The local amphitheater, then called the Stoneridge Amphitheater (now, Ozarks Amphitheater) lay vacant, and in bankruptcy.
It would be the perfect venue for this event, with large stage, electrical connections, dressing rooms and everything needed to bring the bands. Joel mentioned the idea to some local worship leaders at area churches. These younger guys convinced Joel that, although the festival was a great idea, Contemporary Christian Music should also play a part. Enlisting the support of our local Christian Music radio station, KCVO, and with the help of Station Manager Jim McDermott, plans began to take shape for a four day music festival, two nights Southern Gospel, and two nights Contemporary Christian.
In one of the planning meetings, with both Southern Gospel and Contemporary music planned, they struggled with a name for the event. One of the guys said “We have to figure out a way to Cross-over between Southern Gospel and Contemporary. And that was it! They all agreed that Crossover was the perfect name.
So it began. A nationally recognized festival manager was hired. A nationally recognized stage manager was hired, bands were solicited, contracts signed, and on June 2, 1999, opening night of the four-day Crossover #1 was planned.
But there were still major challenges ahead. I’ll tell you about that in next week’s Crossover Connection