Managing 80 to 100 concerts a year all around the world—including Christian music cruises and multiday festivals—Landon Beene has a full calendar. But his experience also gives him unique insight into the behind-the-scenes benefits of Christian cruises. Between events, he paused long enough to give us an exclusive interview and share how travel has impacted his faith and family and especially the lives of those who attend his events.
You may already know many of the music groups hosted by Gospel Music Celebration events and Landon Beene, President of IMC Management. The star-studded roster often includes acts from the Beene Family (Landon and his siblings), The Isaacs, the Booth Brothers, The Collingsworth Family, Cana’s Voice, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, the Ball Brothers, Geron Davis, Legacy Five, Liberty Quartet, Tim Lovelace, and Uriel Vega to name just a few. While maintaining relationships with top gospel musicians and entertainers, Landon remains one of the most humble, genuine and fun-loving people we know.
What does a day in the life of an event promoter look like?
Like a tangled up fishing line…haha! Honestly, though, I stay incredibly busy planning future events and cruises, but once those plans are in motion, I try to stay focused on what is happening next. I can tell you almost every detail about this coming weekend, but I can’t tell you much about what is happening a week from now.
Your wife, TaRanda, is a solo artist and you travel extensively with her. Do you try to schedule time for sightseeing when you’re on tour with her?
Absolutely! We are blessed to be able to see much of the world. We always try to take an extra day or two for sightseeing in areas we may have never been before, as long as we have time at home before and after the trip. Otherwise, we are doing our best to get home to be parents.
You and TaRanda have four children, and we know how important family time is for you. What is your favorite family vacation destination? Why?
I’d have to say NYC at Christmastime. TaRanda has been the featured guest soloist for Brooklyn Tabernacle’s Christmas production for 13 consecutive years, so to have all of the family together in the city following our busiest touring season of the year always feels like a homecoming. We all know that once we are together there, we won’t be apart again for a while since we break through the month of January from events and touring.
Music changes lives. Is there an event attendee’s story or interaction that stands out to you or has stuck with you through the years?
Yes! A few years ago we had an event in Canada, and there was a group of six ladies who approached me and asked to have their picture taken with me. I was obviously curious as to why they wanted a picture with me, so I asked, and one of them responded, “Don’t you produce and promote the Gospel Music Celebration cruises?”
I replied, “Yes.”
Then they shared how they’d all met on a cruise several years ago and are now best friends. That particular trip was their annual reunion trip. I later found out that several of them had really ministered to each other during the cruise. Some were recent widows and others were having problems with children that were away from the Lord.
I realized the lifetime relationships and ministry that our team indirectly helped facilitate. That was a BIG moment for me.
This year, we are focusing on widows and widowers on our cruises. We plan to have special sessions specifically designed for those who are alone or who have lost someone, a support system and a community of sorts. Watching the difficulty my mom has had since the homegoing of my father, I’ve realized how important this is.
Where have some of your favorite/best events been? What do you think contributed to their success?
Without question, our cruise events. Concert tours and multiday events are great, but the fellowship and ministry that happen on a cruise are unmatched. I believe the major contributing factor is that people are able to disconnect from their daily lives for a duration of time, allowing our passengers to reset and build lasting relationships with other believers.
Do you have any advice for someone who has never been on a Christian cruise and is considering booking a trip with IMC?
Travel has a way of bringing people closer. Watching people has really made me aware of the fact that everyone needs an escape sometimes in order to remove distractions from their day-to-day routines and to reset. I believe when we get away from the distractions of life it gives us a fresh perspective of our Creator and allows us to enrich our relationship with Him.
- When you’re on the cruise, introduce yourself to the artists.
- Turn your phones off and relax. We have to remember we are not humans living a spiritual experience, but rather, we are spiritual beings living a human experience. This world is not our home, but God has given us some amazingly special places to rest in Him and to be reminded of His glory.
Our interview with Landon confirmed what we already knew: he is one cool Beene. His deep passion for music and, most importantly, the Lord is evident in all he does. It’s been an honor partnering with him for over a decade.