In a normal October, the red carpet would be rolling out and leading into Allen Arena for the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards.

This is not a normal October.

The 51st GMA Dove Awards will not be hosted at Lipscomb; in fact, there will be no venue hosting the Dove Awards, as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the awards show to be completely virtual, with planners trying to package it differently than a typical awards show.

The gospel awards show has taken place in Lipscomb’s Allen Arena for the past seven years, and the organizers hope to be able to come back to Allen Arena in 2021.

Doves producer Justin Fratt said organizers wanted to take a different approach for this year’s awards to stand out from other virtual awards shows and to maintain the relevance and power of this event.

“When planning, we were thinking about what would be different, but still very compelling,” said Fratt. “We didn’t want to do it like others — we’ve seen awards shows utilizing Zoom. This will be a musical feature that celebrates the music and the message.”

The planning started in the spring, and the show was recorded in mid-September at TBN studios in Hendersonville.

It took three weeks to record the show, said Fratt, adding there are performances and interviews with artists, who will share stories of faith and how gospel music has gotten them through these trying times.

As far as the Dove Awards’ plans to return to Lipscomb next year: it looks like it’s a go.

 “As long as we can, we would love to gather again at Lipscomb next year,” Fratt said.

The Dove Awards air at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, TBN, Facebook Live and Youtube.

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