Lakewood Cemetery to hold Concert Series

The Lakewood Cemetery Chapel — Soon to Double as a Music Venue

In an article that you can read here, Minneapolis’ famed Lakewood Cemetery announced that they will kick off a three-event concert series on April 8, 2018, with a performance by Anonymous Choir.  The article states that the series, “Music in the Chapel” will feature acts that you would typically see in rock venues.

Currently three acts are booked through May 6 and the cemetery will likely follow if all goes well according to the article.  Lakewood Cemetery president Rob Gjerde was quoted in the article, “Lakewood is reimagining the role of cemeteries in every day life, and we think this a great way of doing that.”

The venue will be inside the majestic domed chapel, built in 1910 and featuring a 10 million piece mosaic interior.  The chapel seats 160 guests and Lakewood plans a $10 admission charge for the Sunday afternoon concerts that will also be alcohol free.

Funeral Director Daily take:  Lakewood is certainly not the first cemetery to promote lifestyle events in its confines.  But the 250 acre cemetery, that was founded in 1872, is one of the most prestigious.  The cemetery features over 100,000 monuments and markers bearing  names which include some of Minnesota’s greatest political and business leaders.

There has been a lot of talk of late in the death care industry of how to “win” the attitudes of the living public for the eventuality of using the product or service that your business provides.  We, at Funeral Director Daily, have advocated for wedging your business into the life of people in your community at a younger age.  Our opinion is that is what this decision is about.

Think about it — in the days of 90% earth burial – cemeteries not only sold lots.  They also received revenue for digging the grave at the time of death, probably sold the monument and even had some type of program to put flowers on the grave annually.  That revenue is tough to come by in today’s world.

In a society that has cremation percentage that will close in on 60% soon, many of those who needed services for earth burial in days gone by, do not even use a cemetery anymore.  Many cremation families opt for scattering, or what we see happening more and more – decisions are delayed – and  the remains go home with the survivors and get forgot about.  Cemeteries feel this loss of revenue and need to find ways that they can help the consumer public feel a sense of ownership, nostalgia, or belonging with a cemetery.

We give cemeteries like Lakewood credit for trying to give the consumer public the opportunity for cemeteries to remain relevant in the minds of cremation consumers.

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