Music Festivals – Which death will you choose?
Disturbing stories of indecent assaults, abusive sex acts, drug abuse, violence, and death are continually emerging concerning festivals such as Harbour Life and A State of Trance.
2015 will be the tenth year that I have taken my family to the music festival in Queensland, known as Easterfest. Running since 1999, Easterfest takes over the city of Toowoomba. It seems that every eating and drinking venue in the city centre is overtaken with people from around Australia who enjoy positive, life-giving music and a friendly crowd as world class musicians entertain for free. Walking the venue of Queens Park, the buzzing crowd is happy and relaxed. Each year, as we join with the 20,000 or more people who attend the festival, we feel safe and cared for. Each year we make new life-long friends.
I vividly remember the first year we attended, somebody said to me that for them, the big difference between Easterfest and all the other music festivals that they went to, was that nobody was running around naked. I thought they were joking, but over the years, I’ve heard this again and again. Easterfest is an alcohol and drug free event – probably the largest event of this type in our nation. It stands as a strong lighthouse in a dark world of festivals.
Australia should find reports of assaults and deaths at ‘normal’ festivals disturbing. But it receives a brief glance from us and then we move on. The fact is, our society sees such abhorrent behaviour as normal. It is a part of the current youth culture. Young people dying from dangerous drugs or assaults at music festivals is almost to be expected.
Would it surprise you then to know that every year at Easterfest, I see people dying?
If you love the culture or our current world, then you are in danger of dying at Easterfest. Galations 5:24 says that those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 1 Peter 2:24 says that He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. As you are exposed to the culture of Easterfest, a culture of the Kingdom of God, you can’t help but die. Every year, aspects of me that are bad die and are replaced with Kingdom attributes. So like it says in John 12:24, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. This has been my experience. Every year at Easterfest, I hear a new call from God. Last year, God gave me specific strategies on how to further the Kingdom of God. The first year of Easterfest, God told me to fight against abortion and I’ve been doing this ever since. A few years after that, God started talking to me about the Family First Party and I began giving myself to that. Easterfest showcases far more than music. It provides a hive of information, experts and multimedia showcases on social justice issues, politics, the media, education, missions and more. For many of us, it has been a place to hear from God, to be refreshed in Him, to receive a vision for our futures and to experience more of what life, culture and current events will be like as the Kingdom of God continues to grow to maturity. Easterfest is a counter-culture of unity in the body of Christ and outreach to a hurting world that surrounds it. One day, it will be Easterfest all year round. Right now though, as the process continues, every year we see people dying to self and being raised in Christ.
The question for us all then is this. What type of events are we going to invest our time and money in? Which death will you choose?
Ever changing; His Kingdom come
PS If you would like to go to Easterfest this year, get your tickets here and don’t forget to nominate ‘Rocky Road’ as your group when you’re registering. Blessings!