Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reflections on Easterfest 2010

Laetitia took me to Easterfest this year. She's a regular goer, since before it changed its name, and has been wanting to take me along for years. This year I finally let her take me along.

We camped with friends from Mackay, in a borrowed tent. Well, when I say “we camped”, actually only Laetitia camped in the tent. I found on the first night that I was getting an allergic reaction to something in the tent, so I spent the nights in the car instead. But it was good to be in the midst of hundreds of tents, with many friends around. I especially enjoyed the discovery directly across from us of the tent of Benoir (I hope that spelling's right), one of the leaders on the year 9 camp I went to not long before Easter!

I also enjoyed running into so many friends walking around at Easterfest—old friends, new friends and students. With special thanks to Lily for the warm welcoming greeting within barely a minute of entering the gate!

But the point of Easterfest is the music, so I'd better say something about that, hey?

First let me start with what I didn't like: Too much noise without musicality, mostly from one tent in particular. But there were plenty of very good alternatives. I liked Sons of Korah, of course, and Newsboys on the main stage (even though there's only one Aussie left, and he's apparently not an original member either). Also enjoyed some of the other groups on the main stage (though not all of them). But I think my favourites were the “smaller” (lesser-known?) artists in venues like the YWAM Chai Circle, with its lovely relaxed atmosphere and intimate setting, and the jazz in the Hammered Silver tent. Bel Morrison and her band made some awesome music in the YWAM tent—and I'm not just saying that because she's my friend! They played really well together, with delicacy and musicality and, well, just actually listening to each other and playing as a group instead of trying to drown each other out like so many others.

I also enjoyed sessions by Jeff Crabtree and Steve Grace in the Vision Arena. Steve Grace in particular inspired me to think quite differently about how to be generous with some of my gifts.

So, overall, a positive experience, but I'm still not sure I want to go back next year. Cold, crowds, and uncomfortable nights are less than enticing.

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