Cloverdale to host major Christian music festival
By Kevin Pollard
For many, summertime evokes a flood of memories like backyard BBQ’s, camping by the lake or going away to camp, but for others it means hitting the road to experience a Christian Music Festival. In recent years the closest festival has been CreationFest held this year in Kennewick, WA. (a six hour drive from Vancouver) Us older folk may remember that for years we had SonFest right here in our backyard (Lynden, Abbotsford, Chilliwack) that offered live music from top Christian Artists each summer from 1988-1995. Hard to believe it has been more than 20 years since we have had a premiere Christian Music Festival in the Lower Mainland. So when the announcement was made at Chris Tomlin’s sold old concert in Abbotsford that tobyMac would be headlining the inaugural PRAISE FEST on Saturday, August 1 in Surrey at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, music fans all around the Lower Mainland let out a cheer.
The event is presented by Mission Without Borders and will feature a full day of music on two stages and a family fun zone where kids of all ages can enjoy rides and activities all free with admission. The list of artists joining tobyMac includes Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Matthew West, former front man of the Newsboys Peter Furler, hard rock band RED, the Covenant award winning New Artist of the Year, Love and the Outcome and BC native Dan Bremnes. More artists are still being added to the bill and local artists will have a chance to play at the show via a local talent search hosted by Praise 106.5.
Not only will festival goers get the chance to hear their favourite hit songs performed under a bright blue sky (Lord willing) but many artists will be debuting new music. Dan Bremnes just released his new EP Where the Light Is in advance of his first national debut album releasing in June and will certainly be singing his new hit song “Beautiful.” While Matthew West will offer up music from his new album Live Forever that released this month, and among other favourites will be singing his lead single “Day One”. The big question that all tobyMac fans will be waiting to see is how many new songs will he want to try out in front of a live audience. His last studio album Eye On It released back in August 2012 and although he has been in the studio for months now working on his seventh solo album, a release date has not yet been set. Many industry insiders expect a Fall release so we can be certain to hear his brand new single “Way Beyond Me” along with others that he will be looking for audience response on.
So pick up your tickets and let’s show the organizers that they were right to bring back a Christian Music Festival to the Lower Mainland.