This year's LifeLight festival was a bit different for us. I no longer work for the company I used to and while Bryon still does, they weren't planning a corporate tent this year anyway.
We knew early that we still wanted to serve in a big way but we were unsure how to volunteer, or where. So I did what I usually do and called up the festival founders myself (they used to attend our church and have become friends of ours) and offered our bodies up for the whole weekend. Their finance director's eyes rolled back in his head. We were all very excited!
Turns out, they needed someone to manage the hundreds of sponsors checking into the main sponsor tent - it is super detail oriented, project management on crack. In other words, a position I hope to keep every year. They also needed someone to assist with quadrant 1 operations - something Bryon was super geeked out to do because it is Back of House, side and backstage, and artist operations! We totally were blessed with the positions we were given.
We attended a festival coordinators meeting the Tuesday before the festival began. Everyone was warm and welcoming and we could feel the energy building - literally.
Working as staff this year really brought a new perspective to the entire festival for us. A care for every piece of alfalfa in that field.
Prep for the grounds started as early as possible. Rain was predicted this year so everyone worked quickly to get the tents up and the new steel grain bin kiosks in place at the entrances.
My heart went pitter-pat when I saw them hang the banners on main stage. To God Be The Glory!
Turns out, I got to spend a lot of time looking at this fella. Quadrant 1 also includes the main sponsor tent.
And the main stage.
We really enjoyed the Afters.
A little rain fell on Friday. Most of the festival attendees took off their shoes and went barefoot for the rest of the evening. There was mud, but it was easily managed. That said, I saw more than 40 people thew away their shoes on the way out. And that's 40 out of close to 100,000.
Saturday morning was just glorious. Bright blue skies.
Some of the grounds have not yet been covered with permanent covering yet, so the alfalfa was pretty torn up after the rain and bare feet. Plywood sheets were brought in to make a path for walking without slipping.
Look at that stud!
My stud also was on standby BOH to haul artists around festival grounds. Grounds are HUGE, yo. There are multiple stages spread out over this farm and artists need rides between things like their kitchen, the media tent, meet & greets, and the stages. He transported Love & The Outcome and another band he didn't recognize, who took selfies in the gator. Everyone had a blast despite the mud.
Bryon was even on point to pick up the Rhett Walker Band - and I thought his tail might wiggle right on out of his pants. He loves their music so much. As it turns out, they walked because - well, they're the Rhett Walker Band and probably go muddin' on a regular basis.
I did walk right up to Kevin, Kenny, and Joe and introduce myself and Bryon when they came through my sponsor tent. Because I'm the mouth of our marriage and I HAD to make a moment for my honey. And they were gracious! They stopped and shook our hands and I'm sure Bryon wanted to invite them fishing.
We took a break from volunteering to go worship during their performance. It was well worth it.
Then Saturday got crazy behind the scenes because Skillet brings a rowdy crowd. Bryon bounced on the side of the main stage. In more ways than one. I monitored entry into our area because it is the best viewing of the festival and accessible by badge only. Hundreds and hundreds of badges and their children, oh my.
Skillet had pyrotechnics! They were also really, really, really loud!
Sunday morning was humbling. So pretty outside, even though storms were a-comin'. It was the largest church service in LifeLight history - thousands and thousands in attendance and worship that morning.
And then the skies opened up and the rains came forth. I swear I almost started collecting animals, two by two.
Remedy Drive was on stage when it started pouring in earnest and they stayed out there - singing and jumping around until their set was done. The crowd ate it up. I read later that Remedy Drive said the power of the Holy Spirit felt so strong in those moments of rain that it was the best few moments they'd experienced in a good long while. Just amazing what God can do.
And while many people did retreat to their cars and to my tent, more people stayed where they were and simply took off their shoes and kept singing.
The plywood started to float after a while.
LifeLight's mission is to give the gospel to everyone for free, so they never intended to pack up and quit. Luckily there was no threat of severe weather - just buckets of water falling from the sky.
After the rain subsided some, they tested the electrical and found it was sound and safe - and so the show went on! All of the stages started back up and within moments of doing so, the sun broke through the clouds in the west and warmed our hearts. Like BOOM. For real.
It was so powerful.
It was an amazing end to the weekend. It was an amazing festival this year.
Working three straight days at 36 hours on your feet is hard, but well worth the Glory of His kingdom. What a blessing. I am overwhelmed, truly.
Every year I always say I can't wait until next year and every year I always truly, truly mean it.
Learn more about Lifelight here >> www.lifelight.org