New date, new location for the fifth Gracefest

Home 2008 archive New date, new location for the fifth Gracefest

Rachel Strehlow

Published: August 23, 2005

Gracefest, Pensacola’s popular Christian music festival, celebrates its fifth year with a new date and location.  This year the Gracefest committees are planning their annual concert at a brand new location- Spring Street in Pensacola. Gracefest is scheduled for  Sept. 16 and 17.

This year’s concert boasts performances by some of the country’s hottest Christian artists, including Caedmons Call, O.C Supertones, Jars of Clay, Joy Williams, and Third Day, just to name a few.

Among the headliners expected to appear will be singer Nicole C. Mullen, an artist with 20 Grammy and Dove award nominations under her belt. She sang at exclusive locations like Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall and will be performing at Gracefest on Saturday, Sept. 17.

“People who come to Gracefest should expect to feel the presence of God but the festival offers a lot more than your every day church service. Fellowship, friendship, great music, food, and fun are just a few of the elements that make this festival so appealing,” Anthony Lee, head of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and member of Gracefest management team, said.

 Gracefest is the only downtown Christian street concert in the United States, according to Lisa Long, an executive committee member in marketing.  Last year, approximately 10,000 people gathered to see worship band Third Day alone, who will be appearing at Gracefest this fall for their third consecutive year.

Proceeds from Gracefest this fall will be used to assist Rebuild Northwest Florida, which reaches out to thousands of residents suffering losses from hurricane Ivan by rebuilding affordable housing.

“Our goal is to make sure that people understand how much God loves them and accepts you no matter where you are at in life,” Long said.

She also emphasized that she wanted to “encourage the students to come out and support the event. It would be a blessing to them, to non-Christian friends, and then it also benefits the community. It’s an inexpensive way to see 30 artists at one time.”

Among the list of concert events planned are “extreme games” meant to encourage active young people to come.

“We want to incorporate things (for young people) to do that are more engaging,” Long said.

All in all, the executives planning Gracefest this year are attempting to make it action-packed and fun, yet positive.

Gracefest’s move to the fall coincides with the anniversary of Hurricane Ivan.

“The main goal of Gracefest this year is to give back to the community, which is why it was purposely set for Sept. 16 and 17, the exact dates last year that Ivan hit us,” Lee said. 

Unity among races and denominations also is key this year, he said.

“I feel Gracefest is a wonderful opportunity for all diversities to come together under the neutral setting of music. All cultures and all races are given a golden opportunity to interact and fellowship freely without racial hindrances,” Lee said.ÿÿ

For ticket and volunteer information, photos, videos, and more, check out www.gracefest.org

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