Festival, omicron and the Forest Stage


Hi everyone,

It’s nearly start time for Festival One 2022 on the new site! Yeeees! Some of us have been down on Hartford for a few weeks now getting the place ready for us all. Marquees are up, the roads are marked out, the beautiful high quality deep bore water has been tested (it’s utterly perfect! Better than my water at home!) and Ross and his team have reticulated it to taps all around the site waiting for your drinking bottles.

The sunrises and sunsets here have been fabulous. The weather has been more than kind. The river is a treat during the middle of the day. The glades that Jozsef and his team have chosen for the River Stage and Forest Stage are just stunning. I’ve picked up another kilometre of festoons to make the place even more incredible at night. Nic Manders and Goff (the legend from The Production Co.) are scheming an amazing light show at the Forest Stage during Nic’s set, triggered by his keyboard. It’s going to be amazing!

We’ve all caught up with the Government’s announcement yesterday. That Northland is going from red to orange, and the rest of the country remains in orange. Yeeees! This allows us - and many other events - to proceed. As we have said all along, we continue until we are told otherwise. That is what we did for the last two festival’s and what we will continue to do for this year.

Yes, there is the threat of Omicron coming into the community, and we hope and pray that it will not arrive before Festival One. If it does, and the Government stops everything, we will of course stop, and we will of course either reschedule or refund, depending on the circumstances.

I want to be very clear that while Omicron is not in the community we are going ahead, and we are not making Omicron “more likely” by running Festival One. Delta cases have been steadily dropping, which is why the Government is taking Northland from red to orange. Until Omicron hits life should go on as “normal” as we can! Let’s get together and celebrate being part of God’s family while we can!

Regarding Rapid Antigen Tests - we are currently no further ahead. We understand there is considerable stock in the country with more coming, but so far it has not been released to us to use other than for crew purposes in the lead up to Festival. We are not yet permitted to allow access to the Festival for anyone - crew or guests - unless they have a valid vaccine pass, or a child that does not need one. We wish this was otherwise. So what about those of you who are still hoping for a Rapid Antigen test approval? Please hold on. Our policy is that until gates open for Festival we remain hopeful. We are entering another time of rapid change in the health requirements and decrees, and who knows when these may be released more widely as in other countries (UK, USA etc). We really appreciate your patience and grace as we all try to navigate our way forwards.

All that said, I’m sitting here in a fold up chair, looking across the Festival site as it comes together day by day - lots of crew caravans arriving at the moment, and the first shower block is being installed too. I can’t wait for us all to be together. We are working super hard to “put out the chairs and set the table”. We are eagerly awaiting for you all to arrive and “sitting up at the table” and even more eagerly awaiting the gracious presence of the Holy Spirit washing over us all, and directing our hearts and minds to our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. This is what we are all about. Can’t wait to worship with you, listen to some great speakers with you, enjoy some great food, hang out and chat, and most of all be together, In God’s creation, with His people, giving glory to Him.

See you soon.