Monday, August 2, 2010

Thousands attend Christian music festival in Longmont

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comFor the more than 35,000 Christian music fans who came to the Union Reservoir on Saturday for the Heaven Fest, the heat, long lines and crowded, dusty parking lots were overcome with the pure patience and understanding.

"I've worked at other festivals and the people here are nicer and are more gracious," said Angi Pratt, a parking volunteer who works in the ministry at the Auraria campus in Denver. "Probably because they are Christians."

Heaven Fest, the 3-year-old single-day Christian music festival, moved to the Longmont this year because it outgrew its previous venue in Brighton and elicited complaints from residents and attendees, mostly related to traffic delays.

"The scale is amazing," said Heaven Fest spokesman

Steve Chavis. "And we have the space here to handle the crowd and to engage and entertain them."

By early evening, no traffic accidents were reported, and five people are had to seek emergency medical attention. One of those was taken to the hospital for a seizure, and the other four were treated for heat exhaustion. For a festival with almost no shade, the lack of emergencies was probably due to the absence of the alcohol, said Brett Haberstich, spokesman for the Boulder County incident management team.

There still were people waiting at the parking lots and the entrances, and the lines for free ice water and at the food stands grew as the afternoon went on.

A girls Christian youth group from Bayard, Neb., who had been camping since Friday night for their first visit to the festival, were most excited to see the band Hawk Nelson play. The high school juniors and seniors said they wished for more places to sit and cleaner portable restrooms.

The festival is expected to bring in around $700,000 to Longmont, Mayor Bryan Baum said at a news conference for Heaven Fest last month.

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