Connect Festival 2016 & Beyond
We're well into 2016 now and usually by now you start to see new artist announcements for the coming fall's Connect Festival. For the past 4 years Connect Festival has started to become a fall tradition in southern New England as a day of fun and fellowship with great Christian artists and speakers. We've also seen it used as an outreach tool with New Engalnders inviting non-believers to experience Christ in a new and exciting way. We've heard some incredible stories of how people of started to explore a relationship with Christ during the festival thanks to an invite from a friend or family member.
Unfortunately, if you've attended either of the last two years or follow us on social media, you know recent years have been a struggle due to poor weather. Weather is always a "wild card" when planning outdoor events and in the planning process you always have to keep the possibility in mind of weather not cooperating. Two years in a row of poor weather (and the poor attendance that usually coincides) has been a strain on our ministry to say the least.
You've probably seen the fundraisers and pleas for support following the festival and once again we've been overwhelmed with the response! In 2015 we were left with close to $20,000 in debt following the festival. Today we only have about $6,000 in outstanding bills! We can't thank enough those who have donated or attended a fundraiser or concert!
The festival team has been praying about and discussing the 2016 festival for months now. It was not an easy decision, but because of the outstanding bills from the 2015 festival it has been decided that we should postpone the 2016 festival until next year in order to be good stewards with what God has provided for us. Thanks to an all volunteer staff (our ministry has no paid staff) we've been able to use all available funds received to help create a financially sound ministry, but there is still a ways to go and we feel led to take a step back before taking on another large financial obligation.
In place of the festival this fall we are planning some great Fall 2016 events that will help our ministry become debt free while still accomplishing our mission of sharing Christ's love through music. These fall events will be announced soon!
While 2016 may be postponed we have already started planning for Connect Festival 2017! Trust me when I tell you it will be the best year for Connect yet! Some of the initial changes/improvements in the works are a change to the date and venue. We have some great locations on our list that we've started to explore. If you have any suggestions for locations/venues please comment below. We'd love your input!
Please join us in praying for God's direction as we plan for 2017. If you would like to be a part of the Connect Festival team please email firstname.lastname@example.org.