On Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th May 2017, the Big Church Day Out Festival (BCDOF) made its annual return to a green big field named Wiston House, West Sussex. This event celebrates Christianity through a range of talented artists performing and sharing their faith through their music.
This year’s line-up included former member of the popular girl group Destiny’s child, Michelle Williams. The gospel duo Mary Mary was another headline act and several other talented artists such as Andy Mineo, Bethel, Rend Collective and many more!
On Saturday, Faith Child was first to grace the main stage. Hyping up the crowd with his booming beats and rhythmic rapping, the audience danced along. Engaging with the crowd further, he came off stage up to the crowd and grooved along with them.
Later in the day, Michelle Williams performed as the sun shone brightly, neatly fitting with the lively ambience. Her set was mixed with a fusion of sounds ranging from reggae beats, to traditional gospel, to soulful sounds. Miss Williams performed her most known song ‘Say Yes’, where the crowd jumped for joy and sung along in the sunshine. Showing her passion to freely express herself, halfway through the set Michelle switched into more comfortable shoes as she said her pink high heels were restricting her praise!
Northern Irish Folk/Rock worship band, Rend Collective, also performed on this day. Creating a unified environment through their sing-a-long songs, with lyrics on the screens either side of the stage, they brought a cheerful atmosphere to the stage.
The last act to perform on Saturday was the worship band Bethel. Emerging from Bethel Church in Redding, California, they performed a range of praise and worship songs as the audience raised their hands in surrender to God.
After all the acts performed, there was a campfire where campers gathered around and sung songs of praise and worship in unity, creating a peaceful and calming atmosphere. It was a lovely way to end the day.
On Sunday, rapper Andy Mineo started off on a high as the first act to perform on the main stage. With his energetic performance and Hip-Hop beats, the crowd sung and jumped along to his set. Alongside his resonating sound, his lyrics were cool yet conscious, leading the audience to engage with the rhythm as well as his honest and impacting words.
Further in the day, the two sisters that make up Mary Mary performed a lively set with a mix of their own songs and covers of traditional gospel songs. Including their most famous song ‘Shackles’ in the set, the audience grooved along raising their hands in full praise mode. Other tracks they performed were ‘God In Me’, ‘Get Up’ ‘Boom’ and many more.
The festival ended with Reuben Morgan from the worship band Hillsong performing. Halfway through the set, the sky darkened and the audience lit up their phones and waved them in the air as a metaphor and reminder of the scripture of Jesus Christ ‘being the light of the world and as his followers, we have his light within us’ (Matthew 5: 14-16). Highlighting the recent tragic event that occurred in Manchester, the hosts of the BCDO led a moment of silence and prayer in remembrance of those effected by the attack.
I would recommend attending The Big Church Day Out Festival whether you are a Christian or not. As the sense of unity and uplifting environment draws you in and creates a memorable experience.