Christian music fans from across the state gathered in Verbena Saturday for a music festival called En Fuego. The festival began as a group of students singing church songs, but has grown to an event with a $150,000 budget.
“It’s so beautiful out here. The crowd is excited. There’s just no feeling like it to know that this isn’t just a concert, man. This is a big ole get together. It’s a lot of fun.,” said David Frey, a performer with Sidewalk Prophets.
The festival gates opened at noon to an estimated 20,000 Christian music fans. They heard acts familiar to the Christian music scene like Ryan Stevenson and Sidewalk Prophets.
“En Fuego is great because it’s community and it’s community you can see. I mean it’s hundreds and thousands of people sitting on a hill together and that’s our hope and prayer that everybody walks away feeling like they’ve been a part of something special,” said Frey.
However, making that happen is not cheap. As the festival has grown, so has the cost, but organizers don’t charge admission.
“There’s donors that have given. Corporate sponsors that give, individuals that give. And they’ve even taken up an offering this afternoon and that always helps. They usually use that to pay it forward for the next year and get a good balance in the bank ready to go for the next year’s event,” said event emcee Chris Britton.
Organizers say it’s important to them to keep the event open to anyone who wants to be there.\
“We are reaching a crowd for Jesus Christ. It’s great music, we don’t want them to remember a band. We want them to have a life changing event where the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord’s comes into their life and changes who they are,” said event emcee Jeff Herron.