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Secrets to a successful music festival
Home > Interpreter Magazine > Archives > 2006 Archives > May-June 2006 > Christian music festival attracts youth

Christian music festival
attracts youth

An annual Christian music festival in the Kansas City area is a successful fund-raiser and evangelism tool for its sponsor, Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

Every year since 1998, youth at Aldersgate Church in suburban Lees Summit, Mo., have produced Nite Lite, a two-day festival in December featuring 10 local Christian bands. About 400 young people attended the 2005 Nite Lite, which raised a record $2,862 for the youth group.

“It’s almost all student run,” said Phil Rayson, director of student ministries at Aldersgate. Youth leaders choose the bands and ask them to play for free.

“A lot of the kids in the community look forward to it every year,” said Aaron Jones, one of the youth leaders. Many who attend usually “would never set foot in a church,” he said.

Each year the leaders pass along the “Book of Power,” with notes about what worked and what didn’t. “The key to a successful Nite Lite experience is the members of the youth group being involved and having the high school students run the show,” said Timothy Strack, another leader. Rayson offered these tips for staging a successful music festival:

• Plan seven months or more in advance.

• Ask an electrician to examine breaker boxes and add capacity if necessary to accommodate sound equipment. Hire a professional to provide the equipment.

• Set up a Web page with a downloadable map and poster.

The music festival strengthens the youth group, Rayson said. “The whole youth group works for this common goal and purpose.”

For more information, call Rayson at (816) 537-7233 or e-mail him at

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