AMONG the thousands of young people expected at this year’s Australian Gospel Music Festival (AGMF) in Toowoomba over the Easter long weekend will be a group of Catholic campers.
This year, youth ministry leaders from Catholic communities in southern Queensland are working together to create a “Catholic Campsite” for the festival in Toowoomba’s Queens Park.
It came as a response to a successful Catholic Camp they held at Sonfest, an annual Christian music festival held in Boonah, south west of Brisbane, in January.
Toowoomba Diocesan Youth Ministry co-ordinator James Bryant said the camp aimed to offer young Catholics and their families an opportunity to experience the music event while giving them the opportunity to stay connected with traditional Catholic Easter events.
“This is a great opportunity for young Catholics to enjoy themselves and to meet other young Catholics from all around Queensland and Australia,” he said.
“We are not trying to separate the young Catholics from other Christians. One of the great things about an event like this is that they get to connect with people from other backgrounds.
“However, we do see an opportunity to support young Catholics with their specific needs, such as understanding any confusing topics that might come up during the weekend and helping them get to Good Friday and Easter Sunday Masses and celebrations.”
Thousands of youth, young adults and families from across Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China are expected to attend the festival from April 14-16.
Now in its eighth year, AGMF attracts a range of local, national and international artists, and boasts attractions including snow boarding, a silent dance party, a Fancy Pants Ball, an art gallery, celebrity cricket match, artist signings, a global village and fire dancing.
A record line-up of artists will perform over the Easter weekend including Emmanuel Youth Outreach’s Firestarter band and the Emmanuel Worship Band.
They will join one of Australia’s most successful music exports, Newsboys, Grammy Award winner Rebecca St James and Chicago based pop-rock sextet, Superchic[k], who will make their first appearance at the festival.
AGMF is Australia’s largest drug and alcohol-free event with more than 30,000 people attending in previous years.
James said more than 50 people had already booked tickets for the Catholic campsite.
He said other benefits that came with booking with the Catholic group was a discount of 10 per cent off camping and entry tickets.
The group cost for a three-day pass with camping is $90.
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