Surf Stage Festival

Parbold, UK

The Surf Stage Festival is an annual event held in the North West of England. The brainchild of two sisters from St John the Baptist Church in Burscough, the festival aims to be a place where everyone can experience God’s love.

Surf Stage Festival 2024 will take place in Parbold, West Lancashire from Friday 5th July through to Sunday 7th July. Not just for Christians, it aims to attract people who would never set foot in a church, enabling them to stumble into God’s presence.

Rachel Birkett and Katie Street run a hospitality events business and have organised secular music festivals for a number of years. Inspired by their love for festivals like New Wine, they set about creating a local festival that anyone can afford to enjoy. Entry to the festival is free along with the activities.

Last year the Surf Stage Festival welcomed over 3000 people; put on 15 bands; provided free adult, youth and kids activities; prayed over and into the lives of hundreds; pulled a lot of pints; and sold a lot of burgers.

The festival showcases a huge range of live music from all kinds of bands, church and secular, a bar by their local microbrewery and street food. They have planned a jam-packed family funday for 2024 with bouncy castles, games, sports, activity trails, playground, adult craft workshops, a toddler tent, festival glitter, the Spirit Café and a prayer tombola.  Each morning and evening, will include celebrations with worship and inspirational speakers.

Rachel says: “We believe God asked us to create a festival playing worship music, at the same time as being a format that welcomes people who don’t attend church or know God. We felt He wanted to unite lots of different people, organisations and churches throughout the North West in one place to experience God’s love”.

Katie says “We want to create a festival everyone can enjoy. It’s not easy for most people to travel miles or buy expensive festival tickets so we make entry to the Surf Stage Festival and all the activities for adults and kids free.”

Since 2019, the sisters have been nurturing something special and seen it grow. The Surf Stage Festival began five years ago when over 2000 visitors descended on their local playing fields and the response was fantastic. It has grown from a one day funday into an annual weekend event on a 14 acre field in Parbold and now includes affordable camping as an alternative to big summer camps.

To date, the pair have funded the event themselves but this year they have setup as a CIO to apply for additional funding to help the festival grow. Donations go to The Surf Stage Festival partner charity, International Needs UK





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