Greenbelt Festival, Faith and Music, Progressive Roots, Beer Tent Too, August 27-30

There are music festivals built on music and yoga, nostalgia, on reenactments of classic albums, on 'world music' and I could go and on...

Why shouldn't there be a festival bringing together faith and music, not in a preachy way but one with more progressive roots arching back to the 70's?

There is such a thing as I discovered recently and it is called the Greenbelt festival.


Here's a bit of history they share:

"Among farmers, actors, musicians, theologians and used car dealers, Greenbelt was a dream born on the unsettled non-conformist edges of the church during the early 1970s.

And a few brave and creative people who had a hunch it might be more interesting on the fringe than at the centre soon found themselves at the first ever Greenbelt festival in 1974 on Prospect Farm in Suffolk—and more and more have joined this founding band each year since then.

The Sun newspaper billed that first festival at 'The Nice People's Pop Festival', but perhaps it was more subversive than it appeared. In the 70s Greenbelt's wholistic take ' Bible in one hand and newspaper in the other ' had a transforming impact on those attending.

And if the initial draw of the Festival lay in its unashamed celebration of the arts, particularly rock music, the appeal broadened as a growing internationalism emerged from the concerns of festival organisers.

As the evangelical musical subculture dried up, the heart and mind of Greenbelt broadened and strengthened. Soon, artists were invited not just because they were believers or had a distant churchgoing relative, but because their vision overlapped with a biblical one of global justice (Bob Geldof) or engaging with the political powers (Midnight Oil) or was simply fuelled by a divine sense of wonder (Waterboys)."

Music wise this year's line up includes Gil Scott-Heron; soul singer Beverley Knight; jazz musician Courtney Pine; the London Community Gospel Choir and political punkers The King Blues...

There are also a lot of Talking Sessions some with a spiritual bent others not like a 'Self Confidence for Women' workshop by Rosalyn Clare.

Litterature, films, kids activities are not neglected.

Not a lads festival as you can see.

They are not uptight though, they do have a Beer Tent.

You can keep up with the preparations and the event in progress via the Greenbelt Blog...

The 2010 Edition takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse near London from August 27 to August 30.

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