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AGMF becomes “Easterfest”

After ten years growing to become Australia’s largest faith-based festival, the Australian Gospel Music Festival will take on a new name and fresh direction in 2008.

Easterfest will be more than a music event on the Easter weekend, according to Chief Executive Officer, Isaac Moody.

“This has become an event about Easter,” Moody said, “designed to transform the community with an acceptance of the Gospel message at this most important Christian celebration.”

AGMF had grown to a point where the Queensland regional city of Toowoomba welcomed more than 30 000 music lovers each year, but the event had undergone an organic change in recent years.

The festival now partners with artists, businesses, government, churches and charities from local to international levels, drawing people from throughout South East Asia and the Pacific.

“In this city we’ve seen an example that could be reflected nationally. This isn’t about one church linking with part of the community – it’s become the Church connecting with the wider community, inviting everyone to celebrate the great things that flow from the Easter event,” said Isaac Moody.

While music will remain a key, Easterfest will employ everything from the Iona Passion Play to stunt bikes to consider justice and generosity, morality and transformation as people consider a long-term response to the cross.

The bands at Easterfest 08 will include Jars of Clay and the Newsboys. The Queensland Pops Orchestra will help lead the combined Sunday evening worship service. Speakers’ Forums will explore social justice issues with guests including Melinda Tankard-Reist of the Women’s Forum Australia. The Iona Passion Play will be a first for Easterfest, along with a live edition of the international radio programme ‘Focus on the Family’.

As with AGMF, Easterfest is about more than music according to organisers.

“This won’t be simply more entertaining. Easterfest is a rare opportunity for the unity of the Church to be reflected in its diversity by giving everyone, Christians or not, opportunities to consider what Jesus is offering through His death and resurrection.”