Triple J’s annual all-ages, drug-and-alcohol-free concert One Night Stand will be heading to Mount Isa in Northwest Queensland on 22 April. Each year the free event is hosted by a different regional town, bringing around 10 000 (mostly) young people to town and injecting a lot of money into the local community.
But how can churches get involved? Here are six ways church communities can engage with big, local events.
See what it is all about and celebrate with your community. Organise to take a group of young people or have a meeting point for the young people connected to your church. Before you judge an event, see for yourself what it’s all about.
Find out what help is needed to run the event and pitch in. Big events like One Night Stand bring a huge influx of visitors to town so how can you help? Cook food at a stall or how about volunteering with First Aid? Find out what else needs to happen and pitch in where you can.
Convert your hall (or a tent) into a chill out space. Sometimes people just need somewhere to relax. If going to the event is not for you, is there something you could do with your space to cater for people who just need some down time. Of course, be sure to check any insurance or Safe Ministry with Children implications of activities you plan.
Team up with other local churches to do something. You don’t need to do it all yourself! What are other local churches doing? Can you do it with them? Maybe the Red Frog brigade are coming to town. You could join them or help them in other ways like hosting them.
Keeping hydrated is really important at big events. One Night Stand is a drug-and-alcohol-free concert, but there will certainly be people enjoying the local nightlife as well. Organise to hand out free (or cheap) water (and maybe the use of a loo).
Host a recovery breakfast BBQ with decent coffee for the drive back. A lot of people drive long distances to and from popular events. Help them get home safely with a full tummy and a decent coffee. It doesn’t even need to be free. You could charge a small fee to raise money for a good cause that your church supports.