I used to attend the Parachute festivals years ago with my media ticket and was fortunate to meet lots of interesting artists and A & R people from all over the world, including the top headlining performers. The festival is the biggest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. In fact it is bigger than most like-minded festivals in the northern hemisphere, including Greenbelt in the UK, and Creation and Cornerstone in the US.
However this year's festival appears to be known for three things: a drowning, a downpour and lots more media coverage.
Ironically the most popular Christian musician in this country, Brooke Fraser wasn't even on the programme as an artist. However she was doing a seminar and, according to media reports, found time to perform to the 28,000 plus crowd. The downpour came while Dave Dobbyn played around midnight last night and about 19 mm fell in an hour.
Christian music is no little industry. Most bands have MySpace sites, the industry is big bucks, and attracts media coverage from little music rags to the likes of TIME Magazine.
Oh yeah, those of you who are into Christian music may be interested to know that after 12 years, kiwi musician Phil Joel has left US band The Newsboys, although not for the same reason as band founder John James,(article out last week).