Organizers say everything is coming together for this year’s IGNITE 2012 in Pell City.
“We’re right on schedule,” said Kerry Hollis of Pell City, who is the co-director and founder of the annual event held at the Avondale Walking Track in Pell City. “We’re a little behind on the budget, but everything will come together.”
The event, which organizers say is one of the largest non-denominational outdoor Christian music festivals in East Alabama, is set for Aug. 11 from 1-10 p.m.
“All our artists are booked,” Hollis said.
Ignite 2012 will headline four well-known Christian music groups or artists this year, including Downhere, Shonlock, Jonny Diaz and Brian Weaver.
And the event is free to attend.
“We had about 6,000 people to attend last year,” Hollis said. “I think we will probably top that this year, if we have good weather.”
He said IGNITE is gaining notoriety across East Central Alabama.
“The crowds keep getting larger and larger,” Hollis said.
There are some changes to this year’s event.
For the first time, there are food venders.
“We started seeing a decline in that area with the 2011 event, so we had to make some changes,” Hollis said. “We are looking to bring in high quality vendors but are also working to keep the costs reasonable.”
He said a portion of the proceeds from concession sales will go to support the costs of the event.
Hollis said the crowds just got too big, and it became too expensive for churches to try and provide free food and drink to everyone.
“It will still be free to get in there,” Hollis said.
He said people just need to bring their lawn chairs and blankets so they are comfortable for the duration of the day-long Christian music festival.
“We’re still looking for churches to get booths,” Hollis said, adding that IGNITE 2012 is non-profit event, organized by Extreme Ministries.
Church booths are $100 each, and the money helps pay for the power, “so they can have light at night,” Hollis said.
He said churches cannot give away food or drinks this year, since there are vendors who will sell food and drink at this year’s IGNITE 2012.
“The churches are being encouraged to participate with booths but to find other creative ways to be a contributor to show their support for the community and the mission of the event,” Hollis said.
Another change this year, the event will feature local youth bands, which will help kick off IGNITE 2012.
“The vision for IGNITE has always been to bring the local churches of Jesus Christ out from the walls that separate them and to unite them into one single outreach into the community, with the sole purpose of showing God’s love to the unbelievers,” Hollis said. “…Following the huge success of IGNITE ’08, it was apparent that the community as a whole would support such an event.”
He said the event is made possible through private donations and church participation. About 70-percent of the event’s budget is met by commitments.
“We have really been blessed to have this much of our budget met by commitments this year,” Hollis said, adding that about 50-percent of their budget was met through private donations. “We have some very generous people in our community who appreciate and share our vision for the IGNITE festival each year.”
He said IGNITE ’12 still needs donations and business and church sponsorships to make the remainder of their budget.
For more information about IGNITE 2012, visit www.ignitepellcity.com or contact Hollis at 205-405-0170.