Flevo Festival: living the dream

Last week was crazy. After working for half the week I found myself on a train to the Flevo Festival grounds. This was going to be my first Flevo experience and I was excited about it! Not only that but I was also part of the webteam. I was excited to see bands as Hillsong London, Chris Tomlin and the Newsboys. I couldn’t wait to write articles about them. But before I tell you all about Flevo I want to tell you something about Ireland. My friend Philip from atiG event management in Ireland booked Chris Tomlin that week. Philip knows that I’m a big supporter of Chris Tomlin’s music and invited me to come over. Unfortunately the day of the concert was on the day that I had to start with my work for Flevo. I would have made the choice to go to Ireland but because I already said that I would be at Flevo on the Wednesday I couldn’t really permit to leave for Ireland. I’ve thought it over & over, because I really want to see Compass & meet up with Philip. But anyway… Chris Tomlin was supposed to perform on the Wednesday in Ireland, then he had a show on the Thursday in England and on Friday he was going to be at the Flevo Festival in Holland. Philip told me that all the bands were arriving on Tuesday and so I was anxious on how everything went. I e-mailed Philip but didn’t really got a reply back. I knew he was busy so that wasn’t really surprising to me. Somehow on Tuesday evening I felt something was wrong. It’s weird… but I had a really weird feeling… I prayed for the situation & continued to pray for it. On Wednesday I still had that feeling and I guess I either text messaged Philip on Tuesday or Wednesday to ask him about how it went. He didn’t reply, so still I thought: well he’s busy… Later I found out that when Chris Tomlin arrived on Tuesday, he got stuck on the airport because somehow he didn’t have the right work permits. The band members were threatened as criminals and were told they had to leave the next day. The whole situation was stressful and very unrealistic. This must have been awful for everyone who was involved and so stressful. It became a whole political issue between Ireland and the US but literally thanks to God they got their passports back on Wednesday and were able to perform that night! Our God is so GREAT! (Note: more stories about this are on the website of Chris Tomlin and atiG and supersimbo

Anyway on Wednesday I was stuck in a train to the middle of nowhere in Holland. Literally, the Flevo Festival is in the middle of nowhere. It took me 2,5 hours to reach the festival grounds. I live in the western part of Holland, in the city area. So going to the southern part of Holland is going to the middle of nowhere, although Holland is small!!
I was excited and nervous because this was my first Flevo Festival and I was going all by myself. My friends were all coming on the Thursday but I was the one who was working at the festival and they were just going because they wanted to see the bands.
On Wednesday morning I arrived, bumped into my colleagues (which I hadn’t met yet) at the train station and we took a taxi to the Festival grounds. We put our tents up. Later I found out that we put our tents up into a swamp...we didn’t know at the time but when it started to rain that evening…well…I literally felt the water under my tent… Anyway we didn’t really felt like we should move our tents, because it took us quite a while to put up the tents. On Thursday my friends offered me to move me out of the swamp, but I waved it away. I thought it would be okay. I regret it now because of the fact that it was freezing at night, and my tent was always wet. So basically I decided to skip sleep every night (wrong idea!!)

On Wednesday I found out that I had to write articles about the main stage artists, I was excited. On Thursday I had my first interview with Rebecca st. James. We talked about dreams, festivals, fans and being single! I also had an interview with John Davis (Supergrass). He told me that he used to be a drug addict and while I'm having a brother in law who’s a drug addict....well John really inspired me!! On Friday I was busy, or at least I was supposed to be busy. I had interviews with Chris Tomlin, Sarah Kelly and Christafari. But they were all cancelled! All the bands were late and so most interviews were cancelled. I was so disappointed. I did meet Tomlin & band members. It was good to actually meet the guys! They are so nice. I guess Philip told them all about me on Wednesday so they all knew who I was. Crazy. Philip, you’re the best!!
So I decided to just hang out backstage and talk with the guys, make some pics of their sound check and while my interview was cancelled I planned to go to the press conference. I guess my colleagues saw me with the band and I soon became the ‘groupie’ of the web team. We all had these names for each other. Embarrassing!! Haha. I wasn’t the only groupie. Robin befriended Psalters and This Beautiful Republic and so when I came back to our web team tent it was crowded. He invited those bands to use our internet and they took up that offer. So at some point I found myself behind one of the laptops of one of the band members of Psalter because he changed, by accident, the language of their myspace page into Dutch. On Friday night I went to see Hillsong London. I love Hillsong. I’ve been to the Hillsong church in London and I love the Hillsong organisation and their heart for God. After the concert I was so tired and asked one of my colleagues if I could join her in her interview with Jeni Vardeneau. Jeni is a wonderful woman and we had a great conversation with her. Then I went to see Sarah Kelly perform. At some point I felt so tired that I went backstage again. Saw the Tomlin guys, wished them a good performance and walked back to the main stage area again… The concert of Tomlin band was amazing! I love their concerts, because they are so God centered, and that’s what it is all about. Flevo is a music festival and people don’t really go there to meet Jesus. I felt God move big time during their concert. Although rain was pouring down I felt that God was blessing us all. It was amazing.

Saturday was a busy day, I found myself behind the laptop all day, writing articles. I also had an interview with Kees Kraayenoord (a Dutch worshipleader) Kees is originally from my hometown Katwijk. It was great interviewing him. Saturday was busy, but I found some time to see the Newsboys in concert. I didn’t expect much of it but again God moved big time! He was really there and he was setting the hearts of young people on fire! Sunday was the last day. There was this service in the morning and then it was already time to leave. It was an incredible but crazy week! I hope I’ll be able to do it again next year!!

Much thanks to the web team: Linda, Christine, Robin aka Remco :-p, Thijs, Roland, Tim, Marcus and our supervisors Irene & Carolien!

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