11th October, 2011
On a wet and rainy weekend, what else would you rather be doing than camping out, listening to bands, hearing great teaching, eating 'Baptist' doughnuts and hanging out with three thousand of your closest friends?
CAMPING OUT: Jill Cavenagh's cam,psite at the Black Stump Festival.
For those lucky enough to go, that’s exactly what was done earlier this month at Appin, an hour south of Sydney, at the Black Stump Festival.
After the relocation and then cancellation of the festival last year, some were tentative to return but the faithful, “hardcore” stumpers returned with vengeance to revive this great event.
Stump is always presents a multicultural, inter-denominational and varied event with many bands we know of today getting their first gig at past festivals which spring-boarded their careers in the music industry.
At the heart of Black Stump is the community of people formed and moulded each year. No doubt over the past 20 years lifelong friendships (and marriages) have been founded much to the credit of the organisation committees. There is no other place where you can have a freshly cooked doughnut and coffee and walk for five minutes and be taken up with scraping sounds of the metal night. Or have a sausage sandwich from a God Squad bikies and then hear the sultry sounds of acoustic guitar and meet up with long lost friends of friends at midnight.
Mike Pilavachi from Soul Survivor UK challenged and inspired. He spoke about the Gospel as a dance floor that we’re all invited to. Using his classic English humour and life stories, Mike had all in stiches but seriously conveying the message of God’s love clearly.
Many workshops had teaching from the likes of Viv Benjamin (TEAR), James Sutherland (Sydney), Steve Cooke (World Vision), Marc Radar (Sydney) and Dirk (Tear, Afganistan) - something to speak to any interest.
One of the best things about Stump is the discovery of new bands - the whole weekend there is a constant rumble of the freshest music of all genres - it’s such a joy to be listening to massive talent just waiting to be discovered and have their big break. To close out the weekend as usual, Outback Hippies rocked out until 2.30am on Sunday with covers and originals to a crowd of 500 singing like no one was listening and dancing like no-one was watching.
It’s on next year, bigger and better than ever - blank out your calendars, it’s well worth the drive.