I am here! At Greenbelt Festival. Along with about 20,000 people. My tent is set up and sleeping bag rolled out. The weather is gloriously sunny and kind which is a problem because I didn’t bring my hat or my sunglasses. The last 3 years have been rainy and cold so all my Greenbelt memories are of my shivering in the rain wishing i had dressed warmer.
Best bets for the Festival:
No. 1 – Coldcut. I met one of the Coldcut VJ’s at Hang The VJ in London a few years ago and have been a fan ever since. I bought Sound Mirrors as soon as it was released. These guys invented their own VJ software to do their stuff and have been around for about 20 years. Pioneers. Really. And now performing at Greenbelt. Waaaaaaayyyy Cool!!!
– John O’Donahue, poet and writer of blessings – which is a genre that might give me some space for some of my poetry. Read this one of John’s and get blessed!
– Pete Rollins is featured as one of the headliners this year. Good. He has deserved it. He is a great thinker and great friend.
– Delirious are back. These guys are part of church history now and they still rock, despite being adored by the more mainstream church.
– Becky Garrison of The Door is speaking a few times on satire and new atheism. Her book on new atheism, when it comes out, quotes my blog post “The Skinny on New Atheism” so I know she is a person of great discerment and taste.
– Shannon Hopkins on entreprenuial stuff and The Truth Isnt Sexy.
– Ikon always does a great alt. worship thing.
– Fuse Factory, who we hung with throughout the summer, are doing a few things here, including visuals for communion on Sunday.
– Billy Bragg is here and comes well recommended.
– Aussie statesman John Smith is around, again.
– Graham Cray always has something to say.
– Helen J. Hicks, who i met in London a few months ago, plays on Saturday. Apart from that, check out the Proost display. Proost relaunches on Saturday with a new website and a ministry resource company.
– I speak at 7pm in the CMS tent on being set free to be the church. If you come to my session, you will unfortunately miss the band Verra Cruz that we have run into already this summer at other festivals. My son hung with them in Italy last month at Rock on the Rock Festival. Everyone loves them. They will probably be HUGE one day so its a good opportunity to met them before their heads get too big.
After my session on Saturday, and also on Sunday, hymn singing in the organic beer tent is the obvious choice. Oh yeah – Beer and Hymns. Another best bet for the festival. Talkin’ bout old fashioned hymns sung with a songsheet in one hand and a pint of St Peters ale in the other. Its the way, according to Paul Roberts, that hymns were intended. This was the surprise hit of last year and also the one event that had more noise violation complaints from the town folk. Which is surprising because it was all human voices, singing at the top of their lungs, and there wasnt a lot of amplification.
Sitting next to me:
Paul Roberts, who is sitting on my right, recommends the Foundation service called the “Un-knowing God” and also Doug Gay on emerging church.
Gareth Higgins, sitting on my left, says Peter Toscano (comedy), John Tavener, and his own film review of the year on Monday.
Anyway, thats the skinny. For another opinion, check out Greenbelt 07 at Dave Walker’s Cartoon blog.