A talented lineup has been set for the first Spirit West Coast in Southern California, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Memorial Day weekend. It features headliners Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys, Jars of Clay, Relient K, Jeremy Camp, and Jaci Velasquez. Alternative bands appearing include Sanctus Real, Thousand-Foot Krutch, Seventh Day Slumber and many others.
The new Southern California festival will run for three days, Friday afternoon, May 28, until late Sunday night, May 30. The Memorial Day weekend event will feature most of the same attractions as the long-established Monterey festival — multiple stages, camping, teaching seminars, comedians, sports and recreation, children’s activities, exhibits, many of Christian music’s top talent, and cool, coastal weather. Laguna Seca in Monterey is about six miles from picturesque Monterey Bay and the ocean, but Del Mar is not even six blocks from the surf of the Pacific Ocean.
“When we established Spirit West Coast-Monterey in 1997, it was because of a desire to use the ministry of Christian music to touch the lives of thousands of people,” stated festival producer and founder Jon Robberson. “The Lord has blessed that calling for seven years now, and we feel the time is right to expand the ministry vision to Southern California and the Southwest.”
“Spirit West Coast-Del Mar will capture the same energy and exuberance as Monterey, but will be customized for the Southern California region and the Del Mar facility,” continued Robberson. “There will be similarities, but Del Mar will have its own event characteristics, both physically and in the musical programming content.”
Many of Christian music’s top artists will appear at both the Del Mar and mid-summer Monterey events, although each festival will have its own unique lineup. The Del Mar festival has a budget of more than $1 million and its lineup will feature a very broad mix of music styles, ranging from the rock of Audio Adrenaline, to alternative, hip-hop-rap-urban sounds of artists like Souljahz and KJ-52. As a cultural complement to Southern California, Latin-influenced music such as Salvador, Motivo, MOI and others will be presented.
SWC-Del Mar will not only feature dozens of concerts and music artists, it will present several teaching/speaking seminars and messages. Already booked is local San Diego pastor and evangelist Miles McPherson, and former teen TV-star, actor Kirk Cameron. Kirk spoke at Spirit West Coast Monterey in 2003, delivering a passionate gospel message that was the speaking highlight of the event.
Del Mar, like Monterey, will have a limited amount of VIP reserved seats, although they will be sold in a different manner than in Monterey. Monterey features a very limited number of Circle 100, four-person patron packages. Del Mar’s VIP seats will be available on a per seat basis. The Del Mar facility has a large grandstand as well as a half dozen other stages and venues that will be used for the event.
“We know Southern California will be spiritually impacted by Spirit West Coast-Del Mar, and not just Southern California, but Arizona and Las Vegas as well. Del Mar is much closer to Arizona than Monterey, so we’re expecting several thousand to escape the late spring desert heat and head west to the beach,” Robberson said.
Various details regarding Del Mar (ticket, camping prices) are on the web site and tickets and camping are on sale now. Spirit West Coast-Monterey will continue on into its eighth year, July 22-24. Tickets to Monterey’s festival go on sale Feb. 2. Both festivals will be advertised together and share the same web site and box office. www.spiritwestcoast.org and (831) 443-5399.
The festival directors will be building a new Southern California volunteer leadership team to handle the many logistical aspects of presenting such a large event. People interested in volunteering can check the Web site under “Get involved.”
Robberson summarized by saying, “We encourage people to be praying and planning now for a dynamic spiritual event at Del Mar in 2004. God has changed, encouraged and impacted thousands of lives because of Spirit West Coast, and now the power of His life-changing Spirit can impact twice as many people.”
He described the festival as being both evangelistic and for re-enforcing the church body.
“Some people, especially those 50 and older, think of the contemporary music as being just for teens,” Robberson said, “but there are many people in their 30s and 40s who are the core of the church who listen to this kind of music – as well as teens.”
The complete artist lineup and all other aspects of both festivals will be confirmed by mid-January. Everyone is encouraged to periodically check the festival’s web site for lineup, scheduling and programming information, as well as administration matters such as volunteering, exhibitor applications, etc. The Web site is www.spiritwestcoast.org. The phone number is (831) 443-5399.