By: Alexander Mingus, Junior, Human Rights and Political Science
In the beginning there was the stage, and the stage was outside. The volunteers looked at the stage and saw that it was good. The stage, however, needed to be inside the Rec within the hour.
The stage was also in pieces. Frozen fingers clasped the icy metal beams and wooden platforms, and the long haul began. Like a piece of abstract art, what appeared to be a chaotic web of scaffolding and panels slowly morphed into an elevated plane that would soon be dominated by sound equipment.
Then the lights came out. Towers sprouted up like giant metal trees at each corner, with leaves that projected every color of light imaginable onto the animated characters hoping to fulfil expectations of a stellar performance.
It is now 8 a.m., and Faith Fest day is well under way. For the third consecutive year, the University of Dayton has hosted a Christian music concert open to students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. Each year, the concert provides an intentional time of worship and celebration with popular bands such as Rend Collective, Tenth Avenue North, and this year’s headlining act, Love and the Outcome.
The event planning is driven by the Faith Fest “Core Team,” a group of committed student leaders and faculty that each represent a different faith-based student organization on campus or are connected to Campus Ministry.
In addition, volunteers power the day-of necessities, including setup and tear-down, as well as managing concessions, PATH point opportunities, ticketing, and ushering.
Each year, hours of planning and coordination, as well as advertising and promotion contribute to a successful event. Hundreds of people attend every year, with numbers ranging from a few hundred to over 1,000.
The Faith Fest experience is uncommon to the University of Dayton RecPlex, the venue for the concert every year. The bright lights, blaring music, and crowds of people often surprise the evening’s unsuspecting students during their scheduled workout time. This year was no different.
Love and the Outcome took the stage at 8 p.m., to the delight of concert goers. Not long before, the crowd’s interest was sparked during the performance of a variety of bands and musicians hailing from all over the university.
The headlining act dominated the stage with the pounding of drums and the pulse of a bass guitar. The band was only three strong, a husband and wife duo, as well as their accompanying drummer.
About halfway through the hour and a half long concert, the duo was standing amongst a sea of fans in the middle of the gym floor, with nothing but a microphone and an acoustic guitar. They sang hymns of praise and thanksgiving with joyful hearts.
Love and Outcome invited all in attendance to reflect upon the blessings that God gives to us, and how we must learn to appreciate the blessing in every moment of every day in our lives. If we fail to appreciate that day, it is a day we will never get back. Love and the Outcome sang this message clearly in their song, “These Are The Days.” For the final few songs, students crowded close to the stage and danced until voices were hoarse and legs were tired.
Suddenly, it is 9:30 p.m. and the Rec is clearing out. Hearts are full of song and joy. After the photos and autographs, the band gets back on the bus. The equipment soon follows, until the stage is once again disassembled and loaded onto the trailers.
Once the Rec closes for the night, there is no physical evidence that suggests Faith Fest ever took place. The evidence exists within the memory of those that were present, praising God as one people, who now have an experience to guide them to greater spiritual heights.
Photo Courtesy of Faith Fest Committee