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GRACEFEST, a music festival held in Pensacola, FL each year has officially cancelled this year's events. I received the following e-mail this afternoon since I was slotted to play there along with many other Christian artists this month. Thank you GRACEFEST leadership for putting your resources behind hurricane relief efforts instead of a show. If everyone who would have attended your festival helps out instead, makes a donation the size of your ticket price, many needs will be met and lives saved. Thank you for your example.

This is the third gig I've had cancel for the month of September. The first two were churches converted into refugee housing. It's oddly good to lose work because the Church is doing it's job.



Due to the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast, the decision has been made to cancel GraceFest for September 16 & 17.

This decision was a difficult one to make and was based on the following factors:

1) Governor Bush has appealed to the citizens of the State of Florida to conserve resources, particularly fuel and utilities. Due to the fuel shortage, he has asked for employers to allow for four day work weeks or for employees to be allowed to work from home if necessary. Our county commission has also requested citizens to conserve gasoline and not make any unnecessary trips.

2) Hotel Availability- Our area now has almost 10,000 evacuees from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and 2/3 of our hotels rooms are housing them as well as in multiple shelters. As an organization we do not want to risk evacuees being displaced.

3) Resources Diverted to Relief Efforts - We have a shortage of volunteer manpower for the event as many of our volunteers are involved in the continuing relief/recovery efforts. Our military/uniformed security volunteers have all been reassigned to relief efforts. Other infrastructure such as communications and generators have been sent for use in relief efforts.

4) One third of our GraceFest market in the past years was from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Naturally, none of those attendees will be coming.

5) The largest Christian Radio station for the Mobile/Pensacola area, that has driven ticket sales in the past, was taken off the air by Hurricane Katrina with no indication of when they will return to the air.

6) The Northwest Florida area has been through Hurricane recovery of Ivan, Arlene, Cindy and most recently Hurricane Dennis and is now poised to reach out and help those to the west of us with all available resources.

We feel that with the critical basic human needs that need to be met, it would be irresponsible for us to go ahead with an event that would further deplete both physical resources and volunteer manpower.

Our prayer is that you will not only understand our need to cancel but to join in the relief efforts in any way that you are able. In a few months we may be in a position to produce a fundraising concert event and would welcome your participation.

May God continue to bless you all individually and in your ministries.

The Executive Committee


Blogger Drew said...

Great post Shaun. I think it's awesome that the people who produce that festival are choosing to help with the relief effort.

Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...


Blogger Amy said...

what a relief. it's good to know we're not acting like nothing happened and trying to go on with our merry lives. I will also be staying home this weekend instead of going anywhere in order to convserve gas...and well, money.


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