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NEWS: Christian Festival Association Membership Grows To All-time High

By October 13, 2016News

Pictured clockwise from left: Outgoing President Kevin Newton passes the torch to Donna Russo; Creation Festival 2016; Soulfest 2016


October 12, 2016 – The Christian Festival Association (CFA), a group of the nation’s largest Christian music festivals, announced today that its number of participating member festivals had grown to a record number of 39 events going in to the 2017 festival season. Collectively, these events reached 1.1 million attendees in the summer of 2016.

Members of the Association from around the country gathered in Nashville in late September to share ideas and best practices for their music and teaching ministries. Taking cues from successful mainstream music festivals while remaining steadfast to its mission to propel the Gospel into culture through music and the arts, Association members discussed such diverse topics as: making the Gospel relevant to millennials and Generation Z attendees, festival operational software applications, advanced marketing and leading edge production techniques, national and grassroots sponsorship development, festival security, and the organization’s National Talent Search competition. CFA members were also treated to daily devotions and intimate worship sessions led by evangelist Josh Brewer and artists Plumb and Rend Collective.

At this year’s meeting, Association members elected a new slate of officers for two-year terms. The new officers are:
President – Donna Russo (Kingdom Bound Festival – New York)
Vice President – Kathy Cook (Hills Alive Festival – South Dakota)
Secretary/Treasurer – Jen Linskins (Lifest – Wisconsin)
At Large – Tim Taber (Fishfest and Spirit West Coast Festivals – California)
At Large – Rob Roozeboom (RiseFest – Iowa)

Outgoing president Kevin Newton (Unity Festival – Michigan) was honored at the meeting for his four years of “solid gold leadership” as head of the Association. According to incoming president Donna Russo: “We are so very grateful for Kevin’s steadfast faithfulness in service to our Association as our president. Among his numerous accomplishments, Kevin saw the CFA membership double during his tenure. He has built a solid foundation for us to grow on – all the while giving God the glory for all He has done through our ministries.”

CFA Executive Director Bob Thompson added: “It is always such a joy to spend a few days with like-minded brothers and sisters who are so deeply committed to using the platform we have been given to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. In a world that often seems hopeless in its search of a worthy leader, we are grateful for God’s incarnate revelation of hope. And that hope changes everything.”

The current members of the Christian Festival Association are:

  • Alive Festival – Ohio
  • AtlantaFest – Georgia
  • Amplify Fest – Arkansas
  • Big Ticket Festival – Michigan
  • Christian Music Day – North Carolina
  • Creation Festival-Northeast – Pennsylvania
  • Creation Festival-Northwest – Washington
  • Elevate Festival – Arizona
  • En Fuego – Alabama
  • FISHFEST – California
  • GraceFest – California
  • Heaven Fest – Colorado
  • Hills Alive – South Dakota
  • JoshuaFest – California
  • Joyfest – North Carolina
  • Joyfest – Virginia
  • Kingdom Bound – New York
  • King’s Fest – Virginia
  • LifeLight Festival – South Dakota
  • Lifest – Wisconsin
  • PointFest – Ohio
  • Resound Festival – Missouri
  • RiseFest – Iowa
  • Rock The Desert – Texas
  • Rock The Island – Michigan
  • Rock The Park – North Carolina
  • Rock The Smokies – Tennessee
  • SonLight Festival – North Carolina
  • Sonrise Festival – Virginia
  • Sonshine Festival – Minnesota
  • SoulFest – New Hampshire
  • Spirit Fest Austin – Texas
  • SpiritSong Festival – Ohio
  • Sprit West Coast Festival – Northern California
  • Spirit West Coast Festival – Southern California (2)
  • Unity Christian Music Festival – Michigan
  • Uprise Festival – Pennsylvania
  • WonderJam – Toronto, Canada

Membership in the Association is available to any Christian festival operator engaged in the production of an annual Christian music festival, in existence for at least three consecutive years, with an average daily attendance of 5,000 or more attendees. Additional details can be found at

About the Christian Festival Association
The Christian Festival Association was formed in 2006 and is comprised of thirty nine of the nation’s largest Christian music festivals united by a common goal: to bring glory of God. The group meets regularly via conference calls and at an annual meeting in Nashville to discuss matters such as talent development, spiritual content, event production, marketing, national sponsorship acquisition and other topics of common interest.  The Association’s website is


Media Contact:
Bob Thompson
Executive Director
Christian Festival Association