August 1997: Greenbelt
Grace did five services - one every night of Greenbelt, which in those days ran from Thursday evening to Monday night. The festival was at Deene Park, entirely under canvas. We had to set up and take down all our equipment each time. This and similar experiences fed into the creation of the 'New Forms' dedicated alt worship venue when Greenbelt moved to Cheltenham in 1999.
The entire weekend was washed out by torrential rain that turned the site to mud - the pictures made the front page of national newspapers. Some events had to be cancelled because the water made the electrics unsafe (dancing in water with live power cables in!). Unfortunately this was also the year that Greenbelt spent heavily on famous 'secular' acts for the Monday programme, expecting an additional audience to come in on day tickets. In fact, by Monday many people were leaving, and the resultant losses almost bankrupted the festival.