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Aug 30, 2023

Greenbelt Festival turned 50 this year. It is, quite possibly, the best festival in the world.

Beer Christianity at Greenbelt Festival

It used to be the coolest Christian music festival in Britain - which is a nice accolade, but, like being the coolest engineer at the felting workshop, perhaps one with limited meaning outside specific circles. But over the years, Greenbelt has translated the seminal courage that saw it host Christian rock and punk acts into a courage to engage with society and politics, to question ungodly orthodoxies in the Church and to create a space where all are welcome and all are encouraged to make the whole Earth welcoming, just and full of life.

There are also bands. Some you like, some you don't. There are people, some who are annoying, more who are ridiculously lovely. And there are things to do, from crafts and conversations to talks and gigs and happenings.

Through it all runs a seam of activism, a passion for justice and an affirming spirit that aims at more than allyship. It is a festival of solidarity and creativity, which happens to have (or perhaps 'naturally has') a high concentration of Christians (as well as spiritual folk, seekers, people of other faiths and none).

Greenbelt is good. And this year's expression was no exception. A space of queer freedom, leftist dreaming and agitatation for a better, more loving way. Whether you are a he, she, they or other, you can belong at Greenbelt. Whether you're happy in the Church, a refugee from it or don't understand what the fuss is about, Greenbelt is a space for opening to the numinous and the transcendent. 

Or it's just a time to chill, drink, boogie and bum around. It's kindof what you make it, but with a great well of depth and meaning just hidden in the trees, behind the portaloos, among the people you least expect it. It's a Kingdom festival and we love it. 

This episode was recorded on Saturday at Greenbelt, with a few reflections on Sunday thrown in after the fact. We discuss the acts we saw, the talks we attended, the vibe and the impact it has had on us. We talk beer 'n hymns, Ezra Furman, David Dark, LowKey Chali 2na, Harry and Chris and more. Come take a listen to get a sense of the vibe.