Mark de Jong
As you know, earlier this year we made the difficult decision to discontinue Parachute Festival due to the event no longer being economically viable. This change created more time for us to focus on our core activities of identifying, developing and supporting high potential Christian musicians. We’ve had an incredible 2014 so far, working closely with our development artists and seeing our studio become a thriving artistic community – with a festival to run, it was often near impossible to put energy into these activities. As we’ve moved from setting the stage to working with the artists, we’re seeing over and over again the power of one song to change pop culture. We also mentioned this year that our plan was to take 18 months to explore new major event options that we may run in the future. Since then two new festival events have been announced and there’s a possibility more will follow. A number of people have been in contact asking us how we feel about these events. The common question being posed is, "are these people treading on Parachute’s toes?
Our toes are fine! We’re stoked that others are putting their hands up and are willing to do some of the heavy lifting. Plenty of people will complain when something is taken away from them, only a few will actually be spurred into action. We admire those people.
I see the individuals who are developing these new events as pioneers. What they are doing is both challenging and risky, but maybe they will create something fresh and impacting. My prayer is that they do.
When we made our decision we were very aware that we had amassed a huge amount of experience and innumerable contacts in organizing large-scale events. We offered a consultation service for others wanting to run anything similar. The recently announced Festival One has taken us up on this offer, so we have entered into an agreement to give them strategic input. We do, however, want to be clear that Parachute is not organizing any of these new festivals; We are still in our R&D phase and won’t be making any festival-type event announcements until at least mid next year.
We are excited about all the new options emerging and we encourage all entrepreneurs with a fresh idea and a cool God-birthed vision to do the same as we are currently doing. Pray, dream, discuss, gather momentum and then start creating the future.