When the first covid lockdown hit, back in the spring of 2020, it was a devastating blow for big Christian events. With everyone legally mandated to stay at home, everything from Word Alive to Big Church Day Out to Focus was forced to cancel their gatherings, sometimes with just a few weeks’ notice.
At the time, some feared some conferences wouldn’t be able to bounce back from this bolt from the blue, with losses of up to a £1m predicted for some events. There were dark warnings that alongside the many other losses from coronavirus, it might claim another unexpected victim: the Christian summer festival.
But those fears have turned out to be wide of the mark. This year, all the major events cancelled in 2020 returned in person. In today’s episode we talk to those running three of the biggest conferences to find out how they survived covid, what it was like to bring their events back, and how the two years of lockdown might have changed the Christian festival for good.