Angels have descended, not from the heavens, but to music festivals across the UK, bringing with them a message of love, faith, and security. These aren’t your traditional celestial beings; they are the Festival Angels, a team of dedicated volunteers bringing comfort and care to festival attendees.
The Birth of Festival Angels
The brainchild of the late Kate Dickinson, the Festival Angels began as a humble Prayer Cafe at Leeds Festival in 2011. The overwhelming success in their inaugural year prompted the initiative’s evolution. From there, Festival Angels was born, and with each passing year, their presence expanded, from a single festival to multiple events across the UK.
In a touching tribute to Dickinson, Leeds Festival 2023 will feature a special celebration and plaque unveiling in her honor, commemorating her inspiration and enduring legacy.
From Prayer Café to Festival Guardians
Over the years, the reach and influence of Festival Angels have grown exponentially. Beginning with the Porthleven Food Festival in April 2023, the Angels have marked their presence at numerous festivals like Tunes in the Dunes, Download at Castle Donington, Parklife in Manchester, and Leeds – where a whopping team of over 200 volunteers gathered to support and assist.
Moreover, in their mission of compassion, the Angels collaborated with The Church at Glastonbury and Street Pastors at Reading Festival.
A Mission of Faith and Care
Paul Blakey MBE, the CEO of ROC Angels, which oversees Festival Angels, regards music festivals as significant mission fields in the UK. Festival attendees are given an opportunity to relax, enjoy music, and often, seek spiritual and emotional refuge. The Festival Angels, with their popular ‘Jesus Loves Festivals’ tattoos and selfie banners, are a testament to the impact faith can have in such settings. They serve as a comforting presence, assuring festival-goers that they’re in safe hands.
More Than Just Tattoos
While the temporary tattoos proclaiming “Jesus Loves Festivals” have become a sought-after accessory, they also serve as conversation starters. Attendees have found themselves engaged in profound discussions about Jesus, faith, and life, all inspired by a simple tattoo.
This year alone, over four hundred Festival Angel volunteers devoted thousands of hours, offering welfare support, and ensuring festival-goers felt safe, loved, and cared for.
In a notable moment, some Festival Angels from Kendal Calling shared a moment with musician Example, resulting in a viral selfie that reached thousands of fans across social platforms.
Join the Festival Angel Movement
For anyone looking to know more about this remarkable initiative, or even become a part of this angelic mission, visit festivalangels.org.uk. You can also follow their journey on Facebook and TikTok by searching “festivalangels”, or “festivalangels1” on Instagram.
In a world craving connection, the Festival Angels serve as a reminder that love, faith, and care can be found even in the most unexpected places.