Free Surfstage Festival welcomes Christian music lovers and families in the North West

Surfstage is not just another festival – it’s a place where people who would never set foot in a church stumble into God’s presence. The event created by two sisters, Rachel Birkett and Katie Street is a place where everyone can experience God’s love. 

The Surfstage Festival will take place in Parbold, West Lancashire from Friday 5th July to Sunday 7th July 2024. The Festival is open to everyone, not just Christians and has the feel of a family music festival where anyone, faith or no faith, can gently experience an atmosphere soaked in the Holy Spirit.

“We believe God asked us to create a festival playing worship music at the same time as being a format that welcomes people who don’t attend church or know God,” says Rachel who attends St John the Baptist Church in Burscough. “We felt He wanted to unite lots of different people, organisations and churches throughout the North West in one place to experience God’s love”.

Last year, Surfstage welcomed over 3000 people, put on 15 bands, provided free adult, youth and kids activities, prayed over and into the lives of hundreds, pulled a lot of pints and sold a lot of burgers!

Surfstage Festival 2024

Each year Surfstage showcases a huge range of live music from all kinds of bands, church and secular, a bar hosted by the local microbrewery and street food. This year they have planned a jam-packed family funday with bouncy castles, games, sports, activity trails, playground, adult craft workshops, a toddler tent, festival glitter, the Spirit Café and a prayer tombola where people can pick out scriptures and blessings. Each morning and evening, Surfstage will host celebrations of worship with inspirational speakers.

The Surfstage team have a heart for youth and making young people especially welcome is key to the festival; they have created a dedicated youth hangout tent and a youth after hours programme to reach ages 12 and up.

Rachel Birkett and Katie Street run a hospitality events business and have organised secular music festivals for a number of years. Inspired by their love for festivals like New Wine, they set about creating Surfstage as a local festival that anyone can afford to enjoy. Entry to the festival and all activities are free and they achieve this with a huge team of volunteers.

“We want to create a festival everyone can enjoy,” says Katie. “It’s not easy for most people to travel miles or buy expensive festival tickets so we make entry to Surfstage free for all activities for both adults and children.”

Since 2019 the sisters have been nurturing something special and they have seen it grow. Surfstage (Surf – share UR faith) began five years ago where over 2000 visitors descended on their local playing fields and the response was fantastic. It has grown from a one day funday into an annual weekend event on the 14 acre field in Parbold and now includes affordable camping as an alternative to big summer camps.

To date, the pair have funded the event themselves but this year they are applying for additional funding to help the festival grow. Any donations collected will go to Surfstage’s charity partners, International Needs UK.

“We believe God wants to move significantly by his Spirit through SurfStage to bless the North West and reach the unchurched,” says Katie. “We are looking for people and churches to join us in this mission. Anyone wanting know more is encouraged to get in touch.”

For more details visit:      

Also read: Big Church Festival 2023 – God shines on 30K believers across 7 stages

FAITH • HOPE • LOVE. We aim to bring a fresh mix of inspirational reports, articles, stories and testimonies to encourage Christians across the UK and beyond.

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