En Fuego organizers seek volunteers to help with festival

Published 1:51 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Organizers are still seeking volunteers for one of the country’s largest outdoor Christian music festivals.

En Fuego, slated for Aug. 24 in Verbena, will host performers including festival headliner Jeremy Camp, Fireflight, Hawk Nelson, Tedashii, Citizen Way, Haley Morgan Smith and Matt Littlejohn Band.

Scott Dawson will return as a guest speaker and Travis Crim will emcee.

Festival co-founders Johnny Giles and Crim started En Fuego in 1997 with just 300 people in attendance.

Since then, En Fuego has grown to nearly 20,000 people flocking to hear Christian music and messages from evangelistic speakers.

Between 2007 to 2012, records indicate counselors prayed with more than 890 people at En Fuego.

According to “decision forms” people filled out, 319 salvations, 410 recommitments and 225 other decisions were made during the event in those five years.

The purpose of the festival is to reach as many people for Christ as possible by sharing the gospel through music and guest speakers.

With a little over a month to go, Giles said plans for the festival are coming along “well” but the event is still in need of volunteers to work before, during and after the festival.

“The biggest need we have right now is for volunteers to help with parking and counselors,” Giles said. “Each year we have an amazing number of people who show up to help us out but we really need people who would be willing to help set up for the event and help clean up after the event is over.”

Giles said in previous years, the festival has had roughly 400 volunteers who work different jobs including stage setup/teardown, counseling, stage crew, concessions, merchandising and parking.

“Typically, we have a lot of volunteers who help out the day of the festival but there is still work that needs to be done before the festival starts as well as after the festival on Sunday and Monday,” Giles said. “We usually have a lot of stuff to clean up after the festival concludes so anyone who would be interested in helping out with the garbage crew would be a tremendous blessing.”

The process of tearing down and cleaning the site will be Aug. 25-27.

Giles said another need is for counselors who would be available to pray and talk with people making decisions at the event.

The 17th En Fuego will have some changes to the event including a large video screen for businesses to use as a promotional tool that will run throughout the festival.

En Fuego board member Kevin George said this is the first year for the video screen and anyone interested can purchase options such as a spot for a business logo or have a 30-second commercial run.

“The video screen is just another way for us to raise money because no one makes money off of the event,” George said. “Although it is free to attend it is certainly not free to put on.”

Giles said the lineup this year will also differ to an “easy listening” style of music as opposed to a more rock-n-roll style.

“There are different genres with the bands so there will be a lot of different music but it will be less rock-n-roll than it has been in year’s past,” Giles said. “We are excited about the lineup, though, and I think our community is really going to embrace the lineup we have.”

Giles said he predicts singers Jeremy Camp and Hawk Nelson will be a hit with college kids and is excited about their performances.

“Jeremy Camp is also an evangelist so he very well could stop in the middle of his set and start preaching,” Giles said.

Anyone interested in volunteering can call (205) 516-0467 or sign up at EnFuegoInfo.com.

The festival will be Saturday, Aug. 24 from 2-9:30 p.m. in Verbena.

Those traveling from Birmingham should take Interstate 65 South to Exit 205, go south on U.S. Highway 31 about 7.7. miles, turn left on County Road 23, go three miles and the En Fuego site will be on the left.