I'm amazed at what Audiofeed has become, because I look at it and know we could never do it on our own. Yet it happens. The biggest success... really the only one that matters. We came together again - from wildly different walks of life, with differing views on everything from politics to theology - and all of that disappeared in a natural love that reflects the Body of Christ better than anything I've ever seen before. It's the Spirit of God, and all of you allowing Him to be free and create something special.
As the fest nears its end every year I start getting questions: "how'd you do this year?... it looks like there are more people here, is attendance up?..." All really asking the same thing: "I've found this place that is a home to me - are we on solid ground for the future?
The answer is always yes. It's an over-used phrase, but accurate. Christ is the rock that we stand on and He will not let us down. We're safe. He will care for us and use our willingness to be in community to surround us with opportunity to gather no matter what the circumstances are.
So... how did we do? Paid attendance was up nearly 60% over 2015, nearly triple our initial year in 2013. In dollars, revenue increased by $30,000 over 2015. We anticipated that type of growth would get us to the point of meeting expenses with festival revenue. But we spent at lot to get there. Expenses increased by approximately $30,000. In the end, a bottom line about the same as 2015, requiring an investment by our core group of $35,000 to cover expenses.
Through four years, the cumulative investment of our core group has been over $100,000. The investment is in the community, the music, the culture that celebrates creativity in Christ. It will never return financial rewards to us. We are an official non-profit, and can't ever benefit financially from the festival, nor do we desire to. We've also been happy , even grateful, for the opportunity to invest in something like this. We feel like it has grown to the point where we have opportunities to broaden the sources of the investment to keep it going strong. As life has evolved for our primary funding sources, that's become a necessity. Contact us via social media or through the website if you have ideas or contacts for sponsorship or fundraising. We can do so much more together... In light of the successes God has brought about in this over the past several years, we have no concerns that He will provide to make this what He wants it to be.
Our growth has also created challenges in terms of volunteer management and logistics. There are a handful of us that loved Cornerstone and would love to enjoy Audiofeed in the same way. But we've given that up for the past four years to work non-stop through the festival (and before and after it). That's not a complaint, because the reward God had given has been so great - that's the topic for another post entirely. But we need to expand that management group by a few more people who are also willing to sacrifice what the festival is to them now to serve fully and be a part of a bigger reward. Pray with us that God will bring the right people to us to manage the festival well, and get in touch if you are willing and able.
This is a celebration. We have challenges to overcome. But compared to where we started - with some of our first contacts in 2013 telling us that we would end up with a dozen people in a cornfield - we've come a long way. We fully expect that God will continue to bless this gathering and keep us together, and we will add what little strength we have to His to accomplish that.
Thank you for being what Audiofeed is.