Christian music festival goes back to its roots
July 16, 2021
After missing last summer due to the pandemic, a new version of an annual Christian music festival will return to Cloquet's Veterans Park on Aug. 14.
The Wood City Music Festival will now be known as the Wood City Worship Festival.
Lee Harris, who helps lead the Kingdom Builders Ministry that puts on the annual festival, said it hit the reset button during the pandemic, both for the Common Ground Coffee Bar & Deli in Cloquet's West End and the music festival.
"We're really getting back to why we have the building in the first place. Worship and prayer is the heart of our ministry, so we want the park to reflect that. Even the artists are more worshipful this summer, versus top 40 stuff," Harris said. "So the KBM board sat down, and decided we should focus on what we think we are supposed to do, and not worry about what everyone else does."
At the same time, Wood City is still a music festival, with music all Saturday long from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Harris is excited about the changes. "In Christian music in the last few years, there has been a big influence by big church worship teams," he explained. "There's a lot of groups out there that formed as worship teams, so instead of having an artist as a Christian doing music, these groups are coming in as worship teams."
Kingdom Builders Worship will open the event, followed by Presence Music, a local worship team from Grace Church and New Life. Harris said most of the musical groups are "worship teams" that are coming from churches large and small, and include Influence Music, Mike and the Vibes, Brandin Reed and Friends (from Texas), Wonderstate, Bethany Worship (from New Jersey) and the more local Duluth Gospel Tab Worship. Matt Gilman, who played at the first Wood City, will headline the festival.
The organizer said he expects the music to be just as varied as it was before, with just about every style of music
"Who knows what's going to happen," Harris added.
Now in its seventh year, the Christian festival is free and open to people of all ages. There will be bounce houses for the kids, food vendors and "a great atmosphere of prayer and worship you surely don't want to miss," Harris said.
There will be free parking in designated public parking lots and on-street parking. Festival-goers need to bring their own chairs and blankets. Although great food at reasonable prices and beverages will be available for purchase, people also are welcome to bring their own snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.
"This festival is put on by a great community of churches from across the Northland, getting together to share the abounding Love of Jesus to Cloquet and its surrounding communities," organizers wrote in a recent press release. "We can't wait to see you there."
Want to know more before Aug. 14? Check out woodcitymusicfest on Facebook or stop by the Common Ground coffee shop on Avenue C and Broadway.