All ages, all denominations; Big Church Day Out is back for their biggest event ever!

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Loads of big events and festivals are on-board with Liftshare now, and as a lovely bunch who care about their sites and fans, we like to let you know who they all are and what they’re up to!

We caught up with Olly Purchase, who works at a festival with a difference, Big Church Day Out, to find out what’s on there this summer, and why they’re encouraging liftsharing.

So, Olly, what is the Big Church Day Out? How is it different from regular music festivals?

The Big Church Day Out (BCDO) is one of the UK’s largest Christian events that annually draws together 25,000 people of all ages, from all denominations, for two action-packed days of fun, fellowship, music & worship. BCDO is part of a bigger story that tells of a church that is full of life, growing, and an exciting place to come and encounter God. Our aim is to draw the wider church together as a demonstration of unity, and also to create a safe space where those who attend church can invite their friends and family who don’t to come and be impacted.

Where is the festival held?

The festival is held at the beautiful Wiston House in West Sussex, and this year will take place on the 28th & 29th May 2016.

What can festival-goers expect for the 2016 event?

There are so many amazing things to do and see on site at the BCDO! This year we have loads of incredible artists joining us from around the world including Toby Mac, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, Jesus Culture and many more. If you’re looking for something different from the main stage, I’d highly recommend the Tearfund Tea Tent situated in the beautiful back gardens of Wiston House. This calm setting is a firm favourite with those who like their BCDO to be a bit quieter, more reflective…and full of fresh scones. New for 2016, we’re introducing two brand new stages and many new bands bringing a whole new sound of worship to the BCDO! I can’t wait!

Ask anyone who has been and they will tell you that we love having fun, and this year we’ve got even more ways of doing that: a wider range of fantastic foods, more traders and exhibitors in the Big Church Bazaar, a completely new Pop Up Market, vintage buses to transport people across the site, a bigger Big Church Fete, new Attractions and a whole lot more.

Do you need to be a practising Christian to attend?

Everyone is invited to the Big Church Day Out, whether you have a faith or not; all are welcome. There is so much to do for all the family away from the stages, including a petting zoo, soft play, football, archery, trampolines, a hot air balloon, a flight simulator, fencing, outdoor craft, mountain biking, a climbing wall, bouncy castles and much more! We also have a circus skills workshop with Jimmy the Juggling Jester, puppet workshops and some fabulous face painting. There really is something for everyone.

What do you guys do to promote sustainability?

We love the environment, that’s why we make sure we’re looking after it as best we can. Big gatherings of people have traditionally meant big C02 emissions, but we’ve been working hard to minimise the environmental impact of our event. Here’s some of what we’ve done to be more eco-friendly:

  • Expansion of our mains water supply in 2013, meaning we could accommodate a lot more guests without having to go back to using water tankers, which push out a lot of C02.
  • Last year we managed another increase in the proportion of our waste that was recycled. We got more of it incinerated to generate energy which meant there was less going to landfill.
  • There was a huge increase in the number of people coming to us by train and using our Big Shuttle Bus rail link service, meaning that despite another increase in guest numbers, we didn’t have that many more cars.
  • Plus, in partnering with Liftshare we’ve managed to bring down the number of cars travelling to the BCDO.

What do you think of liftsharing?

We think liftsharing is great! It makes it easier for people to travel, is far more eco friendly, saves money and you get to meet new people, what more could you want?!

And, finally, where can we get tickets?

You can get tickets from our website www.bigchurchdayout.com We have a discounted Early Bird price that runs up until the 31st March or, if you are coming as a Group of 14 or more people, you’ll be able to get discounted ticket prices right up until the event via our Groups Plus service.

Author Lex Barber

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