Organizers excited to bring back LifeLight festival after hiatus

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 4:26 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The news of LifeLight festival returning to Sioux Falls is a project that its organizers have wanted to share for the better part of a year. The festival was last held in Worthing about five years ago, out at a farm near town. The return of the festival also brings a venue change.

MORE: LifeLight Festival returns to Sioux Falls

“We’ve been working with the city for probably about six months now. So the fact that we can finally gets some things nailed down and present it to the rest of the community has been very exciting.” LifeLight CEO Josh Brewer said.

The festival has usually brought in hundreds of thousands of attendees over multiple days in the past. While it’s been years since it was held, LifeLight has been receiving calls constantly with people asking for the event to come back to the city.

“We’ve been getting phone calls for what feels like every single day. People just wanting the festival to come back, and now it’s coming back,” LifeLight COO Jon Setzer said.

The biggest change in 2023 will be the location of the festival. The main stage area will now be at the 8th and Railroad Center in downtown Sioux Falls, with more areas south of the lot set up for different sport and festival activities. Fawick park will also serve as a potential area for overflow. Brewer said the change comes as the attitude towards festivals changes, especially in younger generations.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen culture change with events in such a way, that the old style of festivals where you go camp out for three days out in a field is a little bit done. What young people are wanting now in communities is that downtown, that urban feel where they can go shopping downtown. There’s the excitement of being downtown,” Brewer said.

To match that change in appetite, Setzer said they needed a solution to bring their message to people rather than expect them to trek out beyond city limits. He said this way, people who have never been or never heard of LifeLight can access them in a recognizable location.

“For so many years, it was kind of come and see what is going on in the middle of this cornfield. But now, we feel like the message is more of go and tell,” Setzer said. “Being able to celebrate 25 years of ministry and doing these types of festivals is just amazing. And being able to do it in downtown Sioux Falls? You couldn’t ask for a better venue.”

For 2023, the festival is scheduled for a one-day event on Sept. 3. Brewer said they want to start on a smaller scale and grow or adjust as needed after this year.

More details about the festival will be available at a later date.