Britain’s best kept Festival secret: Big Church Day Out
Mobo Gospel writer Steve Alexander Smith interviews Tim Jupp; the man behind one of Britain’s fastest growing and most successful Christian and Gospel music festival. 24,000 people were in attendance at an extremely enjoyable and well-organised event.
What or who was the inspiration behind Big Church Day Out (BCDO)?
There has been a massive hole in the UK for creating a space where the whole wider church could just come together, be part of something much bigger than just their own local church, and have a lot of fun around the best Christian and gospel music the world has to offer, so I thought, let’s just do it.
Is it a Church member only event?
Definitely not, BCDO is open to all, whether they’re from churches or not. A lot of people from churches bring along family and friends who know nothing of the church.
How many stages and artists are there at Big Church Day Out?
This year we had 50 artists spread across 5 stages. That's a lot for any Christian event in the UK.
You experienced fame in the 1990’s band Delirious.? Did that define who you are now?
Being in a successful band definitely didn’t define who I am. I think it’s sad if being who are you gets defined by what you do. However, what it did do is give me a great network of connections and relationships which I was able to build upon to make BCDO successful.
The mainstream media at the time dubbed the band ‘Pops Best kept secret', why?
They dubbed us that because we were consistently selling out the major music venues, such as Brixton Academy, Hammersmith Apollo, Shepherds Bush Empire and similar venues all across the UK, yet the story was that no one knew who we were!!
Are there plans to expand the festival?
Yes, in 2017 we are launching BCDO in the North West at Capesthorne Hall near Manchester Airport.
Will the BCDO festival one day be televised?
Who knows! But I'd love it if it was.
Do you think Britain’s Gospel industry can emulate your festival success?
The thing about BCDO is that it is there for Britain’s Gospel Industry. In fact, we like to think it’s there for almost all genres of Christian music. The thing that makes it so successful is that we try and make it as inclusive to as many people as possible.
Do you still get behind the keyboards?
Rarely, maybe a couple of times a month when I bash out a few tunes at church.
Will there be a Delirious reunion one day?
If I had a tenner for every time I get asked that I’d have retired by now [Laughs]. Who knows!
How can Mobo readers keep up to date with BCDO announcements throughout the year?
Check in at bigchurchdayout.com and jump onboard with all our social media, that's where you’ll find everything.
A big thanks to 2015 Mobo nominee and UCB Gospel presenter Sandra Godley for organising VIP ticket and back stage passes.