A field near Worthing, South Dakota was packed this weekend with hundreds of thousands of people, enjoying music and fellowship.
The 3 day LifeLight event wrapped up last night, and today volunteers are cleaning up.
The LifeLight Christian music festival brought in around 300,000 people last year, and this past weekend was no different. But it's not the number of people in the audience that matters to organizers.
"The numbers we care about are, here are cards from prayer tents just from yesterday. Just yesterday's stack. People make comments on my husband, my wife came. This restored our marriage. Kids getting delivered from different things. So our prayer tent numbers are way up. We know that. Our volunteer numbers were way up. People who said, Jesus changed my life. Those numbers are way up. Those are the numbers we care about," LifeLight CEO, Alan Greene said.
The free Christian event features six stages, a camping area and vendors for shopping. This much activity can create quite a mess to clean up after!
"About 2 or 3 days later there's kind of a letdown for our staff because they're like, oh that was incredible but now we're the only ones left. We need volunteers helping us for probably 2 weeks. Especially today and tomorrow for garbage pick-up and taking fencing down. There's lots of jobs that need to be done yet," Greene said.
LifeLight CEO, Alan Greene, says the event saves up to $500,000 each year, by using donated materials and volunteer hours.
"If it was not for the support of this community, volunteering and financial support of this community, as well as people from other places in the country, this wouldn't have happened," volunteer, Paul Sage said.
Paul Sage is one volunteer who's been traveling from Colorado to South Dakota for 10 years to help with this massive event.
"Normally we come about a week ahead of time and stay a week afterwards. This year we sold our house Thursday at 10:00 in the morning and then drove the 10-11 hours out here," Sage said.
While the beginning of the weekend was a little warm for many, the heat didn't keep the crowds away.
"Saturday, you know, was a little bit hot. Although we had people here from Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas and they said 'what are y'all talking about? This weather is perfect!' But people still turned out," Greene said.
But no matter the weather, people like Sage and Greene are committed to the mission of this music festival.
"To reach out to the lost, to the unsaved. And just to provide some good family entertainment for folks who are Christians," Sage said.
To put on such a large event for free, LifeLight does accept donations on their website.