(Simi Valley, Ca) “The light always shines brightest in the darkest place.”
Jason Roy, lead singer of Building 429, announced this to the crowd at Revivus, a local Christian rock concert, on August 4. His message of enduring hardships by placing faith in God echoed across Rancho Simi Community Park.
Chad and Holly Davidson founded Revivus in 2009, after Holly introduced him to the church. They plan the event year-round with production manager, Tony Palacio, who handles entertainment.
It became a personal matter for them, as they had witnessed “the front lines, without even realizing it, of what was going on right here in Simi.” This included the drug scene, picking up friends who had overdosed and alcoholism
The event began in their church’s parking lot with a local youth band and has turned into a thriving event with anywhere from 2,000-5,000 people.
The name comes from ‘Revive Us,’ a reference to “being revived here in our lives, completely,” as Palacio put it.
The event saw Christian-based clothing booths, such as Spiritual Hardware, food vendors selling funnel cakes and philly cheese steaks and over a dozen charities that sponsored the event.
People from across Ventura County set up umbrellas on the baseball field to worship. Attendants treated the heat with iced tea and Italian Ice, provided by the food vendors.
Children were provided with a rock climbing wall, trampolines and jolly jumps. They could be seen dancing together to the music across the field.
At 4PM, the worship music began; Breaking Ground Worship took the stage. They eased the crowd into the night with well-known hymns and several originals.
For All Seasons stepped up next, amping the energy levels to prepare the crowd for Rhett Walker Band, who took a hard rock perspective to the world of worship.
Finally, the main band of the night, Dove Award-winner Building 429, took the stage. Roy grabbed the microphone, announcing, “We want to make sure people five miles down the road hear the name of Jesus.”
People like Patti Destocki and Jenny Melendez have been attending the event ever since their church began the tradition. They manned the official Revivus booth. Destocki said that the event is important because it “gives opportunity to those who wouldn’t otherwise have it.”
Melendez added that people hear the music and it draws them in.
Non-Christians show up because of this; the bands Revivus invites are Christian but are active on secular radio as well.
“[We’re] not just mak[ing] it about telling people about Jesus but mak[ing] it about… different ministries.” Davidson refers to Teen challenge, Ventura County Rescue Mission and Life Impact International among others. “We want to give the attendants ways to serve.”
Palacio adds, “It’s a neutral place…nobody feels awkward about coming to a park.”
While concerts in larger venues often bring in different crowds, Davidson and Palacio have found that Revivus still draws a substantial crowd.
Roy later said in reference to the event, “I love playing big arenas but there is something interesting about the dynamic when it’s a little bit more intimate…. I’m from small town America and it feels like I’m rocking to my hometown.”
Building 429’s song We Won’t Be Shaken says, “Whatever tomorrow brings, we will rise and sing.”
As the climate of the world changes around us, that’s all some people can do.
Ventura County Local News. Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Ventura, Santa Paula, Moorpark. Visit us for the latest local news information for Ventura County at www.thevoicecalifornia.com