Spirit West Coast festivals announce 2012 dates


DEL MAR, Calif. — After a yearlong hiatus because of the economy, Spirit West Coast Del Mar returns Memorial Day weekend, May 25 to 27 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

As part of its pre-event planning, organizers are hosting an online survey seeking input on whom the fans would like to see appear at the Del Mar event and its sister festival in Monterey June 21 to 23.

Jon Robberson, the festival's promoter, said his team was encouraged by a substantial increase in attendance at this year's Monterey event. After weak attendance in 2010 in Del Mar, and Monterey, which was hit hard by the timing of its July 4 weekend run, officials decided to produce just one show, sticking with the Monterey event at Laguna Seca, the 15th annual festival. The 2011 attendance numbers mirrored those in 2009.

"When the noise and excitement of the music and fun fanfare subsides, it's important to remember that Spirit West Coast is a spiritual event," Robberson said in a news release. "The volunteer group of event organizers truly enjoys providing a setting for thousands of all ages to have an unforgettable experience, but it's the opportunity for lives to be impacted spiritually, that is the true motivator behind it all."

In addition to full line-up of music, the festival reported that more than 250 people made first-time salvation commitments and nearly 500 others rededicated their lives.

Event beneficiary Compassion International received commitments for 365 child sponsorships, bringing the festival's overall sponsorship to nearly 11,000.

Some firsts were also presented on the music front as the Newsboys presented a light show and used several boom lifts to project the band out over the audience, while Skillet wowed the crowd with the first-ever pyrotechnics display in SWC history.

"After each year, I sound like a broken record, touting all the positive things that happen, but that's the way God works," Robberson, of Celebration Concerts, said. "Anytime thousands of people come together in a place where the Lord is invited to be there, He shows up and does amazing things."

To participate in the survey, visit www.itickets.com/contest/spiritwestcoast

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