Proud 2B Catholic festival comes to Framingham

On July 30, cars, minivans and buses full of youth will be flocking to Framingham for the 5th annual Proud 2B Catholic Music Festival. This year’s theme for the all-day music festival, which will be held on the grounds of the Marist House, will be “Come 2 Worship.”

"This event is a casual, fun event designed to celebrate our faith as a community," said Peter Campbell, the founder of Campbell Concerts, the organization that organizes the Proud 2B Catholic Music Festival.

Well-known Christian musicians such as Martin Doman of Domini Ministries, Catholic rap artist Righteous B and the archdiocese’s own Bernie Choiniere will entertain and challenge the faith of young people throughout the afternoon.

However, according to Campbell, the day will feature much more than music.

Keynote speakers are Matt Smith of MTV’s “The Real World” and National Spokesman for Life Teen and Tom Brady, Sr., the father of the New England Patriots star quarterback, who will share some of his experiences of living his Catholic faith.

"The highlight of the Music Festival weekend is Holy Mass," which will be celebrated by Boston Archbishop Seán P. O'Malley, said Campbell.

In addition to the Mass with Archbishop Seán O’Malley, eucharistic adoration and the sacrament of Reconciliation will be available throughout the day.

This year’s food and product vendor areas will include an all-new “Electric Cafe” in which vendor tables will surround a second, indoor stage.

Finally, the largest inflated games section ever at a Proud 2B Catholic event, provided by AllAboutFun.us, will round out the day’s events.

"There will be plenty of food and things to do all day, so come early and take it all in," Campbell urged.

Although the layout of the event is similar to past festivals, “we have made lots of improvements,” stated Campbell. “Even someone who might have attended the event a couple years ago will experience the improvements.”

“People should know to come prepared for the weather because the main part of the event is outdoors,” he added, “but parts will be inside as well.”

The timing and location of the festival have changed since last year, Campbell noted.

The Proud 2B Catholic festival is being held July rather than August, as in past years, to accommodate those young people traveling to Cologne, Germany for World Youth Day or to SoulFest, a multi-day Christian music and teaching festival being held in New Hampshire.

"Although not a ton of teens from Boston and New England will be going to World Youth Day or the SoulFest, we know the ones who are going would be disappointed to not be able to make it to Proud 2B Catholic this year," Campbell said.

Because of the change in date, last year’s venue was unavailable, Campbell said. The Marist House “has been gracious and generous enough to allow us to use their property for the event.”

Campbell first came up with the idea for a Catholic concert just before World Youth Day in 2000, because he wanted to find a fun way to reach out to young Catholics. Although uncertain if the idea would take root, he founded Campbell Concerts and one year later, the first Proud 2B Catholic Music Festival was held.

Close to 500 people attended that first concert. Based on last year’s attendance, Campbell hopes that 1500 young people and chaperones take part in this year’s event.

Admission to the all-day music festival is $30 on the day of the music festival. Discounts are available for advanced-sale tickets purchased on their website, www.Proud2Bcatholic.com. Group discounts are also available.

According to Campbell, the Proud 2B Catholic Music Festivals have begun to gain national momentum. This year, a similar music festival was held in Lancaster, Pa.

"We are seeking partnerships with local planners who are on-fire for their faith and want to evangelize their regions," Campbell said.

Similar concerts are currently in the works for 2006 in Southern California, Louisiana, Colorado, Georgia and Toronto, Canada.

"I think -- especially as I get older -- that the youth relate to different music, different trends," he mused. "This event appeals to those interests, but draws the youth closer to the Church with a positive experience in their faith."

For more information on the Proud 2B Catholic Music Festival, or to register for the event, go to www.Proud2Bcatholic.com or call 1-800-801-0893.

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