Soul Survivor UK 2002 - a Christian Festival Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Soul Survivor UK 2002 - a Christian Festival

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Soul Survivor is an international Christian festival. Events are staged throughout each year in several countries around the world, and the British Soul Survivor is one of the largest Christian festivals in the UK. Thousands of people attended Soul Survivor UK 2002 to pray, sing, dance and have fun.

Camping areas were provided at Soul Survivor UK 2002, but the attendees had to bring their own tents or caravans to camp in.

The festival was divided into two weeks. Week A ran from 12-16 August, 2002, while Week B took place from 17-21 August, 2002.


The event was held at the Royal Bath & West Showground, three miles from Shepton Mallet in Somerset, UK. The facilities at the showground included a sports centre, a skate park, a lake, a shop, the camping areas and that crucial festival necessity, adequate toilets.

Main Meetings

The main meetings at Soul Survivor UK 2002 took place in a big tent at 11am and 7pm on every day of the festival, except for the last day of each week1. These meetings were times of worship and teaching. The meetings were led by Mike Pilavachi, one of the guys in charge of the festival.


Worship in the meetings featured long periods of singing and dancing, with people expressing their belief in and love for God. The worship times were led by a number of different people and bands including Tim Hughes and Phatfish.


The teaching time was used to dig deeper into scripture and to look at Jesus Christ, His message and how we live today. The teaching involved someone going up onto the platform and giving a talk on a particular subject. The topics discussed included the life of Jesus, faith and prophecy.

Spiritual Experiences?

At the end of the meetings Mike Pilavachi usually asked the Holy Spirit to enter the place, and asked the people to wait for it. Some people then began to act strangely. Some people cried, some laughed, some screamed and some danced. However, not all people acted strangely. Some said later that they'd simply felt at peace with themselves. Others said that they hadn't felt anything at all; but some said that they had become Christians as a result of the meetings.

It is impossible to know why people started to act strangely or felt at peace. Many people who did act oddly later admitted they did not know why. However, a number of them said that they believed they'd had a spiritual experience.


Movies were screened at the festival at 4pm and 9.30pm each day. The movies included Shrek, Moulin Rouge, Dumb And Dumber, A Knight's Tale and Legally Blonde.


There were a number of different bands playing at Soul Survivor at many different locations. In addition to the aforementioned Phatfish, these included The Tribe, One Hundred Hours, Capstone, MIC, Steve and thebandwithnoname. All the bands had a good reception from the Soul Survivor crowd.

During Week A, thebandwithnoname had a vote for what they should be called. Thousands of people voted, but in the end the majority of people voted for thebandwithnoname to be called: thebandwithnoname.


From Day Two to Day Five of each week there were seminars at 9.30am, 2.30pm and 4pm2. Seminar topics included:

  • Genesis: Fact or Fiction?
  • Help! I'm the only Christian in my family
  • Jesus
  • I want to be holy
  • September 11 - a day that changed the world
  • Prophecy
  • Making the most of your time
  • Seeking the true voice of God
  • The spirituality of Potter World

Some seminars were arranged into specific courses, or 'Tracks', that people could follow. The 'Tracks' were:

  • Student Track - seminars designed for handling the stresses and opportunities that students have.

  • Emerging Leaders Track - seminars designed to consider the call or challenge of leadership.

  • Going Deeper Track - seminars that were designed to provide a firm and deeply spiritual understanding of your faith.

  • Soul Sista Track - three seminars looking at identity, relationships and 'God stuff' for women and girls.

  • Soul Man Track - three seminars looking at identity, relationships and 'God stuff' for men and boys.

  • Soulnet - seminars that were designed to provide access to religious resources. This was especially aimed at people working as leaders of youth groups.

The seminars involved listening to a talk by one or more people on a particular subject. Usually, at the end of each seminar, the main speaker asked if anyone had any questions. Sometimes they had this time as part of the seminar, and on other occasions they asked people to speak to them after the seminar was over. There were a number of different seminar speakers including Andy Hawthorne, Pete Hughes and Matt Redman.

'Shower Heaven'

Showers at camps and festivals are often smelly, dirty and cold, so it was good to find an exception to the rule at Soul Survivor UK 2002. 'Shower Heaven' was the nickname given by one of the youth groups at Soul Survivor to a group of four electric showers that were behind Toilet Block 3. The showers at 'Shower Heaven' were heavenly compared to the other showers at Soul Survivor. The walls were white and clean. The water was warm. It made showering at Soul Survivor no longer a task which had to be done, but an enjoyable activity.

You've Been Pegged

On Day 5 of Week B, at the final meeting of the event, a prank was played. People all over the place found clothes pegs pegged on them. The pegs had written on them the words 'You've Been Pegged' on one side, and on the other side 'By' followed by someone's name. The names were different however. One person even had a peg which said 'By Mike P' pegged to them. However, Mike Pilavachi was not the prankster, as even he was pegged. The prankster was never caught.

A Personal Perspective

Below is one Researcher's comments on Soul Survivor 2002:

It was excellent! There were so many different things to do. The main meetings were brilliant and interesting. Mike Pivalachi was extremely funny. The bands were great, especially Phatfish, The Tribe and thebandwithnoname. The seminars were interesting and enlightening. I went to the seminar on Prophecy and learnt a great deal.
On the whole, I found Soul Survivor to be an unforgettable experience, which helped bring me closer to God. I'm definitely going to go back next year.
The MessageA472033A272675
1On those days, the morning meeting began at 9.30am and Communion was taken at 11am. 2Except Day Five when there were no 9.30am seminars because the main meeting was at 9.30am.

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