DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - In 1999, Phillip Presley had a vision that would bring together churches and community members.
“We wanted to have a youth rally for the kids in our church but, we decided instead of just having our church, we invited all the other churches to come with us,” Presley said.
That’s how SoulStock, a Christian music festival, got started. It started with a small crowd of 170 people, but quickly grew into one of the Southeast’s largest Christian music festivals. “We ranged from anywhere from that 3,500 the first year, to we’ve had as many as 20,000,” said Presley.
Now, the future of this popular festival is in question. Presley says each year, they rely on the day of the event to determine whether or not they’ll be able to host it the next year.
2019 may have been the festival’s final year. “The last couple of years, in the economy that we live in, it’s gotten hard and harder to do that,” said Presley.
Another major factor, weather. Presley tells WAFF 48 News one year they lost $20,000 because of rain.
When asked about the future of the event, Presley responded with this, “If you ask me to say yes or no right now today, it’s over. It would be finished.”
However, Presley is keeping his options opened.
“I have also been contacted by a prominent business person in Decatur that said there’s been some Decatur people who had heard we might be going to stop and wanted to know how could we keep it going," said Presley.
Presley said if this year was the last year for SoulStock, he is okay with it. At this moment, he is leaning on his faith and putting the final decision in God’s hands.
“If God can figure out a way to help us through this, beyond what we’re doing, then I’m willing to keep working. If it’s time to stop, we’ll stop it. It’s OK, it’s been great."