A music experience from Romania for all of Europe: HeartBeats 2023
Lecrae, Tye Tribett and 20 other bands and speakers join the festival (1-3 June, Cluj-Napoca) to communicate “God’s love and joy” to younger generations and families. The organisers spoke to Evangelical Focus.
CLUJ · 26 APRIL 2023 · 16:12 CET
Cluj-Napoca, the second city of Romania, will experience this spring (1-3 June) the second edition of a new Christian festival hoping to gather thousands from around Romania and beyond.
In a region known for hosting large music events (such as Untold and Electric Castle), artists such as Lecrae, Unspoken and Tye Tribbett will be joined by other bands and speakers from Europe in a programme that seeks to attract young people for an experience of “God’s love and joy”.
Foodtrucks, workshops and other activities are available beside the music shows.
Andy Fronius, a youth leader in Switzerland, who was born in Romania, will be emceeing the three-day programme from the stage. Attending the first edition of HeartBeats in 2022 captured his heart. “It was the first festival we ever attended as a family with our four kids, and we were impressed by the hopeful and peaceful atmosphere”, he tells Evangelical Focus. “We had some of the tastiest food from the festival food trucks and met people that we literally laughed and cried with”.
Andy was later invited to help communicate the vision of Heartbeats to a wider public.
“The joy of Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10) is a verse that resounds for the team of a what automatically has become one of the largest music festivals organised by Christians in Europe. “There is power in providing God space, in celebrating what he is doing and letting him use a platform this big to remind us, how much he loves us”, says Andy.
Music, messages, workshops…
Gospel music and worship will be the star on day one, pop and rock will dominate the second day, and hip-hop will close the weekend on the third day.
Apart from well-known artists from the other side of the Atlantic, European bands include We Are Messengers (Ireland), October Light (Croatia), ICF Worship (Switzerland), Kerestzkérdés (Hungary) and Cardiac Move (Austria). Several shows will be led by Romanian musicians as well.
But it is not assumed that everyone attending is a Christian, and a big effort will be put in “sharing the gospel message in unique ways” from the main stage, with as many as 8 speakers.
Eight speakers will share aspects of the gospel from the stage.
Workshops in the side-programme will focus on topics such as parenting, being a positive influence in the workplace, reading the Bible better. These will be led in partnership with organisations such as OM.
A unique chance for churches
“Churches play a vital role in nurturing spiritual growth and fostering a loving community that supports one another”, says Fronius, and the festival seeks to serve as a tool to strengthen the faith of the young or help them re-connect with God.
Romanian Christian congregations are therefore encouraged to bring their youth, pray for the event, sponsoring it, and “welcome those who are seeking a sign from God or looking to deepen their faith”.
Thousands are expected to attend the festival in Cluj-Napoca.
Participants from other parts of Europe
One in five attendants of the festival in 2022 were not coming from Romania but from other parts of Europe. “This year we expect even more to come from abroad”, says Fronius, who points to the fact that some flights from European cities to Romania are “very cheap”.
Two dozens bands and speakers will join HeartBeats 2023.
The dreamer behind HeartBeats
The dream of a high-quality music festival for youth and families was born in the heart of Lucian Marian, a Romanian IT entrepreneur.
“I grew up in an orphanage, and because Christmas time was very hard for us, I tried to go see a Christmas concert”, he explains. A church was organising the free musical event, so he went. There, “the pastor’s talk on the true meaning of Christmas profoundly impacted me”. Lucian says he “understood that God is my father. I was 18, and decided to give my life to his service”.
Now, owning a business of 20 employees, “I travel for companies all over Europe and I meet many young people who don’t believe in God anymore: they are atheists, agnostics and I understand this is a generation who has not heard. They are sheep without a shepherd leading them”, says Marian. “We need to speak their language”.
“I read about festivals in Romania that there are often 4-5 young people dying because of drugs. That’s a big drama. And that makes me to understand the biggest problem in the world is: the people don’t give a chance to meet God. That is the biggest issue for me”.
Out of this own personal testimony “came the idea to organize HeartBeats. I think God gave me these thoughts and spoke to my heart. I chose to invest in a music festival, a unique way of connecting, encouraging environment and an example of unity to grow the community”.
“How will Europe look like in 10-15 years?”, he asks. “I think it’s very important to invest in the Gen Z generation. I hope that Romania will become an example for fire-faith in Europe”.
“Please join us in prayer and support as we work together to reach souls for the kingdom. Help us promote this event, and consider attending with your friends, both secular and from your church community. Let’s unite in our mission to share the love of Jesus and make a lasting impact on the lives of young people across Europe”.
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