Exodo Fest is a Christian heavy music festival held each year in Mexico – in the most metal place possible: Matlacueitl volcano in La Malinche National Park. Exodo Fest XIV is taking place March 24-26.
The festival began in 2003 as a very small event, offering free food and free admission. Heading into it’s 14th year, the event has continually grown and attendance varies from 700 to 1000 people.
The vision was to bring out the underground people from metal, goth, punk, and hardcore scenes to experience the presence of God. The event features teaching, concerts, and “extreme praise and worship times.”
The name Exodo Fest is inspired by the Iraelites’ Exodus from Egypt in the Bible. Festival founder Miguel Martinez Salazar explains, “I feel very related with that because my “Egypt” was black metal music. Then I met Jesus Christ and served the Lord 7 years in a normal church, but after that He called me to start a ministry with this kind of people. He called me to go back to Egypt, but not to sin again, but to rescue the people that we left in there.”
He also says that the Christian heavy music isn’t very popular in his country. There is more of a Catholic population in the country (estimated 82%) and,“unfortunately, the Catholicism in Mexico is far from the Christianity of the Bible. They have religion, but normally do not have Christ.”
The local scene consists of just a few bands and many of them quit before too long often because of lack of support. The scene goes up and down, but Exodo is able to feature about 20 bands each year. That is why there is such an effort to bring in Christian bands and to spread this style of music.
When seeking out acts to play the festival, the organizers look for artists who have a heart for the people. They choose to avoid those with a “rockstar attitude” and search for bands who are not playing only for money but are in it for the ministry and a way to spread the Gospel. The Gospel remains the central focus for Exodo Fest. It is shared through the music,through theatrical performances, but mainly through conversation and personal relationship building. There are also church services that take place during the morning and afternoon, and the final activity of the festival each year is the Lord’s Supper.
Many of the festival attendees that go each year are there because they got saved there, or came back to Christ through Exodo. The most important thing is that Exodo is not only for Christian people but is primarily for non-Christians. Most people there are non-Christians, but each year people give their lives to Christ. Miguel and the organizers give all glory to God!
Miguel says that the times of “extreme” worship through metal are his favorite parts of the event. He recalls a special moment during last year when Exodo saw it’s first Wall of Death during the praise and worship time.
The festival is held in an open air camp ground that could accommodate thousands of people. The hope is to some day bring together those thousands of people, gathering and praising the Lord together. Since the festival is free of admission organizers find it hard to cover growing expenses as the festival gets larger, and they would love to still be able to provide food for everyone as they did in the early years of the fest.
I asked Miguel how we can pray for this event and he said to “Pray for the freedom of the underground people in Mexico; for our church because we organize all of this; for finances (unfortunately that is a big deal every year), and pray for the Holy spirit to come visit us.”
This year’s confirmed bands include:
- Silent Planet
- Grave Robber
- Violence in Heaven
- We Are Reistance
- Legion Desinfector
AND MANY MORE…
For more info visit Exodo Fest on Facebook
*all photos courtesy of Miguel Martinez Salazar