Umbrellas and tents in tow, thousands of fans, celebrities and public figures gathered in celebration of gospel music at the 5th Annual Long Beach Gospel Festival located in the heart of downtown Long Beach on July 19. Created and hosted by “Preachers of LA” stars Pastor Wayne and First Lady Myesha Chaney, the event featured a host of stellar, live performances from the likes of Jessica Reedy, Kiki Sheard, Myron Butler, Gerald and Tammi Haddon and Psalms.
Now one of the largest outdoor events in Southern California, the Gospel Festival started with humble beginnings when city officials to plan the event in less than two weeks approached the Chaney’s. In a city that previously boasted a mere 200 attendees for street festivals, the Long Beach Gospel Festival surpassed all odds in its first year, when Kim Burrell performed as the only headliner to over 7,000 guests. “It’s what we love to do. There’s not only worship, but great gospel music, and we’re able to share a word in the open forum,” Pastor Wayne Chaney of Antioch Church stated.
Gospel Artist Deitrick Haddon described the level of comradery that the artists have with the Chaneys to make the event successful year after year, free of charge for fans. “We have a real friendship, it’s not fake, or just a television friendship. We have a real friendship where we are here for one another,” Haddon said.
And the unlikely rainy weather didn’t stop fans from celebrating, or the best in gospel music from showing their appreciation. Once the rain reached its’ peak, the celebration continued at the City of Refuge Church in Gardena with more live performances from Tasha Cobbs, Deitrick Haddon, Tina Campbell, Erica Campbell and Myron Butler.
In recent years, the Long Beach Gospel Festival has reached over 20,000 fans and local residents. The festival continues to serve as a symbol of unity, worship, and positivity in communities throughout Southern California.