Some 2,300 young people attended Christian youth festival Summer Madness yesterday at Glenarm Estate in Co Antrim.
Organiser John Kee from Belfast said the festival began in 1987 at Castlearchdale under the Church of Ireland but is now a nondenominational annual event drawing young people from as far afield as Cork, Limerick, Sligo and Galway.
“The perception is that they are mostly from middle class church-going families,” he said. “But I would say around 20 per cent of them would have quite tenuous connections with any church and usually then only via a church youth group.”
Since he began helping with the first festival in 1987, he says that one of the key changes they find themselves dealing with now is the prevalence of internet pornogaphy.
“But the core issues have remained very similar. Youth leaders advise us young people are still wrestling with relationships, self image, loneliness, identity, insecurity about the future, self-worth, where they are going and what they want to be in life.”
The festival runs until tomorrow.