Youth invited to see how music can be a form of worship in upcoming ‘Festival: A Youth Concert’

Live concert to become 2024 youth music festival: ‘We are going to have a really, really fun time,’ says singer Patch Crowe

An upcoming worldwide broadcast for the rising generation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hopes to strengthen discipleship in Jesus Christ through music.

And if the response of the audience at the event taping at the Red Butte Amphitheater in Salt Lake City is any indication, youth around the world will want to be a part of it — through planning local celebrations, downloading the playlist, watching the concert and singing along with the music over and over again.

Upwards of almost 1,000 youth attending a nearby For the Strength of Youth conference and their counselors were in the audience for a live concert on Wednesday, June 5, which became the first night of filming the “Festival: A Youth Concert.”

Nephi Leonardo, who was born in Brazil but raised in Massachusetts, ended the night with a hoarse voice and huge smile from cheering and singing along.

“I thought it was, like, so awesome,” he said. “This was top of the line for me.”

Young Men General President Steven J. Lund and Young Women General President Emily Belle Freeman welcomed the FSY audience from the stage.

“This concert is going to be broadcast all over the whole entire world in August,” President Freeman told the crowd, and they responded with loud cheers.

Young Women General President Emily Belle Freeman and Young Men General President Steven J. Lund speak to the audience at the taping of the "Festival: A Concert for Youth" at the Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The broadcast will be available on Monday, Aug. 5, and stakes are invited to participate globally on Saturday, Aug. 10, or plan another date that works for their local needs. A playlist of the songs will be available in early July.

The prerecorded broadcast will be available at, the Gospel Stream app, and the Strive to Be YouTube channel. It also will be available later in the Youth Music section of Gospel Library.

President Freeman has high hopes for the concert to reach the youth of the entire world.

“As we’ve planned for it, we’ve called it a ‘Concert In a Box,’” she told the Church News. “It’s something we’ve never done before. We have packaged all of it so it can be easily used by youth wherever they live.”

What: "Festival: A Youth Concert"

Why: To strengthen discipleship in Jesus Christ through music

When: Available for download Monday, Aug. 5, 2024. Stakes can participate globally on Saturday, Aug. 10 or on a date that meets their needs.

Where:, the Gospel Stream app, YouTube Strive to Be channel and Youth Music section of Gospel Library.

How: Youth should be involved in planning an event where the concert will be shown.

FSY coordinator Jacob Doman, from Kirksville, Missouri, said the concert was an incredible experience — and he can’t wait to see the full broadcast.

“It made me think about singing praises to the heavens and worshipping Jesus in a way that’s just more fun and more dynamic,” he said.

That’s exactly what President Lund is hoping for.

“The Young Men and Young Women organizations have the opportunity to do three worldwide broadcasts each year. The endeavor every time is to try to come up with something that is meaningful and something that will touch hearts and soften people,” he said. “This event is about that, and we are doing it through music.”

‘Strive to Be’ singers talk about the youth concert

“Festival: A Youth Concert” will feature singers that youth will recognize from the Church’s youth music albums and Strive to Be on YouTube — like Patch Crowe, who stars in the recently-released music video for the song, “If You Believe.

For Crowe, music transcends all barriers.

“It just is such a beautiful thing to be a part of,” he said in between sound checks and rehearsals on June 5. “We don’t even need to speak the same language and I can sing a song to you that conveys a message more perfectly than words ever could.”

The performers are from several different countries, and the concert will include some songs in Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Singer-songwriter Connor Austin, from South Africa, wrote “He’ll Be There” for the 2023 youth album. Rehearsing with the other singers for “Festival: A Youth Concert” showed him the power of sharing real people’s life experiences.

“When I was growing up, youth music was really good, but it wasn’t necessarily always what we wanted to listen to because it was so different to the types of music that we naturally went towards,” Austin said, adding that he wants youth to give this music a chance. “It’s about the same things. It’s about good things, but the feeling that the music gives is just completely different.”

Audience members cheer during the taping of the "Festival: A Concert for Youth" at the Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The youngest singer of the group is Halee “Halo” Crowther, who met some of the other performers for the first time during rehearsals. “Everyone has such a light about them and everyone is so positive and happy. I love it. It’s a great atmosphere to be in,” she said as she stood by the stage.

Crowther served a performing mission in Nauvoo, Illinois, and has always felt that music is a gift from God “and we should be listening to music that can show off that gift.”

Singer Garon Brett talked about using his talents to point others to Christ.

“I just hope that there are kids that really resonate with the music and more importantly leave [the concert] having hope and a better relationship with the Lord and with themselves and with other people,” he said.

And the music, President Lund pointed out, can be songs that the youth can listen to over and over again — and hopefully replace anything that is inappropriate on their playlists right now.

Crowe said this concert would have been something he would have loved to be a part of when he was a youth.

“I think we are going to have a really, really fun time,” he said. “It’s going to be energetic, the talent is just outstanding with the people that we have, but all of us are coming together for a single goal of worshipping the name above all names, which is our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

How to prepare and watch ‘Festival: A Youth Concert’

“Festival: A Youth Concert” will be available to watch on Aug. 5 via the Church’s broadcast page and the Gospel Stream app in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

While stakes are invited to participate globally on Saturday, Aug. 10, they are welcome to plan for another date that would be best for their local schedules and needs.

About that, President Freeman said: “Maybe the youth will use it at Girl’s Camp, or for one night of youth conference, or in a backyard or church gym filled with a big crowd of youth. We imagine loud speakers, a large screen and a huge group of youth gathering together to sing and find strength and share joy.”

Poster for "Festival: A Youth Concert." Poster includes a woman singing into a microphone with her hand up, with graphics in the background.
Poster for "Festival: A Youth Concert" to be posted in August 2024. Local wards and stakes can choose when to watch. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Freeman and President Lund said youth will want to listen to the playlist beforehand so they will come ready to sing and celebrate. A playlist of songs, including music from the recent “Strive To Be” albums and singles, will be available in early July for youth to familiarize themselves with before the broadcast. Other promotional materials will also be made available at that time.

All youth music is available on the Church’s Children and Youth website, the Gospel Library, the Sacred Music app, Strive to Be YouTube channel, Spotify and Apple Music.

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