In a move that had been rumored for some time Disney announced this week they were permanently cancelling the contemporary Christian music festival, Night of Joy. Reaction to the cancellation varied and speculation about the cause has led some to conspiracy theories.
Let’s take a look at what Night of Joy was and why Disney may have cancelled it.
What is Night of Joy?
Night of Joy is a Christian music festival that started in 1983 and lasted until 2017, though the September 9th date had to be cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. Some of the biggest names in Contemporary Christian music have performed including Amy Grant, Chris Tomlin, and Mercy Me.
The concert was normally the first or second weekend in September. The concert was at the Magic Kingdom from 1983 until 2008. In 2008 and 2009 the concert was at Hollywood Studios but returned to the Magic Kingdom in 2010. In 2016 and 2017 the concert was at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The concert was a special ticket event.
Why Was Night of Joy Cancelled?
A Disney spokeswoman told the Orlando Sentinel that the concert was cancelled as part of the resort’s philosophy of “continually changing our offerings.”
Some people may suspect that this is a move against Christians by Disney but I doubt it. Some of the acts who took part in Night of Joy will now be performing during Eat to the Beat at Epcot.
I think the reason is much simpler. The concerts were most successful when they were held at the Magic Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom gave them a draw that no other venue could. But that also meant that Disney had to close their most popular park early. Disney also has Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom in September. That also means the Magic Kingdom has to close early. I think that is why Disney was trying to move the concert.
Neither Hollywood Studios nor ESPN had the power to draw a crowd like the Magic Kingdom and it cannot be cheap to pull in the best Contemporary Christian talent. So unfortunately Night of Joy has reached its end. At least that is my opinion.
Why do you think it had to go? And will you miss it? Did you ever get a chance to attend? What was it like? Let me know in the comments below.
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