I am REALLY PUMPED about speaking at Cornerstone Festival in a few weeks. Its been 12 years since I was there. In 1999 our family turned up in our Winnebago, set up camp and met a stack of friends, in particular the DJ's who ended up camping around us and throwing underground parties late at night. Lots of fun at Cstone '99.
Here's some thoughts and useless trivial facts about Christian music festivals in general and the Jesus Movement that gave them birth.
- Although there are similarities to old time Chrstian tent revivals, Christian Musical Festivals were actually born out of the Jesus Movement that started around 1967. I was 4 years old at the time and had nothing to do with it. Really.
- On June 21, 2011, it will be 40 years since Time Mag published the famous Jesus cover in the issue that explored this wild new movement.
- With the Jesus movement underway, the first Christian festivals in USA started in 1970 with Faith Festival (Youth For Christ), Icthus Music Festival (Asbury Seminary), and The Love Song Festival in 1971. Explo '72 (Campus Crusade for Christ) in Dallas, with an attendance of 80,000, brought attention to what was happening.
- In 1970, Greg X Volz was singing with the "E Band" at the Faith Festival and [BONUS] he will be playing Cornerstone this year with Petra which was formed in 1972. Glenn Kaiser and Rez Band (started 1972) obviously will be playing Cornerstone. Also performing is Randy Stonehill, who I almost interviewed at Greenbelt. Randy has been around since the early days. The band Servant (I keep in touch with Owen and Sandie Brock) will be playing Cstone also, as will Barry McGuire who I also met ... once . . .briefly . . but I am sure he will remember esp. since Barry married a kiwi girl.
- I have never met Greg X Volz. But I am sure he is looking forward to that moment with great expectation.
- Christian festivals have continued to grow in the last decade. Christian Festivals in USA with an attendance over 5000 grew from only 5 in 2000 to 35 in 2006. [Source]
- At the Jesus Festival in 1974, "Randy Matthews was "chased off stage by a crowd which pronounced him to be demon or drug possessed due to his musical style" which was influenced by rock music more than folk music. Wikipedia
- Christian festivals that I frequent most include Greenbelt (UK), Slot Art Fest (Poland) and Freakstock (Germany). Last year I went to the 2 best Christian Festivals in New Zealand - Parachute Festival which had 23,000 people and PassionFest with about 300 people. We enjoyed PassionFest the most and hope to return.
- Creation Fest, the largest Christian music festival in USA, helped to sponsor Friendship Fest in Morocco which I hope will happen again. I havent been to Creation Fest but I think it's a bit more mainstream than what I am used to.
- A new festival this year in USA is Wild Goose Festival. I stopped by North Carolina last year and talked to some of the organizers who are friends of mine from the emerging church stream. This festival is somewhat inspired by Greenbelt in UK and will have a strong focus on social justice. It will be also be theologicaly wider than other festivals so you are guaranteed to feel uncomfortable. Which is not always a bad thing. I will not be attending (Cornerstone invited me first) but I recommend checking it out, especially in its first year. Be part of history!
- I have been collecting books on the Jesus movement for 15 years, ever since I started ministering in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco in the 90's. I am a bit of a geek on the subject and many of my older books are from the library of the late Francis DuBose. But I have 2 friends that have done a lot more research than I have and can speak with more authority:
- John Smith who did his PhD on the impact of the Jesus movement, and
I have some thoughts on the missing link between the Jesus Movement and the current day global emerging church movement . .. which I hope to speak on at Cornerstone and publish something on the blog soon.
Nuff for now . . .
Shameless Plug: Hear me teach at Cornerstone. Details here.