In 3 weeks One21music starts the 18 hour drive to Cornerstone Music Festival 2011 (June 28-July 3). Just like last year, we invite you to join us and live the excitement of the Cornerstone Music Festival. Nearly 300 artists will perform probably 800 sets on 10 stages over a span of 6 days. That does not include the daily morning worship services that happen at multiple locations throughout the festival grounds. In addition to all of that, there are 25 seminar series in 5 tents and art and sports and movies. It is a little crazy to watch the this idyllic farm in western Illinois turn into a Christian Times Square for a week.
Between now and when we leave, we are going to prepare you for the festival by providing you a list of all One21music artists on the Cornerstone schedule, expand the One21music roster to include new Cornerstone performers, highlight the Cornerstone New Band Showcase performers and provide you the Cornerstone 2011 schedules of the One21music team. Once we arrive, just like for Cornerstone 2010, we will provide you daily insight into our Cornerstone experience with words and images. That way, if you can’t make it, you can experience Cornerstone 2011 through One21music. If you are going to be there, you can re-live Cornerstone 2011 at One21music and maybe catch some things you missed.
Before all of that, I would like to take you on what I expect from our journey through Cornerstone 2011. All four of us on the team have very broad musical tastes. I would say that Ian and Rebecca have a greater affinity for hard core music than Debbie and Chuck, who tend to like alternative rock and folk. However, I assert that Chuck and Ian truly do like all kinds of music. Cornerstone 2011 will have more samples of all musical styles than anyone can possibly experience. So we go into Cornerstone realizing that, for every great set we see, we are missing at least one that is happening somewhere else. Patience, gratitude ans serenity are vital personal traits for Cornerstone.
There is no way to make the 18 hour trek from Austin, Texas to Bushnell, Illinois, and still make it to Cornerstone in time for the noon press check-in, without driving all night. Nothing is more miserable than driving through the night to spend two hours checking-in and setting-up camp. So we will not do that this year. We will leave mid-afternoon to drive through the night to a nice hotel in McComb, Illinois, arriving about noon. The late evening and early morning will take us through the tornado ravaged regions of Oklahoma and Missouri (right through Joplin) so we will be doing some praying for those residents as we pass through. Monday afternoon we will relax and prepare for the six day marathon that is Cornerstone.
Cornerstone 2011, Day One-June 28 Checking in with Joy (Williams)
The first day is a full-on sprint checking in, finding your camping spot setting up camp and scoping out the scene. We will be in the same spot as last year to set-up One21music base camp.
Cornerstone 2011 does not officially start until Wednesday night so many people will not arrive until the next day but we like to be at Cornerstone from the very beginning. Like last year, the streets will be pretty quiet until Wednesday when this Cornerstone Main Street will be practically impassable.
The music starts at 2:30 on Tuesday at one of the “unofficial” generator stages. Faith In The Unseen hits the Sancrosanct Records stage with double bass drums pounding and screamed lyrics flying through the skies.
Our treat for all the driving arrives at 7:00 on the Chelsea Cafe stage when Joy Williams, taking a break from The Civil Wars summer tour, performs songs from her decade long solo career. I just saw The Civil Wars sing “Poison and Wine” on The Tonight Show. We are huge Joy Williams fans and we are going to try to catch her for an interview. Joy is followed by bluesmen Josh Davenport and Khadag Blue. The evening caps off with Cornerstone godfather and blues legend Glen Kaiser.
Cornerstone 2011 Day 2- Come & Live, Andy (Hunter)
Cornerstone 2011 “officially” opens on Wednesday evening but before then, the entire One21music team will spend most of our Wednesday at the Come & Live Stage. This music ministry offers music from its stable of artist for free through their website and supports the Christian musicians in their mission to spread the Word through their music. Preson Phillips, Fallstar, Men As Trees Walking and So Long Forgotten will carry us through the early evening with their deep spiritual music.
The Wednesday highlight is Andy Hunter on the main stage. This electronic worship leader from the U.K. dazzled us in 2002 with an amazing set that ended with the Holy Spirit taking everyone within 100 yards of the hall to their knees and dozens of people committing their lives to Christ. We are excited to see him turn this big Main Stage field ….
…into an outdoor dance club like this
Cornerstone 2011 Day 3- Nashville and Punk
After our first truly late night the 30,000 people at Cornerstone will be ready to rock. We will seek out one of the youth worship events and then head over to the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase (over the next few weeks we will be sharing interviews with Showcase performers such as For The Broken, Beggars and Josiah James). After checking the “deconstructed folk,punk” of Insomniac Folklore we will head over to the Gallery Stage for Paper Route. We will end the night with the organized riot that is punk maniacs Flatfoot 56. Last year they honored “shark week” with a nautical stage show and a human shark tank.
Cornerstone 2011 Day 4- P.O.D. Returns to Main Stage
Friday is the day for hard core fans when For Today and former Korn bassist Brian “Head” Welch lead up to the return of the original P.O.D. to the Cornerstone main stage. P.O.D., a former Cornerstone new band showcase winner, is one of the biggest Christian cross-over bands of the 21st century. “Alive” was their big crossover hit.
Cornerstone 2011 Day 5- A Five Star Day Fights Fatigue
By now the 16 hours a day of music from 10 stages, tent sleeping and 30,000 people will have washed away the “real” world and worn us done a bit. However, more morning worship followed by Seabird, Blindside, Anberlin, Ilogical Spoon and Josh Garrels make Saturday one of the best of Cornerstone 2011. Josh Garrels was not at Cornerstone 2010 and we missed his deeply spiritual folk, hip-hop.
Cornerstone 2011 Day 6- It Can’t Be Over Yet
We end the week with a day of worship. For the more traditionally minded, the Main Stage will feature international recording act Robbie Seay Band and Grammy nominated Gungor. If you like your worship a little edgier you are in luck because Sleeping Giant and The Chariot close out Cornerstone 2011 with their progressive hard core worship services.
Then it is over. Al that is left is breaking down camp and driving 18 hours back to Texas. I am already sad. Keep coming back for more articles and updates on Cornerstone 2011.