One21 Guide To Christian Music Festivals:July

So Summer time is is around the bend, and for music lovers that means one thing: Music Festivals! In the world of Christian music, summer festivals are a big deal, there are many artists who only play these once a year mega-events. For audience members, festivals are a great way to experience music that may have never come into focus until they saw it live. In our lives, mewithoutYou, La Dispute, Josh Garrels, Anathallo, Enter The Worship Circle, RedCloud, and Cool Hand Luke would never have hit our radar if we hadn’t wandered into a tent at Cornerstone Festival over the years. Even though we at One21 think Cornerstone is great, it is only one of the many around the country. Maybe you want to hit one, or tour them of all (we have met people who do), so we have put this little schedule together of all the Christian music festivals in 2009. You are welcome:

If you missed our last post, view the Christian Music Festival guide for June 2009

Lifefest 2009 (July 8th-12th):
Oshcosh, WI
Lifefest is a true all-in-one experience. They have not only music, but art fairs, kid camp, skate parks, bonfires, tons of game, and interactive prayer journeys. Camping is the main way to experience the fest, but the website has a link to a nearby Radisson Hotel. The music is a good mix of styles, along with quite a few speakers and comedians. The fest seems to be more geared to towards families and large youth groups. There is really something for everyone, young and old, at this festival.
Line-up Highlights:
Skillet Skillet(here we go)
Salvador Salvador
Ilia Ilia
tobyMac tobyMac
The Afters The Afters
Secret & Whisper Secret & Whisper
Third DayThird Day
Shane & Shane Shane Barnard & Shane Everett
War Of Ages War of Ages

Sonshine Fesival (July15th-18th)
Willmar, MN
Sonshine is another outdoor, camp at the site festival, but cuts out all the fluff. None of this “other stuff to do” thing going, Sonshine is all about the music. Three days, and from the looks of it there are a few hundred acts performing on three stages (along with a kids stage, and a extreme sports tent). Most of the mainstream acts hit the main stage, but a whole lot of heavy music is going on the side stages, along with what looks like an entire day of hip-hop. Sonshine are looking pretty good with pleasing just about ANY music lover.
Line-up Highlights:
Switchfoot Switchfoot
Family Force 5 Family Force 5
Skillet(oh yea)
Relient K Relient k
Tal & Acacia
For Today For Today
Living Sacrifice Living Sacrifice
Kaboose Kaboose
As I Lay Dying As I Lay Dying
Barlow Girl BarlowGirl

Hills Alive (July 18th, 19th)
Rapid City, SD
This is a little smaller than some of the other festivals we have listed, but with two of music on tow stages, it is pretty amazing that this one is completely free. Yep, that’s what I said, free. I wish I lived on that side of the country, ’cause I love free stuff, and so should you.
Line-Up Highlights:
Kutless Kutless
Casting Crowns Casting Crowns
Skillet(maybe they will be at every one I list today)
Remedy DriveRemedy Drive
The AftersThe Afters
Krystal MeyersKrystal Meyers
Big Daddy WeaveBig Daddy Weave
The FoldThe Fold

Creation Northwest 09 (July 22nd-25th)
George, WA
Hey remember Creation Northeast that happened in June? No? Well here is my write up on that because this is an identical set-up: “Creation is a huge outdoor event geared towards youth pastors. It claims to be the largest Christian music festival, with tons of music, activities and stuff for kids. Creation also features themed stages, with a main stage reserved for the bigger acts, the fringe stage for lesser known bands, and a stage completely reserved for worship. There is a lot of music crammed in to three days, so come ready!”
Line-up Highlights:
Skillet Skillet(you know it)
Chris TomlinChris Tomlin
Relient KRelient k
Casting CrownsCasting Crowns
Hawk NelsonHawk Nelson
Worth Dying ForWorth Dying For
The ShowdownThe Showdown
House Of HeroesHouse of Heroes

Soulfest (July 29th-Aug 1rst)
Gilford, NH
Soulfest is a huge outdoor festival that has a more of a focus on the worship aspect of the music scene. There are lots of rock bans, activities, and what not, but many of the bigger names are worship leaders. From what I can tell, there isn’t camping, so they provide a ton of local hotels on their website so you can be best served. The fest seems a little more lighthearted, although as I said before, it’s not ALL worship.
Line-up Highlights:
Jason Upton Jason Upton(plays twice)
Derek WebbDerek Webb
Natalie GrantNatalie Grant
Phil Wickam
The AftersThe Afters
A Plea For PurgingA Plea for Purging
Casting CrownsCasting Crowns
Skillet(ha, you thought they had missed one)

Spirit West Coast (July 30th-Aug 1rst)
Monterey, CA
Going on at the same time is Spirit West Coast. This is more like a mini-Cornerstone, there is a ton of kids stuff, games and video games as csgo with boosting from csgo mmr, sports going on at the same time as the music. They are putting up a lot for just a few days of festivities. Camping and hotels are available, and this one seems to be very family friendly, no one should get bored. The music part is the who’s who of Christian rock, so it will be loud and fun for sure.
Line-up Highlights:
Jeremy CampJeremy Camp
David Crowder BandDavid Crowder Band
Family Force 5Family Force 5
House Of HeroesHouse of Heroes
Thousand Foot KrutchThousand Foot Krutch
Steller KartStellar Kart

Alright, that’s it for July, come back next week, and we will have your line-up for September.

The One21 Interviews Red Letter Rock Fest


In early June, The (ONE)21 will be headed up to Snyder, TX to cover Red Letter Rock Festival 2009.  We were very fortunate to get to have a behind the scenes look at this awesome two day event that is kicking off  the summer Christian music festival season. Despite it’s size, Red Letter Fest is packing quite a line-up, filling every minute they have with great music, interesting talks, and overall fun.

We got a chance to ask festival director Reid Johnson a few questions about the history of this event and what things are going to be like this year.  If you are anywhere near Texas in early June, you may want to see what he has to say.

The(ONE)21 Music: Obvious question first ,what is Red Letter Rock Fest ?

Reid Johnson: Red Letter Rock Fest is an annual Christian music festival held the first weekend in June. We aim to book an eclectic mix of artists from the genres of rock, adult contemporary, metal, and even hip hop. Our theory is, “You may not like every band, but you’re going to LOVE some bands.” The event is indoors at The Coliseum in Snyder, Texas. Snyder is in West Texas, located approximately 1.5 hours from Abilene, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, and San Angelo. Snyder is also approximately 4 hours from Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio. This year’s event is June 5-6, tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door; they may be purchased online at



(ONE)21: How did Red Letter Rock Fest get started?

Reid: Red Letter Rock Fest birthed from a radio show my business partner and I started in 2003: Red Letter Rock 20. Red Letter Rock 20 was an internationally-syndicated Christian rock countdown that was broadcast weekly on 63 stations all across North America and New Zealand. During each show, we would interview in-studio artists, and over the course of time, we built really strong relationships with many of them. In June 2006, we decided to take our radio show to the main stage with the first annual festival, inviting many of our new friends to perform: Skillet, Pillar, RED, Seventh Day Slumber, KJ-52, etc. Every year the festival has gotten bigger by both number of bands and number of attendees.

(ONE)21: Does the name mean anything?

Reid: Most translations of the Bible use red letters to identify when the Lord is speaking. We hope that through Red Letter Rock Fest, the Lord will speak to its attendees.



(ONE)21: Who is playing Red Letter Rock Fest this year?

Reid: Performing artists include Skillet, Family Force 5, Audio Adrenaline Talks, Hawk Nelson, RED, Superchick, Disciple, Norma Jean, Haste The Day, Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster, Spoken, Decyfer Down, Children 18:3, The Glorious Unseen, Stars Go Dim, White Collar Sideshow, and a special mystery artist. Previous mystery artists were Pillar and The Wedding.

Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster

Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster

(ONE)21: What other bands have played there in the past?

Reid: We have had the following artists perform in 2006-2008: Jeremy Camp, Skillet, BarlowGirl, Thousand Foot Krutch, Demon Hunter, Living Sacrifice, Kutless, Pillar, MXPX, Project 86, RED, Disciple, Sanctus Real, The Afters, KJ-52, Falling Up, Day Of Fire, Kids In The Way, Spoken, Seventh Day Slumber, TAIT, Salvador, By The Tree, Decyfer Down, Fireflight, The Wedding, Ruth, Wavorly, and many more.


Kids In The Way

(ONE)21: What is your favorite performance at Red Letter Rock Fest since you have been organizing it?

Reid: Kids In The Way put on an amazing show, and at the time, we had no idea it would be the last of their career. I wish I would’ve known that ahead of time and we would promoted it to their fanbase so much more than we did. I also think Skillet is the best live show in the country, no matter the genre. They are the only band that has played all four years of Red Letter Rock Fest.

Skillet doing their thing


(ONE)21: Is there anything different about this year’s Fest?

Reid: This year’s event is two days (June 5-6), whereas previous years have been one day. Because of the increase in days, we have also increased the number of performing acts.

(ONE)21: What is the purpose of Red Letter Fest?

Reid: Originally, I wanted to do something positive for the kids, the community of Snyder, and the Kingdom of God. I wanted to see lives eternally changed by the message within the music. Since then, my purpose has changed slightly; my hope is that if God the Father peered across this planet on June 5-6 and asked himself, “Which place is worshipping me the loudest today?” He would say, “Snyder, Texas!”

Last words:
Reid: I’d like to thank One21 Magazine for their help in spreading the word, and I’d like to invite all your readers to our event. If you’re looking for great music, great food, and an encounter with our Creator, you’ll find all three at Red Letter Rock Fest.

Here is a little promo video featuring some of bands from last year’s line-up

You can visit Red Letter Rock Fest‘s Myspace to get any other info you would need. Visit Red Letter Rock Fest Myspace