One21 Guide To Christian Music Festivals:June

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:

Red Letter Fest (June5th-6th):
Snyder TX
We are actually going to be covering this one. It takes place in Snyder Texas with over a day and a half of every type of rock you could want. It all goes down on one stage, and we will be right in the middle of it. This year’s fest even features a special acoustic performance by some of the former members of Audio Adrenaline.
Line-up highlights:
Norma Jean Norma Jean
Family Force 5 Family Force 5
Audio Adrenaline Audio Adrenaline
Spoken Spoken
Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster Maylene & The Sons of Disaster
Hawk Nelson Hawk Nelson
Red Red
Children 18:3 Children 18:3
Decyfer Down Decyfer Down
White Collar Sideshow
White Collar Sideshow

Ichthus Music Fest (June 10th-13th):
Wilmore KY
Ichthus is a ministry that puts on a huge outdoor festival every year. Many of testimonials talk about a strong emphasis on ministry, making the Fest perfect for youth groups and large church groups. It features a wide array of music styles, speakers, two stages (one main and a small side stage), and prayer tents.
Line-up highlights:
Delirious? (last Kentucky show ever- but never say never) Delirious?
Skillet Skillet
Project 86 Project 86
Kutless Kutless
Fireflight Fireflight
Grits Grits
Derek Webb Derek Webb
The Showdown The Showdown
Becoming The Archetype Becoming the Archetype
John Reuben
John Reuben

Atlanta Fest (June17th-20th):
Stone Mountain Park, GA
Atlanta Fest is the biggest fest so far, with three and a half days of music, speakers, and seminars across over 5 stages every day. Camping is available, and their website contains info on other arrangements. This fest is extremely family friendly, with activities for kids, seminars for adults, and of course music all day. Cant beat Georgia that time of the year either.
Line-up Highlights:
Casting Crowns Casting Crowns
(I swear they are doing a festival tour) Skillet
Fireflight Fireflight
Brandon Heath Brandon Heath
Natalie Grant Natalie Grant
KJ-52 KJ-52
The Afters The Afters
Run Kid Run Run Kid Run
Kristian Stanfill Kristian Stanfill
Phil Joel
Phil Joel

Alive Festival (June 17-20):
Canal Fulton, OH
Alive is one of the oldest Christian music festivals around. This is its 22nd year in operation, and showcases the biggest Christian music acts that this year has to offer. Camping is available, but through their website you can also get some pretty good discounts on nearby hotel rooms. If want to see the biggest bands of the Christian music industry, this is the festival for you.
Line-up Highlights:
Newsboys (featuring Peter Furler for his last performance) Newsboys
Switchfoot Switchfoot
David Crowder Band David Crowder Band
Anberlin Anberlin
Superchick Superchick
Vicky Beeching Vicky Beeching
Everyday Sunday Everyday Sunday
Red Red
Spoken Spoken
(watch they will be on every one) Skillet

Creation Northeast Fest (June 24th-27th):
Mount Union, PA
Creation is actually a two part festival. The first half hits in late June, and 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:
Chris Tomlin Chris Tomlin
(surprised?) Skillet
Third Day Third Day
Relient K Relient k
David Crowder Band David Crowder Band
Pillar Pillar
Thousand Foot Krutch Thousand Foot Krutch
Spoken Spoken
Disciple Disciple

Cornerstone Festival (June 29th-July 4th)
Bushnell, IL
This our favorite by far. Cornerstone is run by the Jesus People, and is a huge undertaking: easily 8 stages (including a massive main stage and not including “generator stages”, stages built DIY style by people who are attending the fest), with over 300 performers, Cornerstone is THE place tto experience new music. With focuses on both the mainstream and independent underground, Cornerstone has something for every one. The fest is open for seven days, with only six being official festival days. The festival also features independent movie screenings, art displays, seminars, kids camp, and so much more. Man I love that festival.
Line-up Highlights:
mewithoutYou Mewithoutyou
Underoath Underoath
Living Sacrifice Living Sacrifice
David Bazan David Bazan
Relient K Relient k
Impending Doom Impending Doom
KJ-52 KJ-52
Listener Listener
Cool Hand Luke Cool Hand Luke
Starflyer 59 Starflyer 59
Bradley Hathaway
Bradley Hathaway
(and way too much more to name, go check the website)

That’s it for June, come back next week to see what July has in store..

Essential Songs:mewithoutYou-Torches Togeather

cc2006078 - mewithoutYou for Tooth & Nail Records

This wild and introspective song will really grow on you, and “Torches Together” still remains one of mewithoutYou‘s standout tracks off of their sophomore effort, Catch For Us The Foxes. The video is a live recording from Cornerstone Festival 2007, which means that my wife and I are actually directly in front of Micheal (guitarist with long hair) at the front of the crowd. Read the lyrics, enjoy the video, and maybe stick around to talk about the song at the bottom:

Why burn poor and lonely under a bowl.
Under a lampshade or on the shelf
Beside the bed where at night
You lay turning like a door on it’s hinges?
(First on your left side, then on your right side, then your left side again)
Why burn poor and lonely?
Tell all the stones, we’re gonna make a building.
We’ll cut into shape & set into place or you’d rather be a window,
I’ll gladly be the frame reflecting any kind of words.
We’ll let in all the blame
(And ruin our reputation all the same)
Never mind out plan making,
We’ll start living……anyway,
Aren’t you unbearably sad?
Then why burn so poor and lonely?

We’ll be like torches
we’ll be like torches
We’ll be torches together! torches together
well be like torches
we’ll be like torches
With whatever respect, our tattered Dignity demands
Torches together, hand in hand

Why pluck one string – What good is just one note?
Oh, one string sounds fine i guess….We were once ‘One Note’,
We were lonely wheat quietly ground into grain
(What light and momentary pain!)
So why this safe distance, this curious look?
Why tear out single pages when you can throw away the book?
Why pluck one string when you can strum the guitar?
Strum the guitar!
strum the guitar!
strum the guitar!
With no beginning, with no end
Take down a guitar and strum the guitar
strum the the guitar if you’re afraid,
And I’m afraid and everyone’s afraid
And everyone knows it but we don’t have to be afraid anymore

You played the flute but no one was dancing
You sang a sad song but no one was crying
you played such a sad song….such a sad song

You can purchase the non-live version of this song on Mewithoutyou - Catch for Us the Foxes - Torches Together and Amazon MP3

What is this song about?

What do the torches and the guitar have to do with one another?

Christian Artists To Know: Josh Garrels

Josh Garrels
Genre: Folk
Styles:Surf, Singer/Songwriter, Hip-Hop, Blue-Eyed Soul, World
Location: Waxhaw, NC
Label: Small Voice
Myspace :
Christian label: yes
Category: The Spiritual whats this?

A mystic Christian playing a mix of surf-infused, Lo-Fi folk; Afro-Caribbean hip-hop, spoken word post modern spirituals with electronica underpinnings, Josh Garrels is underground because he had not resolved the conflict of creating his deeply personal, spiritual music with the business of selling songs.

As I researched this article, many had stories about the first moment they saw Josh play. Mine was Cornerstone Festival 2007.  It was evening of the last day and my wife and I were exhausted.  Our plan was to catch Sleeping At Last and hit our tent early.  As was our custom, we were sharing our dinner at the food court with my son and his wife.  The sound check caught my attention and my wife said, “He can keep playing as far as I am concerned.”  This is actual performance that caused us to stop and listen.


We stayed.  For the next 45 minutes we were enthralled with the deeply spiritual, beat driven, complex message delivered by the tall white dude with the hair, a beat box, a guitar and some friends.  We have been fans from that moment.

Josh’s musical career was spawned at the Christian Missionary Alliance, a communal group of a dozen or so young men pursuing their callings and selling coffee in Muncie, Indiana.  It was through this coffee ministry that Josh was first introduced to Cornerstone.  He began doing sets at the Alliance coffee outlet in the food court and has moved into being much anticipated fixture at the annual Christian rock music festival.

Josh Garrels performing “Freedom” live at Off Center Studio shows him in full style.  You can buy the full video of this show at his website.


Josh’s music is more than great melodies and cool beats.  He layers his songs with free form Postmodern Christian theology.  An excerpt from “SISU’ from Over Oceans:

And when I look for freedom he puts

More chains on me

Strangles my hope so that I live like a zombie.

What master’s house can this be,

that when I look for freedom he still deceives me?

If there’s a God I screamed, answer me!

I didn’t expect an answer to be received

He said, you must die to be set free,

Living in the kingdom of God eternally

Josh’s two most recent recordings, Jacaranda and Over Oceans, are both tor de forces of free flowing Postmodern Christian philosophy over every style of music you can imagine.  We encourage you to dive in and meditate on his message.  Soak in the joy of his freedom in Christ.  But, please do not forget to dance.

Josh Garrel’s amazing music can be found digitally on Josh Garrels

You can also find his CDs on Amazon: Over Oceans(2006), Jacaranda(2008)

Stuff From All Over

2009 is up and going, and things are starting to pick up again for us around here. Some formatting issues didn’t let me post a New Releases post this week, but we have taken care of it, so there will be one up next week. I promise.  Anyway, the music scene is starting to go back to work, so the news is a bit more plentiful than past posts. We do this every week (almost every week) to keep you, the reader, up to date on what is happening in the Christian music industry. If you think we have missed something, or you want to hear about your favorite Christian artist, hit us up in that Contact Us tab over there, and we will do our best to change our ways..

Friction Family did an interview that debuted on They were also featured in Billboard Magazine. Watch Friction Family video interview. See Friction Family in Billboard Magazine.

Rapper Apple Jaxx put a new song called “Rebel” for free download. Download a free Apple Jaxx MP3.

Emery and Underoath announced their European tour together. Check tour dates for Emery.

HANDS updated fans from the road about their latest tour and whats going on with the band. Read HANDS tour blog.

Glam metal icons Stryper posted the track listing for their latest CD. Read Stryper’s tracklisting for their new CD, Murder By Pride.

Agraceful is streaming their entire CD right now on myspace. Listen to Agraceful’s full CD, The Great I Am.

A live video of Copeland surfaced on this week. Watch a live music video of Copeland.

Skillet gave a huge update concerning new music and various band stuff. Read updates on Skillet. did a great interview with Tooth And Nail Records owner/founder Brandon Ebel. Read the online interview with Brandon Ebel of Tooth And Nail.

Believer’s official announcement concerning their signing to Meta Blade Records was made public. Read Metal Blade Records official annnouncent on signing Believer.

Rapper KJ-52 posted another of his ongoing video devotionals, this one is entitled “Who Do You Compare To?”. Watch KJ-52′s video devontional #12.

Underneath The Gun posted an update concerning their new CD, Forfiet Misfourtunes, being featured on, new tours, and their purevolume site. Read updates for Underneath The Gun.

Yours For Mine‘s new album, Dear Children, was reviewed by,, and Read Dear Children CD review on highbeam. Read Dear Children review on Read Dear Children CD review on jtindie.

Red has new music video up for the song “Death Of Me” on their website. Watch Red’s music video for “Death Of Me”.

High Valley issued their latest e-news update concerning a new CD, tours, and joining a cruise next winter. Read news updates for High Valley.

Esther O’Conner gave a short update on her Christmas break, and some new songs from her new CD. Read Esther O’Conner updates.

Abandon Kansas posted their first tour vidoe blog from their “Left Coast Tour”. Watch video tour blog from Abanddon Kansas.

Open Grave Records signed I Built The Cross this week. Read Open Grave Records announce the signing of I Built The Cross.

The artwork for THE ASCENDICATE’s new album made its way online this week. See the cover art for the CD To Die As Kings.

Brain “Head” Welch will be holding open auditions for his touring band very soon. Read how to audition for Brian Welch’s touring band.

Veronica Ballestrini gave asmall update about her new album. Read updates from Veronica Ballestrini.

R-Swift‘s new video for the song “Lifetime” hit the web this week. Watch R-Swift’s video for “Lifetime”.

A rendition of of “A Little Help From My Friends” featuring Dustin Kensrue (Thrice), Jon Foreman (Switchfoot), and Aaron Gillespie (Underoath/The Almost) recorded at a recent To Write Love On Her Arms event was posted on this week. Watch the all-star video of “A Little Help From My Friends”.

Anathallo gave an interview to this week. Read Ananthallo interview.

The HipHope 2009 website launched this week to promote the album in February. You can listen to many of the 15+ songs through the website, and also read short bios on each of the artists featured on this year’s compilation. Check out HipHope 2009′s website.

Cornerstone Festival revamped and updated their website this week. A few bands were announced, along with an address from the fest’s director. Visit the Cornerstone Festival 2009 website.

Mae will be releasing a new song in MP3 form, every month, for a year. All proceeds will go charity. Read information on Mae’s charity song drive.

A press release concerning August Burns Red was issued this week. Read August Burns Red’s official press release.

Facedown Fest 09′s website launch this week. Visit Facedown Fest 09.

Dolly Parton announced she will be taking part of the “From The Heart Series”. Read the official announcement about Dolloy Parton and the “From The Heart Series”.

A huge update on Rebecca St. James was posted this week on her myspace. Read Rebecca St. James updates.

The Fray‘s new video for their song, “You Found Me” premiered this week. Watch the video for “You Found Me” by The Fray.

KJ-52‘s video for his song “Stuck In The 80′s” palso premiered this week. Watch the video for “Stuck In The 80s” by KJ-52.