Life at Cornerstone 2010

We talk non stop about the music at Cornerstone and over the next few weeks we will share with you great performances we experienced at Cornerstone 2010 and new music that we love.  Ian has shared his thoughts on the community that forms at Cornerstone for those few days but I thought, that for those of you who have never been to Cornerstone, I would share a few of the sites and sounds that make this event so much fun.

Cornerstone 2010 Main Street Crossroads

Main Street Crossroads

Everyone a Cornerstone 2010 passed through this intersection.  The primary mode of transportation was sandal, followed by tennis shoe and then by golf cart.  Directly behind the tree are the group showers that offered some great daily relief from their accumulated dust, but for others was an excuse to skip bathing for a week.

Impromptu shows break out on this corner regularly.  We saw The Riverside Worship Project end their Cornerstone 2010 experience right here.  We also saw Munster Folk, a band of traveling musicians who turned the shade tree into their personal stage, perform one of the best shows I saw at Cornerstone 2010.

Cornerstone Generator Stages

There are hundreds of other music festivals. There are other music festivals that feature music by Christians. What makes Cornerstone unique is the vibe created by the peaceful presence of Jesus People USA and by chaos of the generator stages. Begun as a DIY approach to being heard by 30,000 music fans, bands would bring a generator, set-up on the side of the road and just start playing. A few years ago, some enterprising music fans decided to add a small canopy and start promoting shows at Cornerstone. This year all the generator stages were lined along the main drag.

To The Cornerstone 2010 Generator Stages

As you can there is tent after tent of stages.  There were more than 10 stages that presented music from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.  We saw Oh Sister Oh Brother, The Listener Project, Bryan Beyke, Don’t Wake Aislin, The Riverside Worship Project and several more bands at these stages.

The beauty of the generator stages are their spotenaity.  The line-up changes constantly.  The crowds vary from a few people to nearly a thousand.  The promoter measures a band’s success by how large the crowd grows during their set and if a band draws a crowd, like Oh Sister Oh Brother, they have an open invitation to play again and again.  With the stages stacked so close together that singer/songwriters like Mia Karina or indie artists like Bryan Beyke are sometimes swallowed up by the wall of sound created by hardcore bands.  But we don’t care because the spirit of this phenomena is hopeful and brave.

Interesting People at Cornerstone 2010

Cornerstone is always filled with interesting people.  From people who live this vagabond lifestyle everyday to music industry executives to ministers and missionaries drawn to the Spirit’s presence to suburban families and churches full of fresh faced,exuberant youth.

Cornerstone 2010 Little PunkerOf course some people come and lose their minds.  We saw a group of middle aged men who had died their white beards green, their bald heads red and their white hair blue.

Many people choose give up bathing for the week.  We can not figure out if they are too demure to shower in a public facility or they use the week to reject societies grooming norms.  We wished they would pick a different expression of dissent.

We saw this punk rocker hanging out at the generator stages promoting his band who was playing a show that night.  The young drummer did not have much to say but her certaintly drew a crowd.

We previously told you about hippie dancing in one of our preview articles.  We missed the hippie dancing bands this year but at the Jesus Village one day we did encounter our favorite attire of the week in the middle of a Celtic jig.

Cornerstone 2010 Main Stage Crossroads

The center of commerce at Cornerstone lies about 500 yards from the Main Street crossroads.  Just past this intersection lies the food court, source of our nightly dinners with great pasta a Greek food, the Cornerstone merch tent and main stage. From this vantage point we took the opportunity to survey the camping scene, the Cornerstone offices and the portable toilets/billboards.

At night this was the hottest spot at Cornerstone 2010. Not only was it the crossroads of commerce but it was also the spot that within 100 feet in any direction you could be at the Main Stage, The Dance Club or the HM Stage.

One21music Offices at Cornerstone 2010

Just down the road from the Main Stage crossroads One21music set up their office/sleeping condo.  this was our base of operations for the entire week.

One21 Offices

Just down One21 Lane ( as we liked to call it) were the Anchor Fellowship team, Ascend The Hill, Rhona Kelly and the crew for The Wayside.

One21 Lane at Cornerstone 2010

As Ian expressed in his Cornerstone As A Family article you really can form a community in just a few days.  The Anchor team just up the lane shared cigars and prayer with Ian late one night, we shared breakfast with some young people who had just driven in from California with Sleeping Giant and we shared band recommendations with our next door neighbors throughout the week.

Riverside Worship Project Interview

While at Cornerstone 2010 we made many new friends and met some amazing musicians and ministers.  None more so than the guys of the The Riverside Worship Project.  They were named winner of the Cornerstone 2010 New Band Showcase.

The Riverside Worship Project wrap their worship in a beautiful style of progressive alternative rock.  The songs are complex and interesting as rock songs, but there is a spirit filled ambiance about these songs that allow us to explore the presence of God in our worship.

These five guys from Auburn, Alabama really impressed with their humility, enthusiasm and their hearts for God. So much so that we wanted you to meet these guys face to face.  We sat down with Steven Hale, Brian Alpizar, Ryan Campagna, Andrew McQuiag and Jason Hermansdorfer outside the Gallery Stage at Cornerstone 2010.  There are very few quiet moments or places at Cornerstone so, in addition to the interview with The Riverside Worship Project you will experience the rich stew of music that surrounded us for a full week.  Enjoy.

Interview With Cornerstone 2010 New Band Showcase Winner, The Riverside Worship Project

As we conducted the interview we were left with the impression of five young men entering the end of  a phase of their lives.  Steven Hale is moving to Nashville to get married and the rest of the band graduates next year into their new futures. Cornerstone 2010 almost felt like one last fling for these guys.

My final image of The Riverside Worship Project is from the final day of Cornerstone 2010.  As I am moving around the festival to prepare for our trip home, I see the guys standing on the street corner with a sign made out of a discarded cardboard box and a sharpie.  They were playing one final show of Cornerstone 2010 with their acoustic instruments, on the side of the road, before they ended their great festival experiment of 2010.

We don’t know if The Riverside Worship Project will survive the transitions the guys will experience over the next year.  I am confident that God has anointed five worship musicians who will continue  serve him with their musical talents for the rest of their lives.  May God continue to bless you.