- November 22, 2016
Music festivals have long been a part of the live music scene in pretty much every genre. While most people’s minds probably wander to images of Woodstock, there are plenty of similar events catered to jazz, blues, country, and more. Is there such a thing as Christian music festivals?
Of course! Each festival has its own experiences, but there are many Christian music festivals out there dedicated to enjoying the top Christian bands and gathering believers together. Let’s take a glance at what these events look like and what are some of the pros and cons.
How Much Are Christian Music Festivals?
This is probably the first question that people ask when considering an event. After all, how do you know if it’s something you can attend if you don’t know what it will cost you? Like just about every kind of entertainment out there, the price of Christian music festivals varies pretty widely.
Depending on the event, some of these Christian festivals can be absolutely free or they might run you a couple hundred bucks. Free Christian music festivals are usually cheaper because they have donations or benefactors that help to cover their costs. Examples of these are Amplify Fest in Arkansas and Rock the Island Festival in Michigan.
Free Christian music festivals are typically more about music and enjoying the great outdoors. The setup will be simple with a large stage and a few small tents for merchandise or concessions.
On the other end of the cost spectrum are festivals like Heaven Fest in Colorado and Joshua Fest in California that can cost you over $100 per person depending on your situation. For a lot of festivals that charge admission price, the costs are determined similarly to a regular concert. You can probably get in the door for around $25-50 but getting close to the stage will cost a little extra.
With Joshua Fest, their VIP package was priced at around $150 this past year. This got festival-goers access to the backstage area, a free dinner, and a few other valuable amenities. There’s nothing wrong with paying a little more for creature comforts and exclusive access, but it’s up to you to figure out what you’re looking for.
Another aspect of cost that you should take into account is lodging. While some of the popular Christian music festivals out there are held in cities, most are located in the country where there’s more space to roam around. This means you’ll need to factor in travel costs and hotels. Another option that some festivals offer is the ability to park near or on the premises with a tent or RV. You’ll most likely have to pay some kind of fee for this convenience, but it might suit you better than a hotel 20 miles away.
Outside of the costs for admission, lodging, and travel, you’ll probably want cash on hand for merchandise or food and drinks. Almost every Christian music festival is an outdoor event, so you’ll be needing that H20.
What’s the Atmosphere Like at Christian Music Festivals?
For the most part, these music festivals are outdoor concerts that allow for large groups of Christians and guests to come together in an open venue. There are a few things that change based on which festival you’re attending, but the common thread is that faith and fun are the main emphasis.
Going back to the Christian music festivals that carry a price tag, many of these events have more than just music to offer their attendees. In order to cater to the guests, festivals will have non-concert activities for kids and adults alike.
Heaven Fest, who we mentioned earlier, has a skate park, car show, and a splash zone among other things. Festivals often have some down time so it never hurts to have some additional activities to fill your day.
No matter if the festival is one day or three, there’s a good chance that the excitement level will ebb and flow throughout the day. Some artists put on crazier shows than others and some speakers can really captivate a crowd. You’ll enjoy your time outdoors but festivals are not always as compacted schedule-wise as traditional concerts. Fortunately, most festivals will allow you to bring in fun items that would not be allowed at a concert venue.
As far as the concerts go, festival atmospheres typically get more passionate the closer you get to the stage. You probably won’t have to dodge a mosh pit, but there’s usually more crowd participation the closer you are to the stage. For people who want to sit back and relax while taking in the music, festivals can be the perfect atmosphere.
Here’s the highlight video from the Spirit Song festival in Ohio to give you an idea of what to expect.
Many Christian music festivals will have at least a speaker or two who will come in to share the gospel or their testimony. The main entertainment focus may be on music, but you can never turn a big crowd away from hearing the Good News.
Festivals can be a great opportunity for families to spend the day together. The younger kids can run around, older kids can hear from Christian bands, and mom and dad can relax.
What Bands Perform at Christian Music Festivals?
Like bands from any genre, Christian bands are often on the road for months at a time. Whenever there’s a break in their schedule, they’ll often join up with several of the popular Christian music festivals.
Names like TobyMac, Building 429, For King and Country, and more appear on the posters for many of these festivals. Depending on how many days a festival lasts, you might manage to see all of your top five Christian bands in one event.
On top of the artists you already know, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a couple of new faces as well. Artists like Jordan Feliz, Blanca, and Hollyn are tearing up the charts and the festival circuit with appearances around the country.
When it comes down to deciding whether to attend a Christian music festival or not, the factors you’ll want to keep in mind are venue, costs, and time. These are some of the biggest differences between festivals and Christian concerts.
First, there’s the venues. As we’ve said before, most of these music festivals are taking place outside during the warmer months of the year. That makes for quite a different experience than seeing a show at a church or arena. You’ll have to keep factors like weather, bathrooms, and more in perspective.
With costs, you’re not too worried about the price of admission. Many of the festivals out there, including some of the ones we listed above, are free or at least comparable to regular concerts. What you’ll want to look into are the lodging arrangements for a trip to one of these festivals. Perhaps there’s one within driving distance of your home that you were unaware of.
Lastly, the amount of time that you spend at a music festival is different from a traditional concert. Festivals last all day or, as often is the case, all weekend. This means that you get to see more bands and participate in more activities, but your schedule may not work well with that. Just like you would plan for any other vacation, we suggest that you look at some of the options that are out there and see if there’s an event or two that might be a good fit for your family.
There are so many ways to enjoy family-friendly Christian music. Whether it’s a concert, festival, or even attending the K-LOVE Fan Awards in Nashville, your family has some great opportunities to see live Christian music.
With the K-LOVE Fan Awards just around the corner, we wanted to remind you that this is the biggest weekend in Christian entertainment all year. Find out how you and your family can be a part of the ultimate fan experience by clicking on the link below.