Monday, May 9, 2011

Summer in the Country: Summer Music Festival Preview, Part One

I can't believe it's almost been a year. One of the first posts I made at the Night Beat was a introduction to the Summer Music Festivals. Of course, since I started in July of 2010, a good number of them had already passed. This year I intend to fix that. I'm getting a head start this time, starting even before Memorial Day. (A good thing too. These festivals are starting earlier and earlier in the year). With this post I'll take you through the Independence Day Festivities. I'll cover the rest of the Summer in another post.

We'll start with a newcomer to the scene, and I'm kind of fudging here in calling it a "Festival". Rock The Coast kicks things off May 21&22, 2011 at the Michigan Adventure Amusement Park in Muskegon, MI on Lake Michigan, NW of Grand Rapids. You can buy a 2 Day Pass for $40 ($45 at the Gate) which includes the amusement park rides, with the exception of the Water Park (no surprise, seeing its not summer yet) as well as the concert. A Concert Ticket is $25 in advance. And I mean concert. The lineup is Jason Eaton, Kerrie Roberts, Sanctus Real and Thousand Foot Krutch. That's it. Order Here.

The first true festival, though only unofficially on the Summer Part, is Atlanta Fest at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia. The Festival Takes Place this Year from June 15-18, 2011. If you buy immediately you can get the best discount, but there is still time to delay before being subjected to the gate. The event pass includes and "Adventure Pass" to Stone Mountain Park, which lets you take in everything except the Duck Rides. There are big names coming here, including Casting Crowns, Switchfoot, Disciple, Downhere, Reilly, Hyland, and Mercy Me.

Summer starts this year on June 21, and the First Official Summer Festival is Alive Festival (June 22-25, 2011) at Atwood Lake Park in Mineral City, OH (South of Canton). They have a (Separate Admission Required) Kickoff Concert by Hillsong United on June 21 (Tickets are $25 by June 13). Festival Passes are one price $120, if ordered by June 13. Scheduled to appear are Third Day, Ivoryline, Hyland, Skillet, Fireflight, and Toby Mac, among others. Order Here

Creation Northeast is right on the heels of Alive, in Mount Union, PA (June 29-July 2, 2011). Most of the discounts are over, though you can still "Beat the Gate, Order by June 8". Click on the quote and you'll be taken to iTickets, which is handling the tickets for the event. A Festival Pass is $105 for ages 12 and up and a Child Ticket (Age 5-11) is only $55. Headline acts are Toby Mac, Third Day, Red, Skillet, Newsboys, Lecrae, and Francesca Battistelli. 

Cornerstone occurs in Bushnell, IL at about the same time (June 30-July 3, 2011). By looking at the dates, it becomes obvious that you can't be in two places at the same time. So what does C-Stone have that the others don't. Well, besides the prestige, this year they have the Jesus Rally. Barring an announcement of a national tour, which would be way beyond awesome, this will be a one time reunion of some of the Legends of Christian Rock, among them Classic Petra, Servant, and REZ. As of this writing, only Classic Petra is touring. According to the schedule, the Rally will be an all day event (Afternoon-Late Night) on the Main Stage.

The Jesus Rally Schedule
  •   3:00 PM - Servant
  •   3:55 PM - Barry McGuire
  •   4:55 PM - Daniel Amos
  •   5:50 PM - Randy Stonehill
  •   6:50 PM - E Band
  •   8:00 PM - Resurrection Band (REZ)
  •   9:15 PM - Phil Keaggy
  • 10:15 PM - Classic Petra 
If I were to wind up at Cornerstone Farm on July 30 I think I would park myself on the Main Stage. I don't really remember Barry McGuire and I never heard E Band, but otherwise this is NIGHT BEAT HEAVEN. I mean the only thing missing from the Jungle Music Stanley-Livingston bit is Barnabas, Fireworks, DeGarmo & Key, Larry Norman, and Sweet Comfort Band) of course with Both Larry Norman (d. 2008) and Dana Key (d.2010) now in Heaven, those two reunions will have to wait. According to Wikipedia, there are rumors of a Sweet Comfort Band reunion.

Tickets for Cornerstone are handled once again through iTickets, and there are still discount periods to go. Here are the multi-day adult prices

There are also family pack tickets to save even more. Headliners here are Anberlin, Gungor, The Letter Black, Children 18:3, The Choir and others. Cornerstone skews harder, coming from the Grandfathers of Christian Metal. Even the Industrial giant Savior Machine is here. I'll take on the rest of the Summer in my next festival themed post.