The longest running contemporary Christian music festival in the United States will keep on running in 2012 . Despite financial challenges, Ichthus organizers have committed to another festival. Attendance at Ichthus dropped dramatically when the Christian Rock festival moved from April to June several years ago. Once unique in the nation, Ichthus also faces competition from numerous Christian rock festivals. This summer, the bleak financial picture prompted the concert’s organizers to put its property near Wilmore on sale. Nevertheless, with some belt-tightening, Ichthus CEO Mark Vermillion says they can host another festival.
“We are offering a festival for 2012. There are no if, ands, or buts about it. This is going to happen,” said Vermillion.
Vermillion says next year’s festival will be June 20th through the 23rd. The format of the festival will be similar to recent years and again include a community night event. He’s not sure yet on the number of bands, but a few have offered to play at a discount.
“Some have indicated that they may be willing to come at a discounted price to really help Ichthus because a lot of these artists are very committed to Ichthus. They are loyal to Ichthus because we’ve been working together for so many years and some of these artists have actually gotten their start on the ichthus stage or they’ve gone to the next level on our stage,” added Vermillion.
Also, he says the festival will rely on more churches, the community and volunteers.
“Ichthus is starting to look now like it did back in the early days where there were more volunteers running the festival and there weren’t as many paid staff…and right now we don’t have any full time paid staff,” said Vermillion.
Vermillion says businesses are stepping up support and community members will be asked for financial help. The Ichthus administrator adds he also has potential buyers for the festival property, which was put on the market earlier this summer.