For the 42nd time, a Christian rock festival will be held in a field near the central Kentucky community of Wilmore. Over the decades, much has changed at Ichthus and for fans who gather for music, lectures, workshops and fellowship. The first sounds of music will fill the air Wednesday. One of the nation's best known worship bands, ‘Hillsong United’ will help open the festival. Then on Saturday, the festival's final day, Ichthus Chief Executive Officer, Mark Vermillion says the focus will again be on community.
“They have seven stages, all the different genre of artists, all the teachers that happen that day, all the various aspects of Ichthus and they can experience that in a one day package,” said Vermillion.
Vermillion says there is a deliberate attempt to reach out to the local and regional area. He says gone is the day when the festival would attract visitors from many states in the eastern half of the country. There are now many Christian festivals throughout the summer and bands try to perform at many of them. Vermillion says it’s partly a business decision for bands.
“Electronic distribution has changed the way they’re able to make money off of record sales, and so what they’ve done in response to that is they have toured more,” added Vermillion.
Mark Vermillion says the four day festival can have a personal impact on festival goers, which many may not anticipate.
“So much happens here in a weekend’s time. And when people leave here, they’re lives are changed and so they go out and they want to have an impact on other lives, they want to serve other people,” said Vermillion.
Vermillion adds there is great diversity in this year's band line up. He says there is growing popularity in hip-hop, hard core, and techno music.