Thousands of people are in Wilmore for a weekend of worship, teaching, and music of many styles, all in God’s name. It’s the 42nd annual Ichthus Christian music festival. At an early morning worship service on the hillside near the Deep End stage, was 17 year old Chelsea Hallomen who made the trip from Louisville.
“I really like the music and the atmosphere is really good, you know, like all the Christian music and stuff, but it’s cool that we can worship in a way that, I don’t know, is a little bit different than just going to church,” said Hallomen.
Hallomen was looking forward to seeing ‘All Became New.’ She says they’re one of the ‘metal-screamo-ish’ bands. Hallomen admits some people have a hard time accepting heavy metal Christian music.
“I guess it’s gets a little crazy and it’s just like screaming and it kind of sounds a little demonic or whatever, but I mean, you know if that’s the only way that you can reach people who listen to that music, then that’s an awesome way to do that,” said Halloman.
On the other end of the musical style spectrum, worship singer Chris Tomlin closes the festival Saturday night on the main stage.
Jonathan Kattus was out on the same field with pen and paper, taking demographic information, such as the number and ages of people. As a lifeguard, Kattus says only secular music is played at the pool. But he believes Christian music is easily available.
“I actually think there’s a pretty good mix of it, there’s plenty of Christian music stations on the radio, you can buy a lot of it,” said Kattus.
That includes songs where words are hard to distinguish thanks to the loud guitars, throbbing drums and yelling.
Zach Whetstone and Branden Deweece made the trip from Dublin, Ohio.
“It gives you many chances to be with God and experience him in different ways, different music and styles,” said Whetstone.
“Yes that the same thing I said, many experiences with God, just touch base with him basically,” said Deweece.
Since Christian festivals have been on the increase in other states, the Ichthus festival is drawing fewer people from outside Kentucky. It’s those fan festival organizers are targeting this week. No attendance figures were available at the time of this report.