The 29th annual Creation Northeast, the largest teaching and music festival in the United States, heads into its final day Saturday after three days of music, speakers, fellowship, and camping.
The event, which kicked of Wednesday night, has brought together 45 top Christian bands from around the world to perform on two stages and a record audience that is estimated at around 75,000 has assembled.
Held at Agape Farm in the mountain ranges of Mount Union, Pa., Creation Northeast continues to energize Christians and guide many newcomers to know the love of Christ.
"For nearly three decades the Creation Festivals have gathered believers from all over the world," explained Pastor Harry Thomas, the festival's co-founder, in a statement. "Our prayer for Creation '07 is that people will be changed, restored, and challenged to serve the Lord and make a difference in this world. You are invited to come and experience what could easily be the highlight of your summer and maybe your life!"
Attendants had been anticipating this year's event since last year's Creation Northeast was cancelled by heavy rain that created a field of mud. All tickets that were purchased last year were honored for this year's shows.
"From all over the world, people from all walks of life make their pilgrimage to the Creation Festivals to rock to the music, to have fellowship with other believers, to camp under the stars, to connect, to worship, and to experience God's Word as it comes alive," stated promoters on the festival's website.
This year's acts have come from a wide variety of genres and include Relient K, Switchfoot, Casting Crowns, Third Day, tobyMac, Kutless, David Crowder Band and, not to forget, Skillet and the Newsboys, who seem to be at every single Christian festival this summer.
The festival also allowed a platform for aspiring Christian artists as well. In its first year, a "Generator Stage" featured local area bands in an unplugged setting. Now in its second year, the "Annual Indiescovery Ultimate Battle of the Bands" also took place. The winning band is scheduled to have the opportunity to play on the fringe stage on Saturday and record a demo for a Christian music label.
"The Creation Festival has the ability to provide a great platform for independent artists to show off their talent and we are committed to offering them an opportunity to do so," explained Nick Kulb, vice president of marketing and sales for the festival, in a statement. "We are pleased to be working alongside hearitfirst.com for the second year for the Ultimate Battle of the Bands competition and are excited to be kicking off the Generator Stage, where growing artists can showcase their talents."
Besides the music, the festival hosted a variety of unique activities on its grounds such as workshops, tools for ministries and individual growth, a candlelight service, water baptisms, youth seminars, prayer tents, X-games, a children's tent, living illusions, and fun contests, among much more.
A number of speakers are also attending the event to encourage spiritual growth. Through the music, organizers believe that people's hearts can be more open to receive the gospel and gain a deeper relationship with Jesus.
A few of the 2007 orators are Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania Ministries; Bob Lenz, president of Life Promotions; Jay and Laura Laffoon, founders of Celebrate Ministries; and Joseph Rojas from the band Seventh Day Slumber.
Some exciting events have also taken place amid the festival such as the announcement by popular mainstream groups Switchfoot and Relient K of their first ever tour with one another from the stages of the Northeast Festival.
"Finally! We can break our silence and freely confirm those rumors you've been hearing about!" wrote Switchfoot to their fans. "Both Switchfoot and then Relient K announced from the main stage at Creation East Festival last night that they will be touring together this Fall! Switchfoot and Relient K will be hitting venues all across America latest this year in support of their newest records, marking the first time the bands are on the road together!"
For the first time ever, Creation Northeast has teamed up with iTunes to offer music online to interested fans.
Creation Northeast is only one of two Creation Festivals held in the nation. The second program, Creation Northwest, will be having its 10th anniversary starting on July 25 and ending on July 28. It will be held again at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Wash.