One of the nation's largest outdoor Christian music festivals wrapped up three days of Jesus-centered partying Sunday with some of the best weather conditions it's witnessed in the 12 years it's been running.
"After years of battling rain or extreme heat, this year has been really perfect," Nathan Schock, a spokesman for the LifeLight Christian Music Festival in Sioux Falls, S.D., told the local newspaper.
"This is definitely the biggest crowd we've ever had," he added late Sunday night as the popular Christian band Newsboys took the main stage together with their former frontman, Peter Furler. "We've run out of parking, we've run out of room."
For the 12th year, the LifeLight Christian Music Festival covered the grounds of the Wild Water West Waterpark in Sioux Falls, S.D., for three days of performances by dozens of leading Christian artists on five stages.
Around 270,000 people reportedly attended the Sept. 4-6 festival, which was broadcast live online for the first time this year. Sunday's attendance of 130,000 broke the festival's one-day attendance record.
Highlights included performances by Christian music favorites Stellar Kart, Superchick, Kutless, Rush of Fools, Sanctus Real, and Newsboys on the main stage, and Thousand Foot Krutch, Seventh Day Slumber, and Family Force 5, among others, on the "Souled Out" stage.
Speakers, meanwhile, included Will Graham and Andrew Palau – two up-and-rising evangelists whose faith-based lineages are widely known. Graham is the grandson of world renowned evangelist Billy Graham and son of Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Palau is the son of Argentina-born evangelist Luis Palau, who spoke at the LifeLight Festival in 2005 and heads the Luis Palau Association.
In addition to the music and the speakers, the LifeLight Festival featured camping, games, seminars, and a Sunday morning worship service along with discounted rates to the water park.
"The festival is pretty simple – it's a party, and we do it in honor of Jesus," explained Lifelight Communications founder Alan Greene, whose organization facilitates concerts, tours, mission trips, student ministries and other events through partnerships with churches, businesses and ministries.
"Of course the music is loud, but so is the message," added Greene.
The LifeLight Festival is LifeLight Communication's biggest annual event and is free to the public. Last year's festival had a three-day attendance of 320,000 people from all 50 states and eight countries.
"We do it for the same reason we do everything in ministry – to unite the Church and proclaim the Gospel," said Greene.
The LifeLight Christian Music Festival is held every year over the Labor Day weekend.