It's Labor Day Weekend – summer's last hurrah and a final chance for millions of Americans to vacation under the summer sun. And kicking off the holiday weekend is one of the nation's largest outdoor Christian music festivals.
For the 12th year, LifeLight Christian Music Festival is covering the grounds of the Wild Water West Waterpark in Sioux Falls, S.D., with a lineup of more than 100 performances by leading Christian artists on five stages. Around 300,000 people are expected to attend the Sept. 4-6 festival, which will be broadcast live online for the first time this year.
Highlights include Christian music favorites Stellar Kart, Superchick, Kutless, Rush of Fools, Sanctus Real, and Newsboys, who will be featured on the main stage. Taking on "Souled Out" stage will be Thousand Foot Krutch, Seventh Day Slumber, and Family Force 5, among others.
"The festival is pretty simple – it's a party, and we do it in honor of Jesus," says 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," adds Greene.
LifeLight speakers this year include 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.
Other past speakers have included Rick Warren, Ray Comfort, and Craig Gross.
In addition to the music and the speakers, the LifeLight Festival features camping, games, seminars, and a Sunday morning worship service along with discounted rates to the water park.
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," says Greene.