The Pro-Life Music Festival, which expects to attract thousands of attendants next week, will be drawing some of today's top Christian bands who are taking a stand for life.
Organizers of the event, to be held June 21-24 at the Grace College athletic fields in Winona Lake, Ind., are estimating about 8,000 to 10,000 fans - a result of continual growth since it first began in 1999.
The purpose of the event is to draw much needed attention to the pro-life movement and reach youth about the abortion issue.
"Our purpose is to communicate the truth about God and who He is and to become a voice making a difference on the issue of abortion," explained Martt Clupper, the event organizer, in the Times-Union. "We believe there's never a need for an abortion. There's always a better solution. We feel like if we have an event where the bands are great and just speak openly and honestly, we can make an impact."
So far, 36 bands from all across the Christian music spectrum are signed on to perform on two stages at the music festival. Some of the bigger names include Skillet, Rebecca St. James, Tree63, Stellar Kart, Starfield, Seventh Day Slumber, Leeland, Fireflight, and Ayiesha Woods.
Although the music is a big part of the ministry and coordinators wish to draw in a variety of attendants, the biggest mission for the festival is to reach the younger generation who are most affected by the abortion issue. Through popular Christian rock bands, the message can be delivered in a more unobtrusive way.
"It's largely about trying to effectively communicate to the youth culture," added Clupper. "We're trying to be credible and culturally relevant and to be different than some of the other voices they're hearing. Music is a powerful way of connecting with the youth culture. It's a pretty effective communication tool."
In addition to the bands, the festival will have a number of extracurricular activities including a "Boarders for Christ" skateboard demo team on June 22, featuring demonstrations from professional and semi-pro skateboarders.
The Pro-Life Music Festival has drawn in a wide range of audiences in past years with many fans and supporters coming in from other states. The festival organizers hope that this year could draw in more of the local community, however, so it can have an impact on teens and young adults in the area.
As an important aspect, the music concerts do not try to demonize those who have had abortions in the past or judge people. Event promoters instead want to express the sanctity of life and how even a growing fetus is human.
"The Pro-Life Music Festival isn't about pointing a finger at people, but rather it is an effort to acknowledge that life is a precious gift from God," wrote Clupper on the festival's website. "If we show those in need the righteous plan that God has in mind for us, and let them know of the awesome forgiveness, mercy, and love that God offers through Jesus, then we will be well on our way to ending abortion, growing the eternal Kingdom of God, and making the world a better place to live along the way."
Admission to the event is free and camping is available on site for a one-time fee of $5. Last year's performances brought in about 6,000 attendants.
On the web: Pro-Life Music Festival promo video.