Summer's Here: Ichthus Music Festival Kicks Off June 15

Ichthus 2011, the oldest and longest running Christian music festival in the nation, is getting ready for its 42nd annual edition in central Kentucky with more than 150 acts on seven stages.

Some of this year’s artists include Chris Tomlin, Skillet, Hillsong United, LaCrae, Red, Chris August, Matthew West, Britt Nicole, Everfound and many more.

Artists will represent a variety of genres such as adult contemporary, adult rock, hard rock, hardcore, hip hop, indie, punk, singer-songwriter, urban and crossover.

Ichthus 2011 will open its gates for four days from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. starting June 15 to June 18. The last day of the event is designed to attract parents and their children.

Ichthus, Greek for fish, was started by Asbury Seminary professor Dr. Bob Lyon and a group of his students in 1970 in response to the famous 1969 Woodstock Festival. Each year about 25,000 people have gathered in Kentucky and other locations.

The festival will feature inspirational speakers covering a different theme each day where the audience will be asked to “re:awaken,” “re:think” and “re:create.”

Each day will also have a different focus such as a day of hard-core music on June 17 and hip hop on June 16 where Lecrae will perform and usher the stage’s lineup that includes Tedashii, Trip Lee, Flame and PRo.

“We were so blown away by LeCrae, we wanted him to help expose more of our audience to Christian hip-hop,” said Ichthus CEO Mark Vermilion in a statement.

LeCrae told, "I'm definitely part of a convergent culture, and I think hip hop has allowed for that, where you have people from different walks of life and places and ethnicities, but hip hop has converged us."

This year’s Ichthus 2011 partnered up with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes national skateboard ministry as well as Boarders for Christ, Ride Nature and the Love Skate Outreach to host a 3,000-square-foot skatepark right in the middle of the festival grounds.

The park will feature a 24' mini ramp, quarter pipe, manual box, launch ramp and a rail for skaters to use. It will also include a prayer tent where skaters will have the opportunity to talk, ask questions and pray.

Some of the stage headliners, which include Skillet and Red, are planning on a show with plenty of special effects that includes pyro, smoke fire, sparklers, risers and lighting effects.

During the festival, Ichthus and Asbury University will be offering $200,000 in scholarships to students nominated by their pastor. Each student will receive a $4,000 in scholarship to Asbury University, a Christian, liberal arts college in Wilmore, Ky.

On the Web: Ichthus Festival 2011