WILMORE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Christian music festival that once drew thousands of people has returned to Kentucky. The last “Ichthus” music festival was held in 2012 and after a 9-year hiatus it relaunched on Saturday at the same farm.
âThe business came in and killed him,â says Joe Lycan, owner of Servant Heart Farm. “And the Lord raises new life into the dry bones of the original vision that brings her back to that cross over there.”
Ichthus organizers say the festival ended in 2012 because the focus was more on how to pay the bills and make it work, than praising God with music and community. Ichthus organizers say they hope to not only make the festival annual again, but maybe even host it several times a year.
âThis was created, not to be a big musical event, it was created by the hearts of some teachers to share the love of Christ with everyone,â says Kevin Burgess, an Ichthus participant and volunteer since early 2000s. “The world has a Woodstock, we need an Ichthus.”
Wilmore once again hosted the historic festival with local and national performers on two stages.
âWe love going to Christian concerts, our friends and I, and we really love, we love outdoor festivals, especially in light of the things happening in our country, it’s a good time to be there. ‘outdoors enjoying each other,’ said Diana. Cromley, a first-time participant of Ichthus.
Organizers say with the event being in a large field and people have the freedom to choose whether or not to mask themselves, they have no concerns that the festival is a super-diffuser for COVID-19.
âEveryone needs interaction, whether it’s your kids, whether it’s your adults,â says John Gill, an Ichthus participant since 2010. âEveryone needs interaction and coming together to hear, to come together in faith and worship God is just wonderful. “
Ichthus’ regular attendants say that in the past, crowds have reached well over 20,000 with people standing side by side from the top of the hill to the stage. This year, organizers say around 400 tickets were sold, but not all of those people showed up. Participants say that although attendance is lower this year, Ichthus’ heart is stronger than it has ever been.
âThe wonderful thing of Ichthus is the heart or what I call the heart of Ichthus,â says Burgess. “Ichthus’ heart is to love each other, to help each other, to build a family and to help each other.”