A sad day in world of Christian music. The largest and most influential of all Christian music festivals has decided to call it quits after 28 years.
Cornerstone Festival was the place to go for any established, newbie, or resurrected band. The 6 day festival typically included 300 bands playing multiple stages in the sweltering summer heat of Southern Illinois with an audience of 25 000 music fans. Untold numbers of bands began their careers when they were “discovered” at Cornerstone. 2012 will be the last year for this musical legacy. The Christian music scene will never be the same.
We are so grateful to have been able to share with you the gift that has been Cornerstone Festival all these years. Our annual gathering in this truly special community has shaped and illuminated our journeys together and apart, beginning in 1984, when the first Cornerstone drew 5000 people to a small fairgrounds outside Chicago.
Through our peak years in the 90s when tens of thousands celebrated this festival’s amazing unity-in-diversity amid the Midwestern countryside, to more recent belt-tightening days, we’ve traveled our ups and downs together in a way that will be a part of our lives forever.
In 2012, we’ll be celebrating one final Cornerstone Festival together. Based on a range of factors – including changes in the market and a difficult economy – the timing seems right. This was obviously a hard decision, wrestled with over years and particularly over recent months. But with the decision made, we have the opportunity to come together one last time and bring to a happy, grateful – if tearful – close to this chapter of our lives.
In the days ahead we’ll be making some changes to the lineup and schedule that reflect an adjusted budget. We hope to make this a special gathering to remember, to share stories and encourage one another with the vision of Cornerstone in ways that look back and ahead toward new things God is doing. Along with activities like art workshops, kids’ programs, seminars, games, movies – and MUSIC, of course – Cornerstone 2012 promises to be a time of thankful reflection and sharing among people who’ve walked this significant part of their life’s journey together.
Keep checking our website and Facebook page for changes and latest information.
Most of you know that Cornerstone Festival grew out of a labor of love from our church and community, Jesus People USA. The festival emerged from JPUSA’s Cornerstone magazine and Resurrection Band. Our community continues to operate one of Chicago’s largest homeless shelters, also bearing the name Cornerstone. We remain confident in God’s faithfulness and grace to lead us on to new chapters in our ongoing journey.
Thanks again to everyone who’s been a part of this amazing journey with us! What a privilege it’s been. Most of all, thanks to Jesus: the stone rejected that became the true Cornerstone. Amen!
We look forward with mixed sadness and joy to seeing you all this summer, one last time on our Bushnell campground, for a very special Cornerstone Festival 2012.
In His grace, John Herrin, Board President,and The Cornerstone Festival Staff, Genesis Winter and Scott Stahnke, directors