It is safe to say that after 12 years now, going to Cornerstone Festival is a summer tradition for me. This was the 25th anniversary festival and I realized that after next year, I will have been to half of them. It is truly an awesome, refreshing experience for me that I hope to continue indefinitely.
This year started out a bit rough. The plan was to leave Tuesday morning, and Monday night I started to feel sick – nauseous, cold chills, a fever. It came out of nowhere, so I was hopeful that it was just a 24-hour bug. I drank lots of water, took some more cowbell, and by morning my fever had gone down and I was feeling better. We (being Doug, Isha, and myself) left mid-day Tuesday as planned. We camped closer to the main area this year, got a good spot with some shade, right next to the pond. It was peaceful.
This was a light year for me musically, there were not a lot of bands I “had” to see, and honestly I did not go through the schedule in-depth, so I mostly hung out with Doug and Isha at shows they were going to. The favorites that I had to see were Cool Hand Luke (twice, plus the surprise of a new record) and Sixpence None the Richer (back together forever). I saw Photoside Cafe with Isha and was blown away by their acoustic rock (with violin and cello). Not sure about their recordings, but this band is great live. I cannot forget to mention that Skillet's main stage production was one of the best I have seen there – amazing lights and pyrotechnics.
For the 25th anniversary night on July 4th, they closed down everything except for the main stage, which had a diverse line-up of bands from Cornerstone past and present. It was a trip to see Michael Gungor Band – I went to Russia in 1996 with him! The Glorious Unseen was an ambient/indie worship group that I was really impressed with. Charlie Peacock led the thousands there in a candlelit communion service and played some worship, including “In the Light” (popularized by DC Talk). David Crowder Band closed out the night; his songs are not all really my style, but it's definitely a fun experience of worship music. The man is also very entertaining, not just in appearance, but with references to Super Mario Brothers and other throwbacks. Fireworks closed out the night. It was a very spiritually refreshing night for me.
Reading my post about last year, I'm struck by how much things have changed. It seems so long ago. My heart incident was much more fresh, of course. I had only come home from my mom's house about a week or so before and Cornerstone was my first “big trip”. I was really cautious, drank gallons of water, wore my emergency bracelet the whole time. Now it's like second nature and I hardly give those things a thought. Last year I wondered why that girl was so excited and emotional to see me. Now Isha is a really close friend who I quite fancy.
The dates for next year's festival are June 29 - July 4 and you should plan on going! We have already recruited a couple more friends to go. I'm really looking forward to it – the more the merrier!