Ah, the first full day of the festival. Feels like home.
If you come to Cornerstone a few times, you quickly realize how important it is to be flexible. The generator stage schedules are usually in flux, bands show up late, and all the rest. The one thing you can be confident of is that everything won’t go the way you envisioned it when you first read the program.
And that’s OK. Part of the genius of Cornerstone is that there is so much going on, that you’re always stumbling across something you didn’t plan on but that grabs your attention. Half the time, it’s something that you never even heard of before the band took the stage. And all of a sudden, you’ve found a band that’s going to be the soundtrack of your summer.
I missed a couple of bands I wanted to see today. But I stumbled into a Men As Trees Walking set. Their blend of reggae-infused worship was the perfect fit for my afternoon. I was glad I found it. And I listened to Switchfoot’s soundcheck while I ate dinner. Nice.
Who knows what I’ll see next.
The highlight of the week for me so far has been seeing The Scoffer. Two brothers who appear to be nothing extraordinary have been playing on the side of the road here at the fest for years, and now, they’re on a real stage. Its like that with a lot of bands that “grow up” here at the fest. You see them for years, you support them, you cheer for them, and then they make it. You beam with pride and you feel excited for them even though you’re not even on stage with them.
As an acoustic musician, you’re definitely at a disadvantage. You don’t have the sheer power that comes with massive stacks and a ka-jillion piece drum kit. But Scoffer has something that those bands are often lacking. The words of every song stems from some story or some desire that these two have had. Austin and Logan have faced their own share of struggles with depression and fighting with God, but through that, they’ve got something real to share with people.
If you weren’t there, you, my friend, missed out on something truly beautiful.
When you walk onto the Cornerstone grounds a day or two early you begin to hear much of the same music. I am not talking down about it; I think it is great to see so many bands playing back to back. With that many bands and what seems to be about 70% all sounding the same on the generator stages it is great to see a tent like “Sanctuary” or “HM” doing worship and doing it well. Last night I saw many people that may not be familiar with the ministry of the tent just walk in and begin to worship because it sounds good and it is a refreshing sound from bands that scream and growl everything.
This reminds me when I attended Cornerstone back in the early to mid 90’s with a press pass. One of my favorite questions to ask artists in the press tent was “what is your favorite style of music?” This question was usually answered with one simple word…..worship. I love all styles of music here at Cornerstone from bands like “Iona” to “Becoming the Archetype.” One could and does sit through hours upon hours of music like this but when you hit a great set of worship….it is truly a breath of fresh air to simply remind us why we are here…because we serve a great God and everything here should be used for HIS glory.
What is the group you have or will enjoy the most at Cornerstone 2010?
As you are sitting in your campsite, the faint rumbles of bass and the screaming of voices begin to permeate the grounds. This is no natural disaster…this is Cornerstone and these are the bands! Although Cornerstone has not yet officially started there will be plenty to do today! I personally am looking forward to seeing Glenn Kaiser do a solo show tonight.
I had the great pleasure of meeting the Sanctuary International ministry team where I will be speaking throughout the evening sessions. I am really excited about this…as I walked into the tent they were signing up bands to play throughout the day. I was most impressed with their kindness towards other bands. My new friend, Kevin who is with Sanctuary told me they provide food for these bands that are looking to play. This truly is a unique ministry to these new bands that perhaps used much of their funding to simply travel here and play. I look forward to meeting many of these bands and musicians.
Cornerstone is looking to be a great time this week….If you are attending Cornerstone I would love to meet you at the Sanctuary tent. However, if you are not at Cornerstone this year….you can find out more about me by going to www.thatsnotmygod.com or www.facebook.com/pastorbobadams. I look forward to saying “hi!”.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of leading worship and devos for my camp. We enjoyed the day, getting into the groove of C-Stone living. I sat around a poetry circle and shared my thoughts on where my life was headed. I discussed trusting and not trusting God while walking laps around the food court. It sounds weird, but sometimes I swear it’s easier to breathe here, regardless of the dust and occasional b.o.
Today is Monday. Paint on my hands, dirt on my feet, and sweat just about everywhere. I need a shower, but I hear that the hot water isn’t working yet, so I’m skipping out. Main stage is going up just outside our trailer. Within the next 24 hours, bands will be playing. Im anticipating this so much.
Well, its time to log out, brave the heat, and start finding more stories to bring back to you all.
See you soon!
Hi, my name is Tim and I am very excited to be one of the blog team for this year’s festival. It’s year 6 for me; I can’t believe in only 2 days I will make the trek from Arkansas to Illinois. There are many reasons to love Cornerstone, so I wanted to take the time to list a few of the things that make it special for me.
1. Discovering a new band you have never heard before. Two of my favorite bands, All the Day Holiday and The Rocketboys, were both bands I discovered at Cornerstone. I can’t wait to see All the Day Holiday this year on main stage. Have a schedule in mind of bands you know you want to see, but make room in that schedule for the unexpected. Both of these bands were discovered by accident and now I listen to them all the time.
2. Asking the tough questions. Cornerstone is one of the only Christian events I have been to where asking of tough questions is encouraged. You may not get an answer, but at least you will discover you are not alone on the journey to find one. My denomination has been experiencing some discord over a hot button issue, and last year at one of the seminars I was able to enter into dialogue with people who had found the same thing happening in their churches. Speak up and ask your questions, you may not get that chance anywhere else.
3. Random meeting of new friends on the food court. Can’t find a seat at a picnic table? Walk up to a table and ask to sit down with strangers. Some of my most memorable conversations have occurred this way.
4. Giant Freezies. I have to have at least one a day, usually more. Give the Rotary Club your support and cool off with one of their freezies. You will be back for more.
5. Films. This year’s film program is scaled back some, but it looks to be a good one. Take a break from the music, and take in a movie and some intellectual discussion afterwards. Music is just one artform in which we can express our beliefs and doubts. Movies can do that in a different way and help us see the struggles that humans face.
What will you add to this list after this year’s festival?
I’m sitting in a town surrounded by corn fields and cows. But something’s missing… because sadly I’m not in Bushnell, IL right now.
My name is Steve and I’m in the middle of Nebraska, two states away.
Like Jerry who posted to the blog earlier, this year is lucky number 13 for me. Cornerstone is definitely one of the highlights of the year for me. To quote 1 Corinthians completely out of context, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.”
I don’t get much sleep at Cornerstone (although I get more than some of the other CornerstoneFestival.com staff). But it’s totally worth it.
While I spend my work days on the TV news here in Nebraska, on this week off I put my skills to work serving at the festival. I take thousands (and thousands) of photos. You can keep tabs on them from my Flickr account.Plus I’ll be hanging out with about 15 kids from my church youth group. Just for the record, I don’t get paid to be part of the coverage team that puts all this content online for you. I do get access to bands, but the guys in bands are people too, and I’m not often starstruck. I do it because I believe in what Cornerstone stands for, and I want you to be able to relive the fest again when you get home, or enjoy it from afar if you can’t make it.
I usually take in some seminars and youth events, and definitely lots of shows (I’ll tell you which ones I’m looking forward to later!)
I’m taking a lunch break here at my actual job at Georgia Tech, and starting to really think about Cornerstone, so I figured I’d go ahead and get started with the blogging. The fest is one of my most anticipated weeks of the year, and now that work is (kind of) starting to wind down in advance of my vacation, I’m ready to get on the road. This is my lucky 13th Cornerstone in a row, so I’ve got the packing and planning down to a science at this point. (And let me say that the rise of the iPod has made life a lot easier – no more agonizing over which 60 CDs to pack up and bring – I’ve got a couple weeks’ worth of music in my pocket!)
I’m almost ready to finalize and print the DIY fest program that my friends and I make every year to help us find new bands (and make sure we don’t miss old faves, though there are always some disappointing conflicts). I’m making plans with the guys that are riding with me about when we’re leaving and where we’re eating. I’m starting to think about what extra stuff I want to load onto my iPod for the 13 hour drive, and what kinds of playlists I need to make. I’ve printed out a bunch of fliers for my friend Jeff’s band to hang up around the fest (so if you see a guy with long hair taping up Jeff Elbel + Ping fliers, come say hi!). So yeah, other than actually packing up the car and hitting the road, I’m about ready to go.
Just a few more days – I can’t wait to see all of you on a farm in Illinois!
This is the third and final part of Soong-Chan Rah’s seminar track from Cornerstone 2009.
The theology of history’s “haves” is inevitably shaped by interests vested in affirming and maintaining privilege – meanwhile creating ever more distance from history’s “have-nots.” This seminar wrestles with our notions of power and privilege as related to our notion of Christ, seeking to listen to the Gospel as it meets us at the intersection of celebration and suffering.
This is the third and final part of Terry Wandtke’s seminar track from Cornerstone 2009.
Alan Moore’s Watchmen offered a self-reflective indictment of hitherto unquestioned superhero fundamentals: power and reckless violence — paving the way, ironically, for a wave of even more nihilistic comic book heroes. This seminar explores this most interesting conversation in contemporary comics and graphic novels, examining larger questions implicit in super powers.