Making posters this weekend?

This is a theme I blogged about last year, but since this weekend ought to be prime-time for a lot of bands to be making flyers to post about their shows at Cornerstone, I thought it was worth revisiting. ~Becky

2009 photo for from Thomas Wray

So you’re in a band. You found your way onto a generator stage. You’re excited to play Cornerstone. You’ve checked your gear, got the van ready, you know your songs… now to just have people show up… and not just anybody, but people who might like the style of music you play.

If you’re in a band playing Cornerstone, you want people to come to your show. As a fest-goer, I want to find the bands that will become favorites. I don’t want to hear about an awesome show only after-the-fact.

I do a lot of research to find bands I want to see, but sometimes, I don’t hear of a band until I see their posters covering porta-potties (or any other flat, or even semi-flat surface) around the festival grounds. Along those lines, I present these tips to bands making posters to hang at Cornerstone:

  • List your band name clearly. Yes, I’ve seen some signs that focused on other band names… not very helpful. (Sure, a “for fans of” section is great, but make that smaller than your own band name.)
  • Tell the DAY of the week, not the actual date, since I am on vacation and don’t remember what the date is. haha.
  • Give clues to what kind of music you’re playing. If you don’t tell me, I will have to guess, and most likely I will guess wrong.
  • Remember that not everybody has heard of your band already. Maybe everybody in your hometown has heard of you, but I’m not from your hometown (unless you’re from Austin, TX – in which case I’d love to meet you!)
  • List where you’re playing. If it is something like the “Elitist Music Showcase,” tell me where I can find that.
  • If you don’t know the details of when you’re playing yet, leave blank space and bring sharpies to write in the info.
  • Get creative. Wear a funny costume. Carry a sign. Put your band-name and set times on your tent. Get a friend to write your band name and set time on his tshirt. Write on your van windows. Be funny. Get my attention.
  • Don’t forget to pack the tape to hang the signs! And.. tape is also a crucial ingredient if you’re going to make a cardboard dragon costume like this.

If you’re in a band playing Cornerstone, I hope it’s an amazing experience for you! I’m looking forward to finding tons of new bands next week.

Just a few more days to go

If you haven’t started getting your car packed, your tent ready, your various and random accessories to wear to humor everyone at the festival grounds, there’s still time, but it’s starting to run out!  My name is Jeff and I’ll be one of the bloggers bringing the latest happenings of the festival to you as it happens.  This will be my 9th Cornerstone Festival since 1998 and I’m starting to get excited about number nine.   I’ve been getting prepared in my own way, watching previous shows from Cornerstones past on YouTube.  Check out a few that I’ve hand picked and posted on my blog. I’ve been scanning for bands I’ve never heard of on MySpace and Facebook to see if there’s anything new to see this year.    I’ve made a schedule using the amazing Cornerstone Schedule Maker, but I’m keeping my options open just in case something surprises me.

I’ll be posting photos as the week goes along to my Flickr account and sending out updates on Twitter as well as posting here.  You can participate too!  Just add the hash tag #cstn20ten to your tweets as the festival goes along.

The top bands that I’m looking forward to this year initially are Paper Route, Eisley, Switchfoot, and Future of Forestry plus the return of well-known bands like The Choir and Over The Rhine.  There’s always new bands too that surprise me and find their way on to my list of favorites by the end of the week.   Hopefully I’ll also get to catch some seminars and even find some quiet moments for some prayer and introspection.  Of course, there are the old friendships, too.  If you’ve been to Cornerstone multiple years, you know that you form bonds with people you may only see one time a year at the festival, but every year you look forward to seeing them again.

What are you looking forward to most about Cornerstone?  What bands are you looking forward to seeing?

Introduce Yourself!

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!

Sanctuary at Cornerstone 1

The two Pastor Bob's

In a few short days my wife and will be heading down to Cornerstone Festival (about a 6 hour drive)! I began attending Cornerstone back in the mid 90’s as a late teenager. Something happened when I turned 22 that prevented me from attending any longer…I became a youth pastor. One of the highlights for me was to attend the Sanctuary tent to hear Pastor Bob Beeman speak each night. It was his ministry that got me excited to work with young people.

Fast forward a few years to 2010 and now I am the lead pastor of a church and good friends with Pastor Bob Beeman. Over the past few years Pastor Bob and I have become good friends, he even came up a couple times to speak at the church I pastor. This year I get to return to Cornerstone with my wife (a newbie to C-Stone) to enjoy the great concert line-up and times of ministry. The highlight for me will be speaking at the Sanctuary tent due to Pastor Bob’s absence. I am literally bummed he will not be able to make it and am truly humbled that I would be asked to speak at this event I loved as a young adult (now 36).

There are some amazing things going on at the Sanctuary tent and I will keep you posted on all that is happening. Be sure to stop by the Sanctuary tent and say hi to me!

Holy Cow, It’s Almost Time!

I can’t believe that one week from today, I’ll be back at the festival.   Cornerstone has been the centerpiece of my summers for a long time now, but I still get excited every time the end of June rolls around.   Looks like it’s been a wet summer in western Illinois – might be smart to prepare for some mud.

Can’t wait to see all of you there.  I wonder what bands we’ll see this year that we’ll still be talking about in 2020?

Are you ready for 20ten?

Less than a week until Cornerstone Festival? Are you ready?

This will be festival #11 for me, so I know basically what to expect, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to go yet. Over the next few days, I’ll be packing & prepping for our 1000-mile trip from Texas to Illinois and a week filled with great music & great friends. Here are some things I need to remember (which might be good for you to think about, too):

  • Finish making my list of must-see bands. Thanks to the Cornerstone Schedule Creator, hearing about bands via twitter/facebook, and the collective wisdom of many friends, I’m starting to make my must-see list. I’m already seeing several conflicts, which is just part of what makes Cornerstone fun — too many good choices! The actual program can be previewed online, to help all of us decide what to see.
  • Preview the seminars. Every year, I confess I don’t make it to as many seminars as I should. So, again this year, I’m going to preview more seminars/speakers and pick a few to attend.
  • Research what new albums I can pick up easily at the fest. And, I wonder, can I buy yet another Seabird shirt? I only own three of them… 😉
  • Pack jeans and a long-sleeve shirt. Any Cornerstone veteran knows not to trust the long-range forecast (this is the midwest afterall), but it still seems like there might be some colder nights this year. (a nice break from the heat here in Texas, I think)
  • Make a quick run to the store for my Cornerstone survival pack:
    • A small bottle of hand-sanitizer (for the porta-potties).
    • Earplugs. No, if it’s too loud, that does not mean you’re too old. 🙂 I know I’ll go down-front for a few shows, and I’d like to save my hearing so I can keep enjoying music for decades to come.
  • Remember to pack our tickets! There’s still time to purchase tickets online, and there will be tickets available at the gate.

See you next week outside Bushnell!

Sandy Ramsey: Listening to the Homeless

This is the first and final part of Sandy Ramsey’s seminar track from Cornerstone 2009.


What do the homeless say to us? What do the homeless want us to know? Why should we listen to them? Stories from the front lines. . .

Jason Peters: Faith & Works of Wendell Berry, Session Three

This is the third part of Jason Peter’s seminar track from Cornerstone 2009.


One of America’s greatest social critics, essayists and poets, Wendell Berry is a man-of-letters, farmer, and modern-day prophet. More than ever, Berry offers a faithful witness against a standard of living neither practically sustainable nor morally defensible. This seminar explores the vision of simplicity that unifies Berry’s multi-faceted life and works, and the faith that drives it.

Keith Wasserman: Homelessness: The View From the Other Side, Session Two

This is the second part of Keith Wasserman’s seminar track from Cornerstone 2009.


Creatively engaging the culture of poverty with the Gospel for three decades, Keith Wasserman has regularly gone homeless by choice in various US cities to “see from the other side”. In this seminar, Keith will share what he’s learned from the poor and from ministry with the poor both from his experiences on the streets and from the trenches of developing an intentional Christian community that lives out the call of Jesus to love our neighbors in poverty.

Jason Peters: Faith & Works of Wendell Berry, Session Two

This is the second part of Jason Peter’s seminar track from Cornerstone 2009.


One of America’s greatest social critics, essayists and poets, Wendell Berry is a man-of-letters, farmer, and modern-day prophet. More than ever, Berry offers a faithful witness against a standard of living neither practically sustainable nor morally defensible. This seminar explores the vision of simplicity that unifies Berry’s multi-faceted life and works, and the faith that drives it.