Category Archives: Concerts
WOOHOO!!! Friend Fest at Amish Acres in Nappanee, IN is awesomesauce! I know there are LOTS of music festivals out there but the folks at WFRN did their homework and have created the most family-friendly Christian music event I have been to or read about. That this was just their second year is even more impressive. “What makes it so family-friendly?” you are wondering (I just know you are). Money, for one thing. Families want to take their families to worship with these A-MA-ZING bands but not everyone can afford all that a music festival entails, especially big families. You are usually nickeled and dimed for any and all amenities.
First, the biggie for us was food, if you want to call that an amenity. Friend Fest allows food to be brought in! I’ve not been to a festival that allowed you to bring food in. A friend just informed this weekend that another popular festival recently banned even eating in the parking lot. Say wha? No tailgating? Good grief… Food was available for purchase at Friend Fest, there was a water tent at the back of the field (only a buck a bottle!), snow cones and ice cream on a hot day were perfect (they even had vendors walking through the crowd selling ice cream out of a cooler). There was no lack of sweet, cold stuff. BUT we brought 9 kids with us. Purchasing food for 11 people is not cheap…even when buying cheap food. It adds up, dontcha know? We were able to keep our crew hydrated and nourished all day without paying out the wazoo. That we didn’t purchase food from Amish Acres didn’t seem to hurt their business; the food lines stayed busy and we saw plenty of folks munching on their yums. Meanwhile, our clan kept busy snacking on Capri Suns, strawberries, Cloud Cakes and a variety of other items we rarely indulge in then we dined on Pulled BBQ Pork, BBQ Beans and Sweet n Sour Broccoli Slaw. It’s nice having catering equipment to keep our vittles hot. Did we make folks around us jealous? Maybe just a little. That being said, we saved a fortune!
Secondly, there was no additional charge for the Kids Zone. There was even a Children’s Stage that featured juggling, an illusionist, illusions, music, puppetry and clowning around. Of course, the Bounc House area is a kid’s favorite part of the festival. I was a little disturbed, though, by the Gator Hide-and-Slide. The kids climb up into the gator’s mouth,
bounce around inside
then come out the back end.
When I went to take pics of my lovely children exiting the inflatable reptile, I didn’t find a slide as expected, I found a slit. I said, “Oh, unt uh…” Craig said, “Yep. That’s where they come out.” No no no…that’s messed up. I told my Lenae that the designer of said gator must not have liked kids. She quickly replied, “Or really likes them and knows how kids think. What kid wouldn’t love to say they were pooped out of an alligator?” She has a point.
Thirdly, free parking. Nuff said.
Fourthly, the Coffee House Stage. If you had attended Friend Fest and wanted to hear some other musicians and Break-Out Sessions with some of the Main Stage artists while using the, again, FREE Wi-Fi and drinking your gourmet coffee, this was the place for you.
#5 The Venue: Amish Acres is a fantastic location for an event like this! It’s clean, it’s lovely, it’s big! It’s also just 5 minutes away from Play-Mor Campground which means a lot to those of us who prefer “roughing it” in an air-conditioned camper. Primitive camping is available at Fountain Acres but that’s not roughing it to me. That’s dying a slow death of humidity and allergies. The only thing I would change is placing a canopy section in the rear for those who don’t want to melt especially those with children, “older” folks and those wearing walking casts whose legs get over heated…not that I know anyone like that.
Sixthly, yes there’s more…The staff and volunteers were incredible friendly from the time you pull in to park. Some of the crazy antics of those directing parking had us smiling from ear to ear. Everyone was eager to assist, hospitable and, you could tell, happy to be there serving.
SEVEN: stewardship. I was tickled to read the following in the program: “It takes 3-4 years for a festival of this magnitude to sustain itself. Currently, ticket sales, sponsors and partners cover just 80% of the festival’s total expenses. We are almost there, yet it is still not quite enough.” 80% and it’s just the second year! They accomplished this without charging for parking, the Kids Zone, and every other little thing and without forcing folks to purchase their food. Kudos! As soon as I’m able, I hope to become a Friend Fest Partner. We need to sell more cheesecake.
Eight: Enough space for Ultimate Frisbee. The kids did mention that Frisbee to Building 429 made them feel like they were in a movie or a music video, LOL! They rawked, incidentally.
Nine: Friends. We drove 4 hours from home and ran into several friends. Many hugs were shared and, of course, Frisbee. It really was a Friend Fest! (Cheesy, I know).
And last, but not least, the music. We went Friday to see some of our favorites: Carrollton, Rhett Walker Band, For King and Country, Big Daddy Weave, Building 429 and Matthew West. If we had gone Saturday, we would have enjoyed OBB, Hyland, Moriah Peters, Finding Favour, Chris August, Kari Jobe, Jamie Grace, the Peter Furler Band and TobyMac. We opted for some R&R with the kiddos at the campground. That aside, the weekend held a high-caliber line-up that did not disappoint. I CANNOT wait to hear next year’s line-up!!!
(What? No pics from the bands?! That’s another post….;) )
Have you been to a music festival that was as family/pocketbook-friendly as this one? Let us all know!
What’s not shared is lost,
There’s really no need for commentary here but I have some anyway. This song chokes me up. Anyone who has been found chokes up when they hear it. If you claim to be a Christian and you don’t choke up when you hear this song, I seriously question if you have wrapped your brain around grace. Just sayin’.
I wear out this song out because it reminds me that even though Mercy found me, I will manage to lose myself in my bad habits, my worries, loneliness, temptations and fears again and again. When I do, I have the comfort of knowing that Mercy knows where to find me even if I don’t and, though it’s stupid to ever leave Jesus arms, they’re ALWAYS open, ready and waiting for me when I’m prone to wander. I know that’s not necessarily what Mr. Walker wrote into this song but it’s what I take with me. Here’s the story behind the song:
Here’s the song. Even if you know it, read the lyrics again…and get choked up:
Did I mention I wear this song out? Heck, I wear out the whole CD. Rhett has an intense voice and style, the band has great synergy and there’s not a song on Come To The River that I don’t love. I own so many CDs that I skip around to hear my favorites but not this one; it’s played straight through then started over again.
I cannot wait to see the Rhett Walker Band in concert again! If you’re not a Certified Rhettneck, yet, you need to get on the bandwagon!
What’s not shared is lost,
Being as that this Friday will find me in Indianapolis at the Old National Deluxe Theatre then on Saturday in Fort Wayne at the Neon Armadillo, AND being as that I am completely stoked about meeting up with friends to see Mac Powell doing his country thang at said venues, it is my responsibility, nay, my privilege to encourage the listening to of his incredible debut country cd, the purchasing of said cd and various fanphanalia, and attending a concert or two. I already know that I can anticipate concert excellence since Mr. Powell is the lead singer of my favorite band, Third Day, and I have been attending shows since 1997 so trust me, you don’t want to miss it!
Joining Mac as the The Backlsiders are Jason Hoard, Brandon Coker, Heath Balto, Andrew Amerson and Matthew Bailey. (BTW, Jason has been touring with Third Day and is one of the most gifted musicians and one of the friendliest guys you’ll ever meet!) After watching videos from this past weekends kick-off shows, I’m even more excited!
This gets me “right there.”
This isn’t on the cd but I love Tom Petty & I love this!
I would love to post videos for all of the songs I REALLY like from the CD but this post would become REALLY long so just one more. I REALLY, REALLY like Mississippi! Wearing this one out!
I was going to stop there but this is one of my favorite songs….ever:
June Bug, This Ain’t No Hobby, Julia Ann, Saturday Night, Do You Love Me….folks, I am pretty picky about the country I listen to. I can’t leave a country radio station on for long because most of it is lame IMHO. Even if I weren’t already a fan of Third Day, I would love this music. IF I had the chance to hear about it, that is, because, from what I understand, radio stations have this thing about the musicians they play being on certain labels or whatever. To that, I say, “Whateva!” If the music is good, you should play it and quit wearing out that generic nonsense. I’m just thankful I DO know about this awesomesauce country music and I’m sure others will appreciate finding out what their new favorite country artist is, too, so spread the word. That is all. You’re welcome.
Go to the website… NOW:
Have a great Monday!
What’s not shared is lost,
Well, I had a feeling. I had a “feeling” in January that I would be going to the Third Day concert in Lexington in March. As the time drew near, it was NOT looking good. I was hoping to take Ben and Noah as I knew I would be taking Jillian and Natalie on a road trip in May and wanted to spend some “hang-out time” with them. Gas prices being what they are and deposit on a cruise being what it is, I had pretty much given up hope but I still felt like I was suppose to go. As it turned out, the boys were invited to an Air Soft War the same weekend and they would much rather go shoot and be shot than tag along with me to a concert so I asked Craig if he wanted to go. OF COURSE he wanted to go but he couldn’t get off and was still concerned about the cost. Last Wednesday, two days before the concert, I got an email from Merchandise X saying they needed help with A-team (my preference). My only hope for even being able to be admitted to the concert was working merchandise as it was a sold-out show and you get a free ticket when you work merchandise. You also get a t-shirt. Sweet deal. That same day, my dear Gomer friend, Robyn from Detroit, called about going to the show with me and splitting gas. God cares about the little things. Especially me because I’m His favorite.
The next day, Robyn was crashing at my place and Friday morning we were up and on our way before dawn. I love road trips! We worked merchandise together before at the Ft. Wayne concert and we make a pretty darn good team. It’s work but it’s fun and a “relaxing productivity.” We were just starting to get busy when some goofball came out on the balcony walkway over the foyer and started singing opera or something to us. I looked up to see who the weirdo making me laugh was and it was Tai Anderson. He he he….
After working, Robyn and I hung out a bit and debated on whether we wanted to risk giving up our sweet parking place. The threat of rain said, “You know, if you walk to get lunch, I’m going to dump buckets on you.” So we drove and it just drizzled. We ate at J.J. McBrewster’s, some mighty fine barbecue! Our table greeted us with this:
We were so humored, we bought a bottle for Mac.
The pulled BBQ Pork with fixins was DE-lish! We were so stuffed!
After lunch, we returned to Quest Community Church to find that our ringmaster, Lisa, did in fact, need more help which we were happy to provide. After that, the crowds started to arrive and the Wired wristbands were being distributed. That was another treat – our Wired membership expired in December and we can’t afford to renew just yet. I had resigned myself to just going to the concert – that was enough for me! Robyn had mentioned that she was pretty sure we could figure something out but the thought occurred to me that I have wonderful friends called Gomers and I knew several were going to the Lexington concert. I posted on the FB page asking if anyone going with a family membership could add me as a friend. NatiGrl Gomer came to the rescue so I was able to go the Meet & Greet, too! Thanks so much Natalie!
It was great to see several friends there and to partake in the Q & A and M & G. The guys are so genuine and a joy to be around. They really are some of the friendliest people and, though some M&Gs are crazy like Friday due to large crowds, that they take the time to visit with as many of their fans as possible shows just what gents they are.
After the M & G, we went to the auditorium, and it was packed. We just “so happened” to sit just across the aisle from the DeChants, dear friends we met a Third Day concert some time ago. They are sweethearts and I was SO happy to see them! Another Gomer, Chelsie & her mom sat with us. Gomers behind us. Worshiping together was tremendous!
Robyn had led the way to seats that “just so happened” to be where the guys parked their acoustic set (which I had forgotten about). I’m tellin’ ya, I’m God’s favorite.
SO, we were treated, not only to front row, they also played Love Song which I had requested on Twitter. Whether that’s the reason they decided to add it to the set list or not, who cares? They played it and it was Goosebump-worship-time!
This was the next best thing to being in front row. Just sayin’.
As if I had not been spoiled enough, there was an after-show acoustic concert with Nigel (he sure knows what to do with a harmonica), Matt Maher, Trevor Morgan and Mac. It was incredible! I got a feeling, alright: that I’m God’s favorite. Have I mentioned that?
Third Day rocked the house. But more than that, I was lost in worship during this concert. The fellowship, singing and dancing – that’s what I was needing after being over-extended and overwhelmed for way too long. God knew that. I “had a feeling” He knew what I needed.
If you’ve never been to a Third Day concert, you don’t know what you’re missing. You also have to go to at least one to be qualified to make fun of how psycho us Gomers are about our band. Then…you’ll be one of us and find yourself making fun of yourself for being so psycho! Besides….
I got a feeling we’re going to have a fantabulous time in Raleigh when we gather with Gomers for a big partay! (FYI for those not in the know, I Got a Feeling is a Third Day song, just in case you didn’t figure that out.)
What’s not shared is lost,