Greg Horton of the Religion News Service looks for a shift in the wind with the demise of Cornerstone, the venerable music festival put on the by Jesus People (USA) and the birth of Wild Goose, where many of my friends are gathered this weekend:
(RNS) Demon Hunter. Vengeance Rising. Payable on Death.
Since 1984, these and other Christian heavy metal bands have been congregating every summer in a field near Chicago for the Cornerstone Festival. And for much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was the place for Christian thrash metal, death metal, or any other metal bands to generate a following.
Cornerstone provided the venue — and for several years, as many as 20,000 fans — to help these bands gain traction in a faith community more often associated with pop praise music.
Financial troubles will make this summer’s July 2-7 gathering the last for the venerable festival, the oldest Christian music and arts festival in the U.S. Only Greenbelt, the British festival from which Cornerstone emerged, has been around longer.
Yet as Cornerstone says goodbye, a young upstart festival is doubling its size in only its second year.
The Wild Goose Festival also owes its origins to Greenbelt, but the ethos and theology are radically different than Cornerstone’s. The first Wild Goose met at Shakori Hills, N.C., a 72-acre wilderness and campground 20 minutes from Chapel Hill.