Alive Music Festival presents Skillet, TobyMac, Switchfoot, Kari Jobe
MINERAL CITY – Liz Midkiff first attended the Alive Music Festival when she was 10 years old.
Fun memories were created with friends and family. She has become a longtime fan of contemporary Christian music.
Midkiff returned to other Alive festivals as she got older, volunteering with her husband when they were dating.
“So it’s definitely come full circle,” Midkiff said on Tuesday. “We are coming back this year with our son.”
The Live Music Festival takes place Thursday through Sunday at Atwood Lake Park near Mineral City.
The 32-year-old Lyndonville, New York resident said this year’s Christian music-themed festival was particularly meaningful.
Midkiff will be working on a booth during the festival to raise awareness about sex trafficking.
And she’s also excited to experience the music live after the cancellation of so many concerts and events last summer, including the Alive Music Festival 2020.
â€œI was devastated last year when everything was called off,â€ recalls Midkiff. â€œI actually cried. I was angry. Over the past year the number of overdoses, suicides, alcohol, trafficking, all of it has increased by leaps and bounds.
â€œOur world needs a festival like this to inspire not only teens but adults as well,â€ she wrote in an email. “The message the singers have to share is something you can’t even explain, and I look forward to enjoying the experience this year.”
Varied program at the Alive Music Festival
Bill Graening, who runs and hosts the festival with his wife, Kathy, said the festival has received orders for tickets from all 50 states.
It starts a day earlier and features over 30 bands and musical artists with headliners for KING & COUNTRY, Skillet, TobyMac and Switchfoot.
â€œWe have a very diverse lineup in the world of contemporary Christian music,â€ Graening said.
For more information on tickets and camping accommodations at the Alive Music Festival, visit www.alive.org/ticket-options
Although the event remains Christian in inspiration, said Graening, the music attracts both believers and music fans in general.
â€œSwitchfoot is an iconic band that has been with us before, and of course they are part of the mainstream,â€ he said.
â€œIt’s a Christian music festival in the sense that our faith in Christ brings us together as an event when we startâ€¦ but everyone can come and feel at ease,â€ he said.
Music with message
Midkiff, of New York, owns Stolen Angels Inc., a company dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking. At the music festival, she partners with Women at Risk, International.
“We are fighting many areas of risk, but our main fight is sex trafficking,” she wrote. “I will be holding a table at the festival to sell products made by survivors of sex trafficking and women at risk.”
Combined with music, the Alive Music Festival will be a rewarding and meaningful event, said Midkiff.
â€œGoing to a festival like Alive is not just a concert,â€ she said. “It’s an experience that lasts a lifetime …
And “it’s nice to see so many bands that I admire all in one place,” added Midkiff. â€œWhen you’re at a festival like Alive, the music inspires you. There is always a message from the speakers, the singers of the group or even just the salespeople.
â€œPeople are different at a festival that’s rooted in Jesus. And I know with everything that’s going on in the world right now, we need to hear some inspiring things.â€
Large crowds expected
The concert schedules are practically identical to what had been planned last year.
â€œThis will be our 33rd annual festival,â€ said Graening. â€œWe write 2020 like an on-screen blip. We have received orders for tickets fromâ€¦ Hawaii and Alaska. We have, I think, 10 countries represented.â€
Graening expects daily crowds of 12,000 to 15,000.
â€œIt will definitely be in the last five or six yearsâ€¦ our biggest participation just based on our trend,â€ he said last week.
“… There aren’t a lot of festivals like Alive,” Graening added. â€œA lot of the bigger events on this side of Pennsylvania have been canceled. We’re one of the only events, and it’s outside, so I think people feel safer.â€
Several improvements have been made, Graening said.
Larger video screen walls have been added; the front of the main stage has been doubled to allow greater separation between the participants. Festival organizers are asking that parties stay 6 feet away from other groups in the amphitheater and at the festival.
More toilets and showers have been added; hand washing stations and hand sanitizers have been doubled. Toilets and showers will be cleaned three times a day.
Graening said a mask policy will not be enforced because it is an open-air festival in a large park. â€œIf you feel more comfortable, please wear a mask,â€ the festival website says. “We ask parties to stay 6 feet away from other parties during the festival.”
â€œWe’re going to be as safe as possible,â€ Graening said, noting he was working with Tuscarawas County health officials on issues related to the pandemic.
Contact Ed at 330-580-8315 and [email protected]
On Twitter @ebalintREP
Live music festival
WHAT Christian themed music festival with over 30 bands and musical artists
WHEN From Thursday July 15 to Sunday July 18
TICKETS Ticket packages and camping arrangements vary. For more information visit www.alive.org/ticket-options