Guest / Limited Access /

Jackie Roberts drove a carload of kids from Florida to a cornfield in the Midwest out of motherly love and because her son wouldn't stop bugging her. After six months of pestering, 15-year-old Brock convinced her that this was the only place he could see his favorite Christian bands. Over 1,000 miles later, Roberts wasn't so sure about the Cornerstone Festival.

Not far from where Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri meet, Roberts, her three kids, a niece, and Brock's best friend passed through Bushnell, Illinois, a quaint farm town of 3,221. Further down a dirt road, they entered the festival gates and the rural scenery changed drastically. The entire car fell silent.

This wasn't the contemporary Christian music scene they expected. Inching through the bustling and dirty festival grounds, the Roberts group—except for an ecstatic Brock—gasped as they passed lines of hippies, punks, Goths, brightly colored Mohawks, and lots of tattoos.

Staring at a half-naked man in a dog collar, Jackie's oldest daughter asked Brock, "What have you gotten us into?"

'The Cacophony Doesn't Bother Them'


Entering Cornerstone's 579-acre camping and festival grounds can be intimidating—and not just because some of the 27,000 people look downright scary. Unlike most paid evangelical events, the 20-year-old Cornerstone relishes chaos. This loosely organized modern-day Woodstock has few rules and even less signage to help you know where you are or what is happening.

The July festival's stock in trade is stimulus overload. Loud music is constant and the visual stimulation is dizzying. All festivals offer multiple events and activities. Cornerstone does them all at once and constantly for five days. Three hundred bands play 11 stages from late morning to early the ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Tags:
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueThey Will Know We Are Christians by Our Drinks
They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Drinks
In the Muslim world, Christians have a complicated relationship with alcohol.
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Criminal Faith
"Going nuclear, North Korea allows worship only of its dictator"
Current IssueAn Inside Look at China’s Remarkable Religious Resurgence
Subscriber Access Only
An Inside Look at China’s Remarkable Religious Resurgence
Journalist Ian Johnson sees faith on the rise where it was once ruthlessly suppressed.
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickFrom Kuyper to Keller: Why Princeton’s Prize Controversy Is So Ironic
From Kuyper to Keller: Why Princeton’s Prize Controversy Is So Ironic
Former winner explains how the seminary honor that once brought the Reformed community together is now splitting it.
Christianity Today
Jesus' Woodstock
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

July 2003

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.