“Ichthus” music festival re-launches after 9 years

WILMORE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Christian music festival that once drew crowds into the thousands has returned to Kentucky. The last “Ichthus” Music Festival was in 2012 and after a 9 year break, it re-launched Saturday at the same farm.

“Commercialism came in and killed it,” says Joe Lycan, owner of Servant Heart Farm. “And the Lord is resurrecting new life into the dry bones of the original vision that takes it back to that cross over there.”

Ichthus organizers say the festival stopped in 2012 because the focus became more about how to pay the bills and keep it running, than praising God with music and the community.  Ichthus organizers say they not only hope to make the festival annual again, but to possibly even host it multiple times a year.

“This was created, not to be a big music event, this was created by the heart of some professors to share the love of Christ with everybody else,” says Kevin Burgess, an Ichthus attendee and volunteer since the early 2000’s. “The world has a Woodstock, we need an Ichthus.”

Wilmore welcomed back the historic festival with local and nationally known artists on two stages.

“We love going to Christian concerts, our friends and I, and we’re really, we love the outdoor festivals, especially in light of the things happening in our nation, it’s a great time to be outdoors enjoying one another,” says Diana Cromley, a first-time attendee of Ichthus.

Organizers say with the event being in a large field and people having the freedom to choose whether or not to mask up, they aren’t worried about the festival being a super-spreader for COVID-19.

“Everyone needs interaction, whether it be your kids, whether it be your adults,” says John Gill, an Ichthus attender since 2010. “Everyone needs the interaction and coming together to hear, to get together with faith and worshiping God is just wonderful.”

Regular Ichthus attendants say in the past, crowds have reached well over 20,000 with people standing shoulder to shoulder from the top of the hill to the stage. This year, organizers says around 400 tickets were sold but not all of those people showed up. Attendees say while attendance is smaller this year, the heart of Ichthus is as strong as it’s ever been.

“The wonderful thing of Ichthus is the heart or what I call the heart of Ichthus,” says Burgess. “The heart of Ichthus is that of loving each other, community, family building, and helping each other.”

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