An outdoor festival is always interesting because you're at the mercy of various weather conditions. You never know what you'll be met with when you arrive, but that didn't stop the thousands who flooded into Pennsylvania for Creation Festival Northeast last weekend for a time of worship and fun.
Day One: Lecrae and Colton Dixon
Wednesday met all in attendance with pleasant weather and a promising first day. Throughout the morning, people mingled with new friends and got familiar with the campground while waiting for the afternoon shows at Main Stage to start. Around 6, Blanca
took the stage and got the crowd pumped up with her always-energetic set. Her anthemic hit single "Who I Am" led well into Creation Worship with Brian Campbell
and his talented band, setting the tone for speaker Reggie Dabbs, who gave a powerful message and saw hundreds run to the front to accept Christ as Savior.
Up next, Colton Dixon
blasted onto the stage to the tune of a screaming crowd of fans. The excitement was high as he played listener favorites new and old. Still, the excitement only intensified from there as Colton cleared the stage to prepare for Lecrae
. Capturing a crowd like only he can do, Lecrae had the entire field of people jumping within seconds of appearing on stage.
After a long night of concerts, Creation Cinema showed thePure Flix film "Old Fashioned" to end the evening.
Day Two: Skillet and Matthew West
With Thursday came the rain, but it didn't scare off attendees. Worshippers flooded onto the field bright and early for morning worship, led once again by Brian Campbell. After the morning message, Brian and band headed over to the Acoustic Cafe Stage, hosted by none other than NewReleaseToday, to give us a special performance. While Main Stage acts stopped for a few hours, we had artists such as I Am They
, and Jonathan Thulin
visit our stage to treat fans with up-close and intimate sets.
The NRT VIP Fan Experience began on a strong note as Jonathan Thulin returned for yet another set specifically for the dedicated bunch who purchased Fan Experience tickets. Thulin proved once again why he's such a powerhouse artist, dominating the day with nothing more than a keyboard and his stellar vocals.
Back at Main Stage, Chelsea Musick
brought her southern vibes to warm up the crowd before We As Human
took the stage. The band battled through some serious bus trouble before arriving, but eventually made it just in time to give their all in a set well worth braving the rain for.
There was a feel of anticipation in the air as Matthew West
began his time on stage, playing songs to make you both cry and dance. An impromptu song about a beach ball, choosing a fan from the audience to eat cheesecake with, and many other memorable moments closed Matthew's set as the anticipation jumped to a new level for Skillet
to make their grand entrance.
Fans were a bit disappointed at the lack of pyro, but what the band lacked in fire they made up for in energy, talent, and of course, rock and roll. A showing of "God's Not Dead" officially ended the day.
Day Three: TobyMac and Peter Furler
Friday proved to be the hottest day of Creation, holding back the rain and leaving everyone wishing for air conditioned tents. Morning worship started the day on a high note as our Acoustic Cafe Stage welcomed artists such as Good Little Giants
, Red Letter Hymnal
, Ryan Corn, and the legendary Peter Furler
for remarkable sets. While the VIP Experience was going on, Fringe Stage was having a party of their own with hip-hop masters NF
, and Tedashii
Main Stage returned in the afternoon with EDM/remix geniuses Capital Kings
. Brian Campbell's worship set preceded an energetic Peter Furler as he broke out old tunes such as "Breakfast," "Something Beautiful" and "Entertaining Angels." Always a festival favorite, TobyMac
headlined the night, premiering new songs from his upcoming album
and playing older well-loved songs as well.
What followed Toby's set was a moment many would name the highlight of the whole weekend. The annual candle lighting service was a breathtaking sight as thousands held up their bright candles together against the night sky. It was an event not to be forgotten, a powerful reminder that the body of Christ is meant to illuminate the world.
Day Four: Switchfoot and Rend Collective
Saturday we woke up to heavy rain. And with that, the final day of Creation became the most interesting. The majority of the area around our Acoustic Cafe Stage was flooded with inches of standing water, providing a unique challenge. The dedication of all involved was put to the test, but we decided to keep the day's schedule as is. Faithful artists such as Ginny Owens
, Remedy Drive
, Darren Mulligan of We Are Messengers
, Chelsea Musick and Random Hero
all braved the intense conditions to play incredible stripped-down sets for the hardcore fans who stuck around in the mud.
led worship from Main Stage for a core group of determined attendees, while slowly the crowd began to fill out for Rend Collective
to take the stage. The Irish group always brings a particular energy to any place, but especially so on this night as they introduced the audience to new songs from their forthcoming project.
As Rend's set came to a close, you could feel the excitement in the air. The moment everyone had waited all week for was finally here. Switchfoot
appeared on stage and the crowd lit up. The rain fell harder as Jon Foreman
climbed into the sea of people, remarking that they weren't going to get muddy without him.
The night (and the festival) ended in picture perfect fashion with confetti flying through the air and a spectacular firework display lighting up the sky behind the stage.
Creation Northeast 2015 was definitely an experience that won't be soon forgotten. With several different stages going during the day and so many genres represented, there was something to interest everyone. I'll speak for each fan in attendance when I say that the whole weekend was well worth braving the rain for. Memories were made and anticipation for next year is already building. Creation Festival is a must-do thing for any Christian music fan. If you didn't make it to East, check out the other Creation festivals this summer or start making plans for 2016. This is an event you don't want to miss!