SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Christian music fans are descending on Sioux Falls for this weekend’s LifeLight Music Festival.
The first LifeLight in 1998 drew 2,000 people to a church lawn. It has since grown into one of the country’s largest outdoor religious music festivals with about 275,000 people gathering at Wild Water West grounds west of Sioux Falls.
"That’s a God thing. We don’t take credit for it," event coordinator Alan Greene said of the festival’s growth. "We feel that God is doing something here through this festival and this ministry. People just come."
The festival runs today through Sunday, with more than 100 bands and speakers on six stages. Space on the 160-acre grounds is also set aside for children’s activities, seminars, camping, food and merchandise vendors, prayer tents and an art gallery.
Opening night will feature the Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California and author of "The Purpose Driven Life," who will speak on the main stage at 7 p.m.
Scheduled musical acts include the Newsboys, Casting Crowns, Kutless, Audio Adrenaline, Jeremy Camp, Tree 63, Rebecca St. James, Casting Pearls, Go Fish, Mark Schultz, Skillet and Superchic(k).
Sunday’s activities include a citywide cross-denominational worship service with many Sioux Falls churches moving their Sunday morning services to the festival grounds.
Many people and organizations who have paid to have a booth may share political messages, but the festival stays focused on its mission of spreading God’s word, he said. "You’ll see a lot of causes here, but from the stage we’re presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ," he said.
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.