When he saw T-shirts reading "Jesus loves me and my tattoos" as he passed by vendor booths at Lifefest, the CCM group Big Dismal laughed with amusement.
"If Jesus told me, 'You can't come in [Heaven] with those [tattoos]," I'd say, 'Give me a few minutes', and I'd go take them all off," said band member Eric Durrance. "We live in a really judgmental world. Look deeper. Keep talking to me. You'll see my personality and know I'm a Christian."
T-shirts sporting similar Christian messages as the one Durrance saw were worn by a countless number of people at the Sunnyview Expo fairgrounds on Friday, July 9 in OshKosh, Wisconson.
Despite a light drizzle, most people still stayed, carrying umbrellas or wearing ponchos during the Christian music fest in the afternoon. Fans got to hear from Plus One, who sang about that theme of the event in the song, "God Is In This Place."
Fans also came to Lifest to hear performances from Mark Schultz, Third Day, Thousand Foot Krutch, Blindside, Superchick, Selah, Big Dismal, and Kirk Franklin, among others.
The event attracted families who brought their children because they thought the concert offered an encouraging atmosphere and Christian music.
One of the concert goers, Jake Huolihan, dripping wet after being hosed at the Thousand Foot Krutch concert, agreed. "I love the atmosphere. I love the Christian music. Everyone is here for a common purpose, and that purpose is Jesus and their love for him."