Renown British newspaper, The Guardian, stopped by Champaign-Urbana’s own Audiofeed Music Festival last month to discover an interesting cross-section of American humanity: metal heads, Christians and general festival fans.
If you’ve never been to Audiofeed, held every year at the Champaign County Fairgrounds, it truly is a remarkable amalgamation of people – on one hand, it’s the typical festival atmosphere, but on the other, it has a religious tilt, unlike the bulk of music festivals in America today. This, in turn, leads to a melting pot that creates one of the most unique festival atmospheres in existence.
To read the full feature, check out The Guardian‘s article here, and read an excerpt from the story below:
At the beginning of July, I photographed Audiofeed, a Christian rock and metal festival in Illinois.
This was a bit of a reunion for me. As a teenager growing up in the evangelical subculture, I was a huge fan of Christian hard rock and metal in the early 2000s. The music helped me feel adventurous and unique, and it was an important way for me to craft an identity. I lost track of the scene after going to college, but I never stopped enjoying the music.
Since 1984, every Christian punk’s dream was to play at a festival called Cornerstone – a weeklong bohemian campout commonly likened to a Christian Woodstock. Cornerstone went defunct in 2012, and Audiofeed is in part an attempt to reunite the Cornerstone crowd, some of whom have moved on from Christian rock or from evangelical Christianity altogether. One of this year’s headliners, David Bazan, is a vocal ex-evangelical.
I came to this festival to get a clearer picture of what the next generation of post-culture war evangelicals will look like. A veteran of the festival recalled the days he couldn’t wear his Slayer T-shirt in church. Attending this festival made me wonder what kinds of things the current generation of evangelicals may be more tolerant of in, say, 20 years.
Top photo by KC McGinnis