Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Higher Ground celebrating its fifth anniversary

February 16, 2009

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

WINSTED, MN – Plans for celebrating Higher Ground Christian Music Festival’s fifth anniversary are underway, with some great bargains for fans.

Weekend tickets are being offered for only $45 – the same price as the festival’s first year – with a chance to see some of the biggest names in Christian entertainment on the Higher Ground stage in Winsted, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 14-15.

Celebrating a milestone anniversary gives the hard-working Higher Ground Committee a sense of pride in realizing how far the fundraiser has come since it began.

“Higher Ground has taken on a life of its own as a wonderful ministry never seen in this area before, and continues to touch people’s lives throughout the year,” chairman of the Higher Ground Committee, Terry Fasching said.

Last year’s event drew record crowds of about 6,000 people each day and showed a profit for the first time.

Joe Neumann, who has been on the Higher Ground Committee since the beginning, said he has been involved with Higher Ground because he has always had a love for contemporary Christian music and he loves to work on something that is so “real” and affects so many people in a positive way.

He described one of his favorite festivals, he couldn’t remember which one, when after the last performance, the emcee walked out on stage and asked everyone to return to their campsite while singing “America the Beautiful.”

“And as unbelievable as it may sound, the entire crowd sang at the top of their lungs as they walked toward the campgrounds. It was powerful!” Neumann said.

Higher Ground has people of all ages attending.

“It is a multi-generational event great for the whole family. For the fifth anniversary we are tapping into the youth groups with better bands for teens, but still want to keep this focused on the family,” Fasching said.

This year’s headliners are Jeremy Camp on Friday, and Third Day on Saturday.

Other entertainers include Mark Schultz, Kutless, Stellar Kart, Esterlyn, and many more great bands and speakers.

Aside from the music, those who choose to attend will have a variety of other events to keep them busy throughout the weekend.

The sports pavilion will feature volleyball, a bean bag toss, and horseshoes, among other activities.

“We have great food vendors and even a chapel, if you need some quiet time,” Fasching said.

There is a large vendor tent where people can buy everything from t-shirts to jewelry, get their face painted, visit with a few college recruiters, and sign up for prizes.

There is also a large inflatable area for the kids with bouncers and an obstacle course.

Tickets are on-sale by phone at 866-821-5151 or by visiting www.hgmusicfest.com for more details.

Early discount ticket sales end May 5, and that’s earlier than in previous years.

There are added incentives for groups of 10 or more. For every 10 tickets purchased, you will get two free bonus tickets, two reserved campsites, a free t-shirt, and a chance to win a private concert in your campground with one the Higher Ground artists.

All the money made on this festival is donated to Holy Trinity School.

Headliners Jeremy Camp and Third Day

Jeremy Camp will appear on the Higher Ground stage Friday evening, Aug. 14.

Camp’s thoughtful lyrics and booming voice have earned him legions of fans and accolades including 16 No. 1 songs, five Dove Awards, three ASCAP Songwriter of the Year wins, and an American Music Award nomination.

Over the course of four studio discs and one live album, this grown-up pastor’s kid has shared his life with his fans.

Through his songs he has shared his joys and sorrows, and his devotion to God.

If life had gone just a little differently, Camp would probably be standing behind a pulpit instead of a microphone, But he spreads his message through music – anthemic songs with all the depth of a Sunday sermon.

Third Day headlines Saturday evening, Aug. 15.

Multi-platinum-selling rock band Third Day has played to millions of fans in numerous sold-out arenas around the world. It has garnered 25 No. 1 singles across multiple formats – not to mention armloads of Grammy and Dove awards. Yet the band’s willingness to struggle openly before fans and critics alike to unearth its identity, purpose, and mission stands as Third Day’s most valued accomplishment during its first decade together. Backing up the band’s ascent, Billboard Magazine noted the act is “not only one of the best Christian bands of he ‘90s, but one of the best rock bands, period.”


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