IF YOU GO
When: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, June 1
Where: Camp Jordan, 323 Camp Jordan Parkway, East Ridge
Admission: $10 in advance, free to children 10 and under; $15 day of show
The artists coming to this year's JFest weren't the ones organizers might have envisioned when planning began for the 15th annual Christian music festival, but they now realize the man upstairs might have had a hand in it.
"It's amazing the way God put together this lineup," director Ted Gocke said of this year's event at Camp Jordan on Saturday, June 1.
The headliner this year is Jeremy Camp, a Grammy-nominated singer and five-time GMA Dove Award winner.
"We've been trying to get him for years," Gocke said, "but he's one of those top-tier artists."
The two spoke at a concert during the last year, though, and the singer wondered why he'd never been invited to JFest. When told it was because of the festival's budget, one thing led to another, and he eventually agreed to come and will be the event's evangelistic speaker as well.
The lineup, with music beginning at 9 a.m., also will include Sanctus Real, Kerrie Roberts, Jason Gray, Royal Tailor, Luminate, Calling Glory, City Harbor and Adam Cappa.
JFest also features dozens of food vendors, booth sponsors and a ramped-up Kids world activity area.
The Kidsworld area, which already has what is termed "the Tennessee Valley's largest inflatable slide," is adding an outdoor laser tag area in which no vests or helmets are required, and a pedal train.
A first for the 12-hour festival is a fireworks finale. It will be presented by Pyro Shows of LaFollette, Tenn., which handles the Riverbend Festival finale, Washington, D.C.'s July 4 fireworks show and most fireworks shows at Southern League ballparks.
The fireworks will be set off from behind the stage and will be set to music by the festival's music artists.
The third annual JFest/Run for God 5K (www.runforgod.com), which already has more than 1,000 runners registered, will kick off activities at Camp Jordan at 8 a.m.
Gocke said the music lineup, the fireworks and the popular race are likely to make it the largest JFest ever. Wristbands for free entrance to Riverbend's Faith and Family Night, where Newsboys is the headliner, are included in the ticket price as long as supplies remain.
"Ticket sales are way ahead of schedule," he said.
Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at email@example.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.
Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...