ROP Staff Reflects: Kingdom Come Festival 2020

Jessica Walker

This was my second year attending Kingdom Come Festival in Greentown, Indiana. You can read my story from last year and learn more about KCF here.

Was this festival ever needed this summer! Like myself, many people have gone months without seeing a live show. For several of the bands, this was their first time playing live since early March. It was refreshing and healing to be able to enjoy time in this setting again. Perhaps Josh Bramlett of the Protest said it best when he simply said: “It’s just so good to be around people.”

Friday’s lineup included Meagan Reeves, Autumn’s Descent, Poetic Descent, Amongst the Giants, Aaron Ray, The Persuaded, Grave Robber, Death Therapy, The Protest (acoustic), Zahna, and Spoken.

What was extra special about these artists all performing at the same festival was that it allowed for surprise guest features. Zahna came out during Amongst the Giants song “Obscene” and Aaron Ray’s song “Daylight.” Matt Baird of Spoken came out during Death Therapy’s song “It’s Okay.” Some band members also filled in for other bands. for example, frontman Josh Honea of The Persuaded doubled as the bassist for Amongst the Giants, and Marco Pera played for his band Amongst the Giants, as well as for Zahna, and Disciple the following night.

Saturday’s lineup was just as amazing, with Forsaken Hero, Shane Tracy, Winona Avenue, Matt Moore, Trevor Heyd, Relentless Flood, Bred 4 War, Point5, GFM, I Am Spartacus, Chaotic Resemblance, The Protest, and Disciple. It was very cool to see that each day’s lineup featured at least one rapper and a wide variety within the rock genre, with everything from pop-rock to metal included.

I had some personal “firsts” at this festival! It was my first time attending a big out-of-state event by myself. But my four hour drive flew by, people graciously offered to help me set up camp, and the smiles, conversations, and common interests of those around me served as a reminder that I was never actually alone. I was given an invitation to watch Spoken from backstage, and that was my first time being able to watch a show from this completely fresh angle! I was ridiculously excited to see The Protest’s acoustic set for the first time; I have been wanting to for awhile! I love when heavy bands are also able to perform their songs acoustically. Finally, during GFM, I was rocking out in the front row, and Maggie held her microphone out to me to join them for a chorus. That was definitely a first!

The gospel message and several other Biblical truths and testimonies were also shared from the stage. For me, this was equally as important and encouraging as the music. Zahna had me tearing up as she shared about her healing process after her kidney transplant last year, as well as how she has recently experienced the healing of anger and severed relationships. She encouraged the audience to honestly bring whatever emotions we feel to God and know that God is bigger than whatever we feel.

THANK YOU, KCF, for another amazing year!

Matt Sassano

I had the fun and privileged to attend my first concert for 2020 at the Greentown, Indiana, Kingdom Come Festival. I was like a school kid ready for the first day of school. I had my notebook, pen, and ticket in hand.

The ride out into the fields to reach the Vietnam Veterans Fairgrounds was flashbacks to pre-COVID days. Riding through the back roads of Indiana, I reflected back to festivals I have been to and was so thankful I had the memories of those musical moments that have shaped not only my love for music, but have formed life long friendships.

As we pulled into the fairgrounds, we were greeted by a friendly masked set of eyes. We signed a release to enter the fairgrounds without masks. The festival was free, but we were given a parking ticket. The grounds were scattered with musical enthusiasts on this bright and happy Friday afternoon.

It was refreshing beyond words to step outside our truck and hear the guitars playing and the crowd rocking out. As I approached the main stage, I was soon greeted by a familiar friend who is a fan of GFM. He had traveled five hours with 6 friends to come to the festival. There were many fans who had come from far and wide to support not only their bands, but the event itself.

Mid-morning I had the pleasure of speaking and catching up with Rev. Chris Bousum, one of the co -founders of the Kingdom Come Festival. I did a quick interview with Chris, where he was eager to talk about his love for the bands and the festival. He spoke about the Always One Ministries (A1M) that puts on the Kingdom Come Festival.

Chris shared that the festival is led by a three person leadership team. Jay Karp and Chris started the Festival in 2010. Jay is the Director of the Festival. Angie Leyda is the Event Coordinator. Chris is the spiritual leader, as well as the co-founder. During the festival, Jay is busy with stage activities, keeping everything on target. Angie still has all the coordinating responsibilities, while Chris interacts with the crowd and answers needs from the grounds.

The festival began when Angie Leyda’s brother, Jay Karp, teamed up with their Uncle, Chris Bousum. They decided an outreach needed to be developed to reach out to the “misfits” in the surrounding schools, giving them a place to go to gain community and build friendships to help them see the love of Christ. The festival had many youth pastors, Christian youth workers, pastors, and local youth programs present to speak with and encourage any young people facing life challenges. Whether it was off stage or back in the fields, you could witness many of the workers praying and speaking with the attendees.

It was really heartfelt to seeing those who love music, concerts, and love the Lord put into one great event. Bands from around the nation joined to rock the main stage. Some of the bands present were Forsaken Hero, Relentless Flood, GFM, Set for the Fall, The Protest, Chaotic Resemblance, Zahna, The Persuaded, Aaron Ray, I Am Spartacus, Grave Robber, Amongst the Giants, and Poetic Descent.

The headlining acts for the first night was Spoken, who delivered an amazing performance. The next night the event closed out with an explosive concert experience by rock and roll veterans, Disciple.

Overall, I am glad I made the trip. I highly recommend you make this part of your concert plans for 2021, and hopefully for many more years to come.

Learn more about Kingdom Come Festival on Facebook or by following Always One Ministries.

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