Jillian uses affiliate links in this post, meaning she may get a commission for any purchases made using these links. Commissions go towards keeping this site active. For more information, please see her Privacy and Disclosure Policies page. Keep scrolling for what you need to know about the biggest Christian Music Festivals in PA!
Note: This post was neither sponsored nor endorsed by either festival. All opinions are from my point of view as either an attendee or vendor.
The Biggest Christian Music Festivals in PA you need to attend!
I had a few posts planned for this “Music Month” about festivals and music events that happen in the South Central PA area. I wanted to first mention my two favorite Christian Music Festivals, which both happen to be the biggest festivals I have been to yet.
You do not need to be a “Christian,” or a part of a specific religion or denomination to attend either of these festivals. Anyone is welcome, and I mean ANYONE. One of the last times I was at Creation I saw an obviously gay couple walking hand-in-hand the entire weekend, and looking like they were genuinely having a good time. So there’s that; no excuses to be afraid to enter either of these festivals for anyone! If something gets to “church” for you, move on to a different stage or hangout at your campsite or get food or whatever. Plenty to do besides see the concerts!
Both Christian Music Festivals are full of family friendly bands and entertainment, both have included bands that are recognizable from top secular billboards, and both have set schedules but no “required” activities. Also, both now have the option to camp on site. I have been to both as a adult going alone to meetup with friends, but can not tell you exactly what it is like to take kids along. I have not used the camping at either since I live close enough it is usually not necessary. There may be edits to this post later if I decide to try camping at Creation this year (trying to get braver each year!)
Creation is a 4-day (Wed-Sat) festival that is considered to be the biggest in the US. It takes place on the spacious “Agape farm” in Mt. Union, PA. It usually takes place the last week in June, this year’s dates being June 27-30th. You can buy either day passes or an entire event pass beforehand online, or at the gate. There are also add-on options available such as VIP passes or premium camping sections. I attended a day of Creation a few years ago, followed by volunteering as a Massage Therapist for Staff & Volunteers every year since. Whether as attendee or a volunteer, it is hard to not become a part of this friendly festival family!
At this point, Creation has announced most artists that will play during this year’s festival. Major artists on the current lineup include Tobymac, Mandisa, Disciple, For King & Country, and Bread of Stone. Most attendees float between the Main stage and Fringe (rock) stage to see major artists. There are also a few smaller stages including a late night stage, kids stage, and Worship stage.
Like most huge music festivals, Creation has camping, merch vendors, tons of food vendors, and several stages. Unlike most music festivals, Creation has a great kids area with it’s own stage for acts friendlier to younger ones. It also has a skating park, art gallery, speakers, and a separate area for youth leaders.
The most important thing it has that sets it apart from secular festivals: A gracious, Christ-like spirit throughout which gives it pleasant vibes of a safe atmosphere for anyone. Whether you are attending as someone who considers yourself a “spiritual person” or not, you can have a beautiful experience. I must say one of the things to not miss is the mesmerizing sight of candles being held high during the Candle lighting service that takes place after all the main acts on Friday night. It is really a beautiful scene that my photos could never do justice.
If you are interested, the festival does hold baptisms and offer communion. There are volunteers assigned to pray with those who need it, and if you need some quiet alone time for yourself, I highly recommend hiking up to “the lookout.”
For those closer to the West coast, there is a Creation Northwest Festival that usually takes place in July. Unfortunately, it has been postponed till 2019. Anyone is welcome to attend Creation Northeast this June for their 40th Anniversary!
Uprise is a smaller but growing, 2-day (Fri-Sat) Festival. It is held at the Shippensburg Fairgrounds in Shippensburg, PA. Uprise has become known as the “Little Brother” of Creation especially to those in PA, and possibly the East Coast in general. It is put on by a totally different event team, however, I have noticed many volunteers are starting to work both Creation and Uprise. This festival usually takes place during a weekend in the middle of September (this year Sept. 14-15th.) At that point we are usually still having hot summer weather here in PA, and so I have to warn you there is not much shade at this festival!
Uprise, like Creation, has several stages that all boast an amazing lineup of major Christian artists. It also has food vendors, merch areas, and more recently started offering camping for attendees. I started attending two years ago, and both years was very impressed by the organization and artist lineup. This year’s lineup includes Skillet, Disciple, Newsboys, and my personal favorite, Tobymac.
As of this month Uprise still does not have any info on their website. You can check their Facebook page which recently has been very active announcing this year’s artists. I can tell you though that this festival just keeps getting better each year! I really like their Hip-Hop stage which presents talented artists such as Andy Mineo and Tedashii.
If you do not want to brave the longer Creation Festival, Uprise is an excellent choice for a similar experience. Either way Christian Music Festivals are not something to be scared of. If you see an artist you like that is known for topping both the Christian and secular charts in a lineup, come on in! I promise we don’t bite. Or throw stones. Or burn people at the stake. We will pray you are having as good an experience, if not an even better experience than the rest of us.
Thank you for reading!
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Robena Exe says
OMG did you hear about TobyMac’s son? It’s just so sad. He was such a talented musician too. Taken too young… 🙁
Yes, and I am such a huge fan since DCtalk days so I was really sad for Tobymac’s family.