God and metal: scenes from a hardcore Christian music festival

At the beginning of July I audio feed, a Christian rock and metal photographed-festival in Illinois.

This was a bit of a reunion for me. As a teenager, grew 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 the scene after college to go to, but I never stopped to enjoy the music.

Since 1984, every Christian punk is playing ‘ s dream was to, at a festival called Cornerstone – a week-long Bohemian camp in General compared to a Christian Woodstock. The cornerstone of “dead” and went in 2012, and the audio feed is part of an attempt to, are the cornerstones of the audience, some of whom are from the Christian rock or Evangelical Christianity as a whole. One of this year’s headliners, David Bazan, a vocal ex-Evangelical.

I came to this festival to have a clearer picture of what the next generation of post-culture war evangelicals will look. A veteran of the festival, remembers the days, couldn’t he wear his Slayer T-shirt in the Church. The participation in this festival made me wonder what kinds of things that the current generation of evangelicals may be more lenient in, say, 20 years.

What I found was a surprisingly diverse cross-section of evangelicalism: a predictable share of the conservatives and charismatics, but also a vocal group of progressive evangelicals, including the transgender teenager who claims they both come to Christ and as a transformation to this festival. I also found many who have strayed from the faith, but who still see members of the Christian hardcore scene as her closest family.

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“You know, how to describe people’s home? I never had the feeling that, until now, here.” Landon Zettelmier of Champaign, Illinois, a 17-year-old transgender teenager, watch as Dave leads Bazan. Zettelmier said he came to Christ in a mosh-pit audio feed in 2015, and came out as transgender in the audio feed in the year 2016. Bazan, one of the festival headliners, is a vocal ex-Evangelical.

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Josh Haynes immersed himself in a pool of a pickup bed. The party was then broken up later by security, audio feed is an alcohol-free festival. Haynes is an Urban ministries major at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. “With Moody’s I have learned that homosexuality, sex, drinking, and marijuana have been demonized.”

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“Sometimes I don’t want to say to the people, I am a Christian, because of what it represents.” Heather Vaught plays with her daughter, Maybelle. S Vaught ‘ southern Baptist church in Evansville, Indiana, hosts punk shows in his basement.

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Tripp Durden shows off some of his tattoos.

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A fan takes a selfie with the Christian metal band Grave Robber.

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“I thought Christians gave me a chance to have a family. Now I have the feeling that I exploited was, for my emotions.” Chris Lane performs with hardcore band Headrush, on an improvised stage. Lane left his Protestant faith in the year 2012, but continue to see the Christian hardcore scene as a family.

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A member of the Blood & Ink-get label, immersed in a dunk tank.

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Lucas Wright washes make-up off his face.

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To pose Donnie and Nancy Loughney of Akron, Ohio, for a photo. The Loughneys Christian hardcore and metal have visited the festival since the 1980s.

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Rachel Wolgamuth of Grand Rapids, Michigan, holds her daughter Stella.

Photo by KC McGinnis

Sun light leaks through the tent wall.