GREENVILLE – The 2018 Illumination Festival: Light in the Darke is only days away and the forecast is looking incredible for the annual contemporary Christian music festival at the Darke County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 15. There is still time to get tickets for the concert that will feature Matt Maher, Danny Gokey, Tauren Wells, Stars Go Dim and Tom Golly. Returning to the festival will be ever-popular Splat Experience. In addition to the concert in front of the grandstand, the Illumination Festival Committee has planned numerous events on the fairgrounds throughout the day leading up to the concert that begins at 5 p.m.
Activities begin at noon with a high ropes course, rock wall, inflatables, and laser tag. There is unlimited play with a $5 wristband. The coffee house featuring local and regional artists begins at 1 p.m. in the Ohio Center/Spiritual Life Center on the fairgrounds. This year’s artists include The Prodigals, B-List Boys and Samuel Day.
With a reputation for bringing in top artists in Christian music, from Big Daddy Weave to TobyMac to the Newsboys and David Crowder, the Illumination committee has been dedicated to filling the Darke County Fairgrounds with music that uplifts the soul and encourages a relationship with Jesus. The 2018 festival follows in the footsteps of the previous decade of concerts.
Maher is one of the most decorated Contemporary Christian music artists with numerous Grammy, Dove, Covenant and Unity Awards nominations and wins as a singer and songwriter. The Newfoundland, Canada native hit the music scene in 2001 with his first album and eight albums later he is still going strong. His latest project, Echoes, was released in September 2017 and has garnered much attention while moving up to #5 on the U.S. Christian Music Chart. Maher lists among his honors the opportunity to perform with TobyMac, Kelly Clarkson and Third Day at a Rally for Youth and Seminarians during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the U.S. in 2008
Wisconsin native and American Idol finalist Danny Gokey crossed-over to Contemporary Christian music in 2014 with his first album in this genre, Hope in Front of Me. The project skyrocketed to #1 on the Billboard Christian Albums, Billboard Christian Airplay and Mediabase Adult Christian Contemporary charts. His newest release, Rise, allows Gokey to share his passion to touch people who, like him, have suffered moments of hopelessness.
Grammy nominated Tauren Wells has hit the top 10 with his two most recent singles, Hills and Valleys and When We Pray.
Stars Go Dim members, Chris Cleveland, Josh Roach, Joey Avalos and Kyle Williams, are currently performing music from their first major label studio album; a self-titled project. The band earned a Dove Award nomination in 2016 for New Artist of the Year.
Tom Golly is a former Christian stand-up comic that felt drawn to singing and has since immersed himself in music. His first EP, “Not Going Back,” reflects his life experiences and journey through of faith.
Tickets for the 2018 Illumination Festival are $30 for Grandstand General Admission, $35 for Reserved Seating and Track (standing only), and $55 for VIP (limited). Tickets go up an additional $5 on the day of the event. Tickets are available online at www.darkecountyfair.com or at Bread of Life Christian Bookstore and the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville or Christian Bookstore in Union City. For more information, visit www.illuminationfestival.org.
PHOTO CAPTION: Matt Maher and Danny Gokey