Want to go?
WHAT: United Festival
WHEN: 1-10 p.m. Saturday, September 8
WHERE: First Baptist Church, 5918 State Route 60, Birmingham
COST: $3 in advance, $5 at the door
Similar to comedy clubs in the ‘80s and coffeehouses in the ‘90s, music festivals have become ubiquitous over the past decade.
Now comes word of the inaugural Christian focused United Festival, which takes place Sept. 8 at the First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ohio. This all-day music and festive event boasts a mission of uniting surrounding churches and communities as one and making a lasting impact through Christ.
“It doesn’t matter what religious denomination the church is, we just want to see people come together and enjoy music and food and just fellowshipping and hanging out with each other,” said United Festival Marketing Director Jimbo Rocko [AKA Jimmy Larrick], a Sandusky native. “This is the vision of the First Baptist Church in Birmingham. They actually came to myself and another promoter saying we’ve had this vision for a couple of years now; however, we don’t have the education of how to put on something like this.”
Rocko, who will be performing at the music festival, said he’s helped create and promote hundreds of such events. That said, he stresses United Festival is unlike any other Christian-minded music event in Northwest Ohio. The lineup boasts live music and worship from 10 different bands ranging in style from rock, alternative and rap to pop, modern worship, acoustic and folk.
In addition to a 70-foot inflatable obstacle course, 16-foot slides and jump houses, the one-day affair will have a wide variety of food and beverage vendors, a prayer tent and more.
Rocko said so far organizers have pre-sold 1,000 tickets, with attendance expected to be in the 5,000 range.
“It’s outside, we have eight acres of land, so space won’t be an issue,” Rocko said. “This year we have very talented bands but none of them are on the radio right now. So next year we’re already talking about bringing in more of a household name band as the headliner and getting a bigger stage, bigger production.”
In order to help get festivalgoers up to speed with the bands, Rocko said a free CD compilation featuring the groups is available at Noisetrade.com/unitedfestival.
“We’re hoping everybody comes out,” Rocko said. “You don’t need to be a Christian or even a religious person. We’ve tried to gear this towards families as much as possible. Just to enjoy the food, lets the kids run around and have a good time. Anyone who needs a break from the ordinary, just to kind of get away from it, they’re more than welcome to come out.”
United Festival takes place from 1 to 10 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 5918 State Route 60, Birmingham. Tickets are $3 ADV/$5 DOS. For more information, visit www.unitedfestival.net.