By Sara Butterfass
The fourth annual Higher Ground Music Festival is set for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday August 15-17 at the Winstock Music Festival Grounds in Winsted.
The Higher Ground Music Festival offers a wide variety of entertainment in the Sports Pavilion and up on stage.
Some of the biggest names in Christian music will be performing including MercyMe, Casting Crowns, Rush of Fools, Big Daddy Weave, Sanctus Real and Sara Groves. More than 20 bands will perform on the main and second stages.
The camping ground gates will open on Thursday, Aug. 14 at 3:00 p.m. for those who want to arrive early and make the most out of the weekend.
Thirteen acts will perform on Friday, and another 13 on Saturday. The music will begin at 10:20 a.m. and continue until 11:30 p.m.
Beside the music, there will be various activities in which attendees may participate. There will be T-shirt and campsite decorating contests, and an Inflatable Village, courtesy of the Pizza Ranch, which consists of an obstacle course, mock boxing, and bouncing rooms.
The Sports Pavilion will also feature a bean bag toss, horseshoes, and a volleyball tournament, as well as other activities.
“The word is getting out about Higher Ground,” said Higher Ground Chairman Terry Fasching. “People enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and small town hospitality. The campers love the scenery and the reserved sites. Our camping growth has been fantastic.”
Thursday - free concert
Thursday only, there will be an acoustical Christian music concert 8 p.m. at the Higher Ground campgrounds. It is free to the public.
Kicking off the festival on Friday morning is Claret at 10:20 a.m. on the second stage, followed by Sara Renner on the main stage at 10:55 a.m., and bensonwells at 11:30 a.m. on the second stage.
Jason Gray starts out the afternoon at 12:05 p.m. on the main stage, followed by Hyland at 1:55 p.m. on the second stage, Rush of Fools at 2:30 p.m. on the main stage, Ryan Daniel at 3:30 p.m. on the second stage, Sanctus Real at 4:30 p.m. on the main stage and Elizabeth Hunnicutt on the second stage at 5:30 p.m.
Keeping the music rolling into the evening, Shaun Groves will perform on the main stage at 6:30 p.m. followed by Big Daddy Weave at 7:30 p.m. on the main stage, and Breathe Deep at 8:45 p.m on the second stage.
Finishing off the night is Grammy Award winning band Casting Crowns. Casting Crowns has also won an American Music Award in 2007 and has been the most-played group on all Christian radio formats combined. They’ve sold more than three million albums to date.
Casting Crowns hit songs include “Praise You in this Storm,” “Lifesong,” “Voice of Truth,” and “We are the Body.”
Getting Saturday off to a great start on the second stage is F.A.I.T.H. at 10:20 a.m.
Lightswitch is scheduled on the main stage at 10:55 a.m., followed on the second stage by Damascus Calling at 11:30 a.m.
Starting the afternoon is Breathe Deep on the main stage at 12:05 p.m. followed by Mike Graff at 1:55 p.m. on the second stage, Echoing Angels at 2:30 p.m. on the main stage, Heidi Holt at 3:30 p.m. on the second stage, Remedy Drive at 4:30 p.m. on the main stage, and the Jeremy Sanoski Band at 5:30 p.m. on the second stage.
Again beginning the evening will be Shaun Groves at 6:30 p.m on the main stage. Sara Groves will follow him on the main stage at 7:30 p.m.
Caitlyn Smith, a 19 year-old singer and songwriter has been performing since she was a little girl. Her first album was recorded in 2001. Her powerful voice and meaningful words will make everyone stop and listen when she takes the second stage at 8:45 p.m.
Headlining, and closing the festival on Saturday night is MercyMe. MercyMe will take the main stage at 10:00 p.m.
MercyMe released their latest album in November, titled “All that is Within Me.” The Dove Award winning band has been performing since 1994.
MercyMe’s hit songs include “I Can Only Imagine,” “Word of God Speak,” “Here With Me,” and “Coming Up to Breathe.”
Sunday morning’s worship service, beginning at 8:30 a.m. will bring the festival to a close.