Chattanooga Now Tennessee Valley's largest Christian musical festival coming up at Camp Jordan

Chattanooga Now Tennessee Valley's largest Christian musical festival coming up at Camp Jordan

May 18th, 2017 by Susan Pierce in Chattnow Music

Family Force 5 brings its high-energy show to Jfest at 6:45 p.m. Saturday.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

If you go

› What: Jfest

› Where: Camp Jordan, 323 Camp Jordan Parkway, East Ridge

› When: Saturday, 9:30 a.m until fireworks close show

› Admission: $20 wristband ages 12 and older, children 11 and younger free, $5 Kids World admission.

› For more information: 423-892-1200 or jfest.com

It's a rock concert. It's a worship experience. It's Jfest, a day-long lineup of top Christian music acts that evangelizes to the lost while providing clean family entertainment.

Jfest topped 8,000 visitors last year, and organizers at sponsoring J103 radio station are expecting to top 10,000 at the 19th annual Jfest taking place Saturday, May 20, at Camp Jordan.

"This year, every one of the artists is nationally known," says event coordinator Ted Gocke of J103.

"We'll start things off in the morning with the Run for God Jfest 5K at 8 a.m. Then, around lunch, we'll begin with our musical artists onstage."

After gates open to the public at 9:30 a.m. and while they wait for the music to begin, visitors can browse 60 booths belonging to Jfest sponsors or take the kids to Kids World. The children's area will have inflatables, a petting zoo, archery tag for little Katniss Everdeen wannabes and a variety of games. Or just chow down on any of the concessions being sold by food vendors.

Jfest schedule

10:45 a.m. Micah Tyler

Noon. Hollyn

1:15 p.m. Zach Williams

2:30 p.m. Gawvii

3:45 p.m. Sanctus Real

5:15 p.m. Ryan Stevenson

6:45 p.m. Family Force 5

8:15 p.m. Jeremy Camp

Bring a folding chair and set up for the day at Jfest. Music starts at 10:45 a.m. with continuous acts until the fireworks extravaganza closes the festival.

Bring a folding chair and set up for...

Photo by AMERICA HENRY

Although there is no admission fee for children ages 11 and younger, there is a $5 charge for the Kids World section that includes inflatables, petting zoo and games.

Although there is no admission fee for children...

Photo by AMERICA HENRY

Bring a folding lawn chair, set up and enjoy eight musical acts that begin at 10:45 a.m. with Micah Tyler. This year's co-headliners are five-time Dove Award-winner Jeremy Camp and Family Force 5 from Atlanta.

Family Force 5 are crunk rock originators making their debut at Jfest.

"They are one of the most high-energy bands you'll ever see," says Gocke. "'Chainsaw' is their song. They started off as a family act years ago and now have added four other members. They have a song called 'BZRK' where they sing while jumping on mini trampolines onstage - and they never miss a beat, don't get out of breath. They are a really fun band."

Camp has 11 albums to his credit, five of them certified Gold and one Platinum. He was named ASCAP's songwriter of the year in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010. He's a Grammy nominee and was three-time American Music Award nominee.

"He made his first appearance at Jfest in 2013 and we've had many requests to bring him back," says Gocke. "He has several songs on the radio now, but his most popular song is 'He Knows.' His music is very down-to-earth, very driven and speaks to the heart."

Among other artists will be Hollyn from Franklin, Tenn., a popular rising star who just released a new album, "One Way Conversations," in February; and Zach Williams, whose hit "Chain Breaker" was No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart for multiple weeks.

Sanctus Real will play Saturday afternoon. The Toledo, Ohio-based band has notched No. 1 singles with "Lead Me," "Forgiven," "I'm Not Alright," "Don't Give Up," "We Need Each Other" and "Everything About You" from its five albums.

To cap off the night, J103 will present the area's first fireworks show of the season at the conclusion of Camp's set. Gocke says the fireworks will be synced to music of the artists who perform at Jfest that day.

Contact Susan Pierce at spierce@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6284.

Five-time Dove Award winner Jeremy Camp will close out Jfest with a show at 8:15 p.m. followed by fireworks.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.