Ichthus Festival coming home

Published 8:03 am Thursday, July 8, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

After five-year hiatus, iconic festival returning to Wilmore


In 2013, Joe and Cheryl Lycan of West Virginia took a leap of faith and bought a 100-plus-acre farm in Wilmore. They didn’t set out with a specific plan. Instead, they set out with prayer and a belief that God would show them the way.

On Sept. 18, those prayers will come to fruition.

Email newsletter signup

After a five-year hiatus, the Ichthus Festival will return to Wilmore, taking place on a farm now known as Servant Heart Farm, on the land that served as the home of the festival from 1999-2012.

The Lycans and their son, Daniel, were introduced to the Ichthus Festival when Joe and Daniel’s Christian rock band, Sons of Thunder, were asked to perform at the festival, which they did from 2009-2012.

“We got involved because we looked at the good things Ichthus had done,” Cheryl Lycan said. “I want to see people blessed. It has always been a place of coming and going. People come and get refreshed and renewed, then they go back home.”

Lycan said they didn’t know what God’s plan or purpose was when they bought the property. They’ve simply worked to be good stewards of the land, and they have prayed.

“I’ve been mowing that farm for nine years and praying,” Lycan sad. “I had a little talk with Jesus out there a couple of years ago, and I said ‘I want to serve you, but if there’s no purpose in what I’m doing, let me know.’ “

Through mutual friends, the Lycans were connected with FUSE Ministries out of Massachusetts to help plan the event, which features headliners Kutless, Rhett Walker, and Sanctus Real. Other artists and bands who will perform throughout the day will be announced later this summer.

“I would love it if Ichthus could be a place where new artists and bands have a place to be heard,” Lycan said.

Instead of jumping into a multi-day event the decision was made to make this year’s relaunch a one-day event. “We want to do one day, and do it well,” Lycan said. “If it’s God’s will, maybe next year it will be a two-day event. If God wants it, we will figure it out.”

Servant Heart Farm is looking for other interested groups and businesses to help sponsor this year’s festival. Sponsorship information can be found at servantheartfarm.com or ichthusfestival.org.

In addition to the Ichthus Festival, the Lycans are hosting other events at the farm, including The Kentucky Wine & Vine Feat & Taste of Jessamine County on Aug. 6-7, and The Lab Band Live on Sept. 5.

“I want to see people blessed. I want to see people come to know the love of Jesus,” Lycan said. “That piece of ground can be a part of that.”

To learn more about this year’s Ichthus Festival, visit servantheartfarm.com or the festival’s new Facebook page at facebook.com/ichthusfestival. Information about sponsorships and tickets can be found at ichthusfest.org.