The Ichthus Festival returns to Wilmore with success

Published 2:22 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Despite the on-and-off rain, crowds enjoyed Wilmore’s own Ichthus Festival, returning for the first time since 2015. On Saturday, Sept. 18, Servant Heart Farm was host to the Christian concert event, boasting artists both national and independent, including genres such as rock, county and hip-hop.

“We think it went wonderfully – we’re really pleased and we’re excited to do it again next year,” said Cheryl Lycan, one of the owners of Servant Heart Farm and an organizer for the festival with her husband, Joe.

This year’s festival was host to groups and artists such as Kutless, Rhett Walker, Sanctus Real, Laurel Taylor, Southland Music, Steve Bridgmon, Sons of Thunder, AC, Behold the Beloved, Chandler + Maria Letner, and Roger Barkley & the Redemption Band. The concert lasted from noon until 9:45 p.m.

The Ichthus Festival was founded in 1970 as the Christian answer to Woodstock by the late Dr. Bob Lyon, a professor of New Testament interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore. The event was held 44 times between its founding and 2015, taking place on Servant Heart Farm from 1999 – 2012. The event was dormant for the following three years, before holding its most recent 2015 outing at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The festival was discontinued from 2016 onward due to financial difficulties faced by the event’s previous organizers, the Creation Festivals group. The Lycan family obtained the rights to the festival’s trademark and were able to bring the event back in collaboration with New England Youth Ministries.

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. Through mutual friends, the Lycans were connected with FUSE Ministries out of Massachusetts to help plan the 2021 iteration of the event.

Cheryl hopes to continue to offer Servant Heart Farm as a venue for numerous events. As for the Ichthus Festival, the family is considering putting together a spring event, however, plans are still under consideration.

“None of this can happen without our volunteers and sponsors,” said Cheryl. “On behalf of our family, Servant Heart Farm, we are so thankful to the artists that came and gave their time and talent. We’re also thankful to everyone that bought a ticket and came. I think the Lord was on the farm with everyone that day, and really, that’s our goal – to bring the Lord into people’s lives.”

To learn more about the 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.