During the late ’90s and early ’00s, JPUSA’s Cornerstone Festival was the absolute highlight of my year. Every July, my friends and I would join thousands of others on a huge campground located just outside the little town of Bushnell, Illinois for a week of unbearable heat, unpredictable weather, smelly outhouses — and hundreds of amazing bands making music on the fringes of Christendom.
Some of the best concerts I’ve ever seen — and indeed, some of the best times I’ve ever experienced — took place on that campground surrounded by cornfields, and I know I’m not alone in that.
The following posts contain hundreds of photos that my friends and I took during those heady days. It serves as a tribute to both the Festival itself and its goal of celebrating outsider Christian art as well as the many, many bands that played its various stages (both authorized and unauthorized). While many of those bands have long since disappeared, it would be a true shame if they were completely forgotten.
Unfortunately, I lost a lot of my Cornerstone photos when our basement flooded several years ago, and the only digital versions I have of those lost photos are really small and poor resolution. Otherwise, I’d have even more photos for you.
If you have any Cornerstone photos that you’re willing to share on Opus, let me know. Also, I’ll admit that my memory is a little fuzzy after two decades, so please tell me if any of the band photos are mis-labeled.