Amped up for Amplify; third annual Christian music festival starts today

The third annual Amplify Christian Music Festival begins today on the grounds of Holland Chapel Baptist Church in Benton.

The two-day festival opens its doors at 3 p.m. today and again at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The festival will feature top contemporary Christian music artists including Jeremy Camp, Big Daddy Weave, Sanctus Real, Jason Gray, Rhett Walker Band, Citizen Way, MIKESCHAIR, The Museum, Drew Cline, Spencer Lloyd, who competed in this season's "American Idol," and others.

The festival is completely free and open to the public and will feature Christian music, apparel and food vendors, kids' activities, bounce houses and a fireworks show for the finale.

Josh Turner, event co-chair, said, "The main goal of Amplify is to expose people to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We want to break down barriers between churches and provide a positive, fun-filled opportunity to come together and worship Christ."

Organizers estimate that more than 20,000 people will attend the festival this year. "This year will be even bigger and better than last year," said Turner.

Matt Brumley, co-chair for the event, said, "When we started planning Amplify a couple of years ago, our thought was to put on a Christian music festival that was unlike anything in Arkansas or surrounding states. The response we have received, not just from those in our community but from around the country, has been amazing.

"When people find out this event is free, they just can't believe it. We would not be able to do any of this without the support of our sponsors, who are investing in Amplify because they truly believe in the vision and mission of this event."

Guests attending the festival are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets or tarps, sunscreen, extra cash for drinks, food and shopping as well as all of their friends. Video cameras, pets, ice chests or coolers and outside food and drinks will not be allowed in the festival. Smoking also will not be allowed.
The lineup for the festival follows:

4 p.m. Becca Bradley
4:50 p.m. Spencer Lloyd
5:50 p.m. MIKESCHAIR
6:50 p.m. Jason Gray
8:10 p.m. Rhett Walker Band
9:30 pm. Big Daddy Weave
2 p.m. Becca Bradley
2:45 p.m. Spencer Lloyd
4 p.m. Drew Cline
5 p.m. The Museum
6:05 p.m. Citizen Way
7:30 p.m. Sanctus Real
9:15 p.m. Jeremy Camp