Thousands preparing for annual trek to LifeLight Festival in Sioux Falls

Thousands preparing for annual trek to LifeLight Festival in Sioux Falls

There’s no experience quite like the LifeLight outdoor Christian music festival near Sioux Falls.

I was there in 2006 with my wife. The daylight hours weren’t all that great, because it was hot, windy and dusty. But when the sun went down and the Newsboys came on stage, the atmosphere was electric. The energy that pulsed through the crowd — which I recall was near 100,000 — was like nothing else I’ve ever felt. I don’t listen to contemporary Christian music very much, but that night I became a fan of the Newsboys and definitely felt I had a spiritual experience.

The 2011 festival begins at noon Friday, Sept. 2. There will be three days of music, speakers, food, merchandise, skateboarding, the arts, camping and more.

“Many people are looking for hope and healing and a change in their life or circumstances,” Alan Greene, evangelist and co-founder of LifeLight, said in a recent news release. “Whether it’s economic, family, emotional or physical issues, we believe people will experience hope at the festival.”

This year’s festival will feature best-selling author Francis Chan on Saturday night and a special Heaven/Hell Event on Sunday night with Don Piper, “90 Minutes in Heaven” author, and Bill Wiese, “23 minutes in Hell” author.  The festival will again host the Sunday morning community worship service, which for the first time includes a tribute to the military, followed by a message on hope delivered by Alan Greene.

Joining the speakers and over 100 bands on six stages will be recording artists Tenth Avenue North, Jeremy Camp, Sanctus Real, Hawk Nelson, Brian Head Welch, Blindside, Fireflight, Britt Nicole, Sidewalk Prophets, Chris August and more. For a complete festival lineup, go to

For the second year, the festival will be held at its permanent home on over 200 acres near Worthing, S.D. (47468 280th Street, 12 miles south of Sioux Falls, S.D.).

New this year is the family stage called Kaleidoscope, permanent electrical hookups, a skate park and an addition to the barn (360 Stage) making it a loft with an art gallery.

“We are moving toward our goal of a park-like setting, offering something for everyone at the festival,” said Julie Klinger, festival director.

Because the LifeLight Festival is funded by local individuals and businesses, admission to the Festival is FREE. As always, the festival will provide opportunities for attendees to give to people in need, particularly with a focus on ministering to the war-torn people of Juarez, Mexico, where LifeLight supports a full-time missionary and church.

Founded in 1998, LifeLight Communications is a faith-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that facilitates numerous concerts, mission trips, tours, and other outreach events by partnering with churches, businesses and other ministries. The LifeLight Festival, held annually on Labor Day weekend, is the organization’s largest event, drawing approximately 300,000 people over three days.

If you’re planning to attend LifeLight this year, here’s a helpful map:

— Some information in this post taken from a LifeLight news release

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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