Christian music fans will get an extra treat at the Festival of the Bells this year when two national acts – Hollyn and Unspoken – are presented by concert organizers.
This year’s Festival of the Bells will be held July 5-7 at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro. The Christian concert will be on Thursday, July 5, but the of time the performances is still being worked out.
“Financially, the price for both acts was where it has been in the past for one, and this young girl on TobyMac’s label is a local girl that’s doing good things with contemporary Christian music. We think that will attract more of a young crowd and gives our community the opportunity to see how God is using her talents even at a young age,” said Brian Robinson, who organizes the Christian concert with help from Highland County churches.
He said Hollyn is from Pike County and the hope is that she will draw visitors to Hillsboro from that area.
Festival of the Bells Committee President Rick Williams said the festival’s Friday night entertainment has been booked. He said that as soon as the Saturday act is confirmed he will release information on both acts to the local media.
Unspoken released its debut single “Who You Are” on the record label Centricity Music in June 2012. The song has charted on numerous Christian music charts and was the only song from the band’s debut EP “Get to Me” to be featured on its first full-length album, according to the band’s website. The self-titled debut LP “Unspoken” was released April 1, 2014. Some of Unspoken’s other hits include “Who You Are,” “Lift My Life Up,” “Start A Fire” and “Good Fight,” with “Start A Fire” reaching No. 1 on some Christian music charts.
The song “Lift My Life Up” was included on the 2015 WOW Hits Release. With successful tours alongside artists such as Big Daddy Weave and Sanctus Real, Unspoken has built steady momentum, the band’s website says.
Hollyn is signed with Gotee Records and her debut full-length album was released in February of last year. “One-Way Conversations” hit No. 2 on the iTunes Pop Albums chart, just under Lady Gaga, and was in the Top 10 overall of iTunes, her website says. She had two recent singles in the Top 25 on Christian radio at different formats – “Can’t Live Without” and “In Awe.”
This will be the 13th year for a Christian concert at the Festival of the Bells.
“It’s just something God laid on my heart 12 years ago to do and here we are 13 years later,” Robinson said.
He said the Christian concert would not be possible without the help of the Festival of Bells Committee and the setting it offers.
“People don’t have to drive 60 miles and pay to see this kind of quality Christian music,” Robinson said. “We’re bringing it right here to Hillsboro, so thanks to the churches for that.”
He said that if there are other churches that would like to help, they can contact him at 937-393-2532.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]