Ichthus festival to continue in 2012

Money problems left its future in doubt, but now, some generous people have stepped up to make sure a popular Christian music festival continues for another year.

Organizers of the Ichthus festival said Tuesday the 2012 edition will go on.

The festival draws up to 20,000 people each year to Wilmore, in Jessamine County.

It's also one of the longest running music festivals in the country.

But earlier this year, it looked like Ichthus was in trouble.

"We were concerned we may not be able to do a festival in year 43 (2012) because of financial issues," Ichthus CEO Mark Vermilion said.

Despite the large crowds every year, Vermilion says the festival has struggled in the last six years, ever since it was moved from April to June.

Organizers blame this on having to compete with vacations and mission trips, as well as rising gas prices.

"For so many years, Ichthus, when it made money on a festival, it turned around and gave it to the community, or groups," Vermilion said. "So to turn around and say we need help, it hasn't been the easiest thing to do."

However, the central Kentucky community has answered, with churches, businesses, and individuals trying to help.

"We'll probably still have financial issues in the immediate future, but we just felt there were enough positive things that we could do a great 2012 festival," Vermilion said.

Vermilion also hopes someone will soon buy the property where the Ichthus festival is held every year, and allow the festival to continue.

The 2012 Ichthus festival is scheduled for June 20-23.

Organizers say the first 1,000 tickets will be sold at a reduced rate of $50.

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