In its 39 previous years, the Ichthus Festival has never coincided with Central Kentucky's every-17-year cicada plague. Day of Fire frontman Josh Brown who was emceeing the Battle of the Bands went Biblical calling the bugs "locusts" -- technically cicadas are not related to locusts, but the analogy worked -- in his between the acts.
"I was afraid one was going to fly into my mouth while I was singing," said Dustin Fenison, frontman for Somerset-based Live Fish, one of the competitors.
Like many of the plagues that befall Ichthus, Fenison was ready to make the best of bugs as were others. He knew from Ichthus having come here many times before with his church.
"It's always been exciting," he says, "It's the hometown festival."
Los Angeles-based Destination 7 came in early to work with Christian Appalachian project before the festival.
"It was awesome to see so much passion in these kids," said lead singer Natasha Ponticelli, "more passion than I had at that age."
The bands were competing for spots on Ichthus stages during the weekend and a possible grand prize of a going to a battle of the bands in Nashville with things like a recording contract up for grabs.
Starting at 9:30 a.m., it was the earliest Ichthus has ever started on its opening day, and despite severe thunderstorms that ravaged the festival site Monday night, it has started.
Above: Dustin Fenison of Live Fish performs at the Battle of the Bands Thursday morning at Ichthus. Photo by Rich Copley.