Just because the main stage at Ichthus goes dark about 11 doesn't mean the festival closes down for the night.
The past few years, the festival has worked to develop a late-night component of edgier acts for festival-goers who aren't ready to go back to their tents.
"We knew there was a crowd at Ichthus that doesn't wake up until it gets later at night," Ichthus director Mark Vermilion says.
Among the acts playing into the wee hours at Ichthus are techno artists Transform DJs and the White Collar Sideshow, an avant garde vaudeville-style group that presents performances in theater, film and music about addiction. The horror-movie vibe of the group is a departure from much of what is presented at Ichthus, and Vermilion says that's part of what makes it ideal for late-night programming.
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"It deals with mature subject matter that is more fitting for a late-night crowd," Vermilion says. "And youth leaders know that, so they can get younger kids back to camp if they don't want them to see it."
Vermilion says part of the intention is to give kids who aren't ready to go to bed something to do other than go back to their campsites. It also highlights the other stages at Ichthus aside from the main stage.
The festival imposes a 1 a.m. curfew and shuts down all stages at 12:30 a.m. "out of consideration for our neighbors in Wilmore who don't want to hear music thumping all night."
But the late-night time slot has given the festival a chance to try several things, including poetry.
The Galleria stage, which has become the venue for acoustic and quieter acts the past several years, will host poetry readings by artists including Levi the Poet, who specializes in confessional and testimonial poetry, and Jeanette...ikz, whose work focuses on girls and women.
"She does a lot of poetry on purity and body issues," Vermilion says. "More and more, we see this generation responding to this raw, real, slam-esque kind of poetry."
And late-night fare tends to focus on styles and forms of art and entertainment that are emerging. As the years of late programming have gone on, audiences have grown for all of those forms, particularly the techno fare of Transform DJs, which Vermilion says is ideal for blowing off steam before getting to bed.
But not all late acts are edgy stuff that's not suitable for the younger kids . The festival has started presenting late-night worship music, which Vermilion says is particularly popular on the final night of the festival.
"It's really a perfect way to end the day," he says.