As a teenager in the late 80’s I remember getting off of the bus and running to the mailbox in eager anticipation of the latest Heaven’s Metal edition. It was my ‘information highway’ for all that was happening in the Christian metal/hard rock scene. It is with great pleasure that I have the opportunity to give you a blow by blow, on location from the Purple Door Festival 2011. You won’t need to run to your mailbox to get all of the action happening at the festival. Just tune in right here to HMmag.com for all of highlights of each day.

Tomorrow thousands of people will converge on Lebanon Valley Expo & Fairgrounds in Pennsylvania for Purple Door 2011. The smell of deep fried Oreos and onion rings will fill the air as will the sound of music of over 30 bands featured on 3 different stages. I’m looking forward to seeing some “melt your face off” bands like The Chariot, Ace Augustine, As Hell Retreats, Red, Project 86, Disciple and Underoath and many more, all who are sure to get the crowd movin’, groovin’, pumpin’ & jumpin’. But if music were coffee and your musical taste buds need a balance of both the bold and the more milder tones, they have added some “lighter notes” to the lineup to accommodate your palate as well. Bands like Aaron Gillespie, House of Heroes, Reilly, Denison Witmer, and Oceans in Love will deliver smooth sounds that will awaken your soul and stir your heart. I always leave these festivals with a few new finds to add to my musical arsenal as well as reminding me why others already have a prominent place there.

I’m also excited to see author and speaker Jon Acuff deliver from the main stage on Friday night. I had a chance to read his most recent book Quitter- closing the gap between your day job and your dream job. If Jon’s speaking ability is anywhere close to his writing ability he is sure to engage the audience with timely humor, healthy sarcasm, and a necessary dose of reality. Watch out, it might just cause you to change directions and start to pursue the calling/dreams that God has placed in your heart that you have been putting off.

Andrew Schwab (lead singer for Project 86) will be giving a seminar in the Come & Live Lounge as well as Stand True Ministries Founder Bryan Kemper. The Lounge will also host band interviews from Aaron Gillespie, Showbread, Sleeping Giant, Lecrae and Tedashii.

I hope to see some of you there. For those that can’t make it this year, I will do my best to capture the “goings on” and deliver it for you in a way that is worthy of the HM interwebs. Peace.


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The trio of Comrades – husband and wife Joe and Laura McElroy alongside drummer John Gaskil – is used to living in a van and touring the country. Now, their new normal has provided them with a moment to "be adults" for once. We recently sat down with the McElroys to talk more about the spiritual reality within life, how soon they'll be able to release new music, and how koalas are their new normal.


Photo by Quinsey Sablan

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