Ichthus 2012: the front-row breakfast club

Natalie Howe, Ashley Vanlandingham, Samantha Hudson, Morgan Young and Monica Curtis got to the front row at the main stage of the Ichthus Festival at 8 a.m. Thursday and they stayed there all day to see Tobymac and Family Force 5. Herald-Leader staff photo by Rich Copley.

Read more: Most of our Ichthus coverage is at Kentucky.com and LexGo.com this year, including photo galleries and stories.

You’d have to get up pretty early to beat a quintet of Winchester girls to the front row of the main stage at the Ichthus Festival. Thursday evening, before Family Force Five went on, Natalie Howe, Ashley Vanlandingham, Morgan Young, Samantha Hudson and Monica Curtis were holding onto a spot they claimed nearly 12 hours before.

There were some varying purposes for the Clark County teens half day vigils, starting at 8 a.m.: Howe and Vanlandingham’s dedication was to see Family Force 5, while the rest of the group was dedicated to Thursday night headliner Tobymac. For their enthusiasm, they were rewarded not only with a a front row vantage point to watch the boys from the dirty, dirty South and Tmac. Mainstage manager P.L. Mitchell was so impressed with their committment he gave them a backstage tour and festival personnel had first-in-line passes made up for them when they went to the fan tent for Family Force 5. Only Howe and Vanlandingham availed themselves of that privilege as the others were holding tight for Toby. But those girls got even more than they bargained for, getting to meet FF5 and have their pictures taken with the band.

It was all worth it, they said, particularly when Family frontman Solomon Olds, aka Soul Glow Activatur, went right over top of them in his crowd surfing bubble.

You might think after a very long day camped out in the 90-degree heat these five would sleep in on Friday morning. But no. Several will be up to regain that front row for Friday’s lineup including Red and Disciple. A few of them even did it on Wednesday for Switchfoot.

Fest officials may want to check with these girls before making the 2013 lineup, because clearly they inspired some dedicated fans this year.

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